The Innovation capability supports the submission, centralization, and evaluation of ideas from across the organization to drive solutions to crowd-generated challenges and opportunities. Each capability within the Planview Capability Framework has a distinct set of features and functionality, business processes, best practices, and analytics and reports that deliver value to customers in the form of specific business outcomes.
Definition and Business Outcomes
- Supports an organizational culture of innovation by allowing for the submission of ideas from across an organization’s entire ecosystem and centralizing them for evaluation and development.
- It also supports the creation of targeted ideation campaigns to solicit creative solutions to business and product challenges or quickly test new concepts before investing.
- It helps drive solutions using crowd-generated challenges and opportunities, providing a structure for team collaboration.
We can foster stronger collaboration and ideation, allowing the crowd to share challenges/opportunities with each other and select the best solutions to business and product challenges.
We can generate, capture, and refine new ideas, managing the entire process of evaluation and prioritization.
We can use quantitative reviews and qualitative evaluations to select ideas with the strongest business value and market potential.
We can automatically identify trends from crowd-generated content using natural language processing and sentiment analysis.
Align innovation with strategy
Ensure your participants understand your organization’s high-level goals before the ideation stage of innovation. They are more likely to propose valuable ideas when they are confident in what strategies they are serving and how their contributions will fit in the bigger picture.
Preestablish evaluation criteria
Once the goal of the challenge is determined, create an objective and tangible set of criteria for how you will select the best ideas. Sponsors and evaluators should use these standards to sort out good ideas and solutions.
Ask the right questions
Once the organization’s goal is established, challenge owners must translate it into a challenge that will spark innovative ways to meet that goal. Make sure you are asking questions whose answers can be measured against the evaluation criteria.
Find a strong sponsor
The corporate sponsor is vital to the innovation process, as they will be advocating for their selected ideas at the highest levels of leadership. A good sponsor is invested in finding new opportunities for solutions, and evangelizes both the challenge and the ideas it presents.
Focus on engagement
Participants can easily lose interest, so keep them engaged during the process. One way is to assign a moderator who will work to keep participants engaged and drive ideas through the different stages of evaluation. Another way is to host open catalyst sessions with leaders or experts who can speak to the vision and value of the challenge and answer participant questions.
Choose what not to do
A good challenge is likely to produce far more ideas than what is actionable, so you will need to be selective about which ideas to not pursue. Ensure your organization has sufficient resources in place to act on new ideas and communicate to participants your reasons for not selecting certain ideas. Giving transparent explanations for underlying reasons or constraints helps your people feel like they are being heard and drives further engagement.
Have a communication plan
Once the ideas have been selected, explain how you will move forward with these ideas. This will increase buy-in from within the organization and help set the process up for success in the implementation phase. Town hall meetings can be a great tool in this process.
It’s easy to feel like you’re finished once an idea has been selected, but ideas must be implemented if the process is to provide value. Ensure there is a clear path forward, that leaders have been identified, that a sponsor is still involved, and that a follow-up plan is created to ensure implementation is on track.
Innovation is a crowdsourcing and idea management capability that supports the collaboration and generation of new ideas to drive innovation, transformation, and change. Organizers manage submissions and identify the best ideas using predetermined evaluation criteria in combination with active metrics from their ideation event. This capability creates a culture of innovation by allowing users across an organization to submit any number of new ideas during an event, and promotes collaboration by enabling users to view, compare, vote on, and comment on submitted ideas.
Innovation Challenge Process Model
|Administrator creates challenge||
Create a new challenge using the Challenge Wizard, entering relevant information such as the start time, end date, and the business problem the challenge is designed to solve. Challenges can also be created from a challenge template. Once the challenge is created, you will configure the challenge phases and idea stages.
Use the standard challenge blueprint to ensure you have the necessary information to create and frame the challenge.
For more information:
|Administrator uploads ideas||
The administrator can upload existing ideas into the challenge. Ideas must be placed into the Idea Import Template, while comments made on ideas are uploaded using a separate Import Comment spreadsheet.
As a best practice, begin with importing one idea or comment, then add the remaining ideas and comments once the first import has been confirmed.
|Participants post ideas||
Users post ideas on how to solve the framed business challenge when the challenge begins. Ideas contain a title, description, and image, with the option to add categories, keywords, and attachments.
For more information:
|Participants comment on ideas||Administrators enable commenting for the challenge so that participants can provide feedback on each others’ ideas to identify opportunities or difficulties. Participants can also show support by liking ideas and comments.|
|Participants edit and improve ideas||Participants edit their ideas or incorporate feedback provided by others during the challenge.|
|Participants vote on ideas||Participants vote on the ideas they support throughout the first phase of the challenge. The voting system is configured using the Challenge Wizard, based on either the number of likes or by a star-rating system. Administrators use this voting system to decide whether ideas go to the next challenge phase.|
|Moderators and experts guide conversations||Assigned moderators and experts engage participants during the challenge by asking questions, involving participants in discussions, and making suggestions to develop and strengthen the community’s ideas.|
|Participants team up||
Idea owners can invite others to become team members on their idea or request to become members on another’s idea. Invitees can accept or reject invitations. Team members can contribute by editing the idea and receiving update notifications.
Administrators can set the maximum team size, remove members, and decide whether an idea requires team members to advance to the next challenge phase.
|Expert yes/no or attached file evaluation||
Experts complete one or both of the following evaluation forms, which are set up as tasks and assigned by role:
Expert criteria scoring evaluation
|An executive committee or panel of experts evaluates the ideas and decides which ones will move forward to the next stage to prioritize the most valuable ideas for the organization. This process can be set up as an evaluation stage.|
|Participants Pairwise rank ideas||
Use Pairwise voting to compare ideas side-by-side in the final stage. Side-by-side ranking helps you decide which ideas have the most support from participants in comparison to other ideas presented.
For more information:
|Participants estimate cost, time, and revenue using Predictions||
Use Predictions to estimate the cost,time, and revenue of ideas or projects. When you include predictions in a challenge, members will be invited to give prediction votes on posted ideas.
Once the Prediction phase begins, the Prediction tab allows members to provide assessments for all submitted ideas in the graduation stage. Prediction results are mapped into a bubble chart once voting is completed, helping you assess your idea portfolio’s key financial metrics and prioritize their development.
|Close ideas: estimate ROI, assign project manager, and determine next steps||
Use the Close Ideas feature to take ideas out of circulation and move them into the final stages. Challenge administrators can estimate an idea’s ROI, assign a project manager, and determine next steps with the closure form’s default fields.
The Idea Closure form can be modified with additional fields to capture more information. This produces a portfolio report in the Insights module.
|Ideas selected for development and archived||
The organization selects which ideas to implement through an idea selection meeting, where the top ideas are discussed with the sponsor, experts, and stakeholders.
Download a challenge report prior to the selection meeting to get relevant information on each idea in a spreadsheet. Remove all but 5-10 top ideas from the discussion.
During the idea selection meeting, discuss the value of each idea as measured against the organization's evaluation criteria and its impact on business and budgeting. Discuss implementation strategies for the ideas selected, including who will handle execution. Create a plan for announcing the selected ideas.
A challenge administrator chooses the selected ideas on the challenge home page. A custom layout for the announcement can be created and an email can be automatically sent to the chosen idea owners.
|Idea pushed to create project workspace||
Transfer selected ideas from IdeaPlace to ProjectPlace and convert them into workspaces.
If this is your first time doing this conversion, enable the synchronization capability by sending a ticket to Planview Customer Care.
IdeaPlace automatically updates the challenge timer and all pages and permissions when the last phase of the challenge ends. You can manually close a challenge at any point.
Announce the challenge winners and top participants once the challenge closes, then begin the implementation process.
TeamTap Process Model
|Tap owner creates micro-challenge (Tap)||
TeamTap is a micro-challenge used when you want a simple, spontaneous outreach amongst your peers to solve an immediate problem. This could anything from soliciting feedback on an idea to asking for help with a process. You can create a Tap from any page within IdeaPlace.
Tap shared with relevant users
Once a Tap is created, you can share your Tap with other users to prompt them for feedback. The Tap can be shared directly within IdeaPlace, or as a link you can add to an email or other communication channel.
Users respond to Tap
If a user has ideas that can help the tap owner, they can post them as a response. They can also comment on other user responses or like other responses and comments.
Users vote on responses
Users also have the ability to vote on the response they like the most. This can give the tap owner a feeling for which response(s) to accept.
Tap owner accepts relevant responses
Once the Tap owner is ready, they can accept the response(s) they feel address their initial problem.
Tap owner closes Tap
When the responses have been accepted and the tap owner feels confident, they can close the Tap.
Outputs, Reports, and Analytics
This solution capability is supported by the following outputs, reports, and analytics. You can also create custom reports from IdeaPlace data using Power BI or Power BI Desktop.
|Type||Associated Outputs, Reports, and Analytics||Description|
|Report||Challenge Activity||Contains an overview of each challenge and community that is present within an IdeaPlace instance.*|
|Report||Ideas||Contains all idea activity visualizations for each challenge.*|
|Report||Idea Activity Breakdown||Displays key idea metrics which each challenge uses to prioritize ideas.*|
|Report||Idea Closure Fields||Summary of all idea closure form fields that are configured. Enables a user to list ideas closed per challenge along with corresponding values from that challenge's idea closure form.*|
|Report||Idea Closure Fields Numeric||Represents the idea closure fields that contain numeric estimates.*|
|Report||Idea Custom Fields||Provides an out-of-the-box search and filter capability for all idea template custom fields that are in use.*|
|Report||Idea Voting Breakdown||Shows which users are prioritizing which ideas.*|
|Report||Pairwise||Offers a breakdown of the Pairwise voting feature. Contains a combination of idea and Pairwise voting dimensions including Idea ID, Idea Title, URL, Total Pairwise Up Votes, Total Pairwise Down Votes, Total Pairwise Skip Votes, and the Pairwise Ranking.*|
|Report||Review Responses||Provides insights into the breakdown of the review field responses for any review field in the challenge. Shows the breakdown of responses per idea based upon review form fields.*|
Visualization 1 shows the breakdown of individual tasks that are assigned to ideas within the chosen challenge or community. Visualization 2 shows a simple breakdown of reviews and ideas only. Visualization 3 demonstrates the average score obtained for each of the review fields that are present in the challenge, illustrating a high-level view of strengths and weaknesses associated with the different quantitative fields in the review form.*
|Report||User Activity Challenge||Shows a visualization that represents users that have participated in the challenge.*|
|Report||User Custom Fields||Shows the overview of users listed in the IdeaPlace application and all of their user attributes.*|
|Report||User Activity / Time||Uses the ideaID and the posting timestamp of the idea to determine activity by users across a temporal filter.*|
|Report||Idea Key Themes||Leverages Natural Language Processing to cluster ideas using the text contained in their descriptions.*|
|Report||Sentiment Key Influencers||Shows what influences the overall sentiment score for ideas in the challenge.*|
|Report||Idea Sentiment Dashboard||Offers deeper insights into a selected idea.*|
|Output||OData/Power BI Desktop Custom Reports||Data export feature, which provides for the configuration of customized reports via IdeaPlace's OData Connector to Power BI Desktop.|
|Output||OData/Tableau Custom Reports||Data export feature, which provides for the configuration of customized reports via IdeaPlace's Tableau Web Connector, using Power BI Desktop.|
|Excel Custom Reports||Data export feature, which provides for the configuration of customized Excel Reports via IdeaPlace's Excel Connector and the Excel PivotTables functionality, using Power BI Embedded.|
|Report||Dynamic Idea Report||Gives an in-depth snapshot of submitted ideas, including customized idea template fields, and idea engagement metrics (votes, comments, ratings, reviews).**|
|Report||Dynamic Review Report||Displays all completed reviews and tasks. Shows the current idea review rating during the Expert Review Phase of the Challenge.**|
|Report||Idea Selection Report||Provides all the data needed to consider whether an idea should be moved to Successfully Implemented. Used when conducting the final review of ideas at the end of the challenge, when meeting as a group, to determine final successful ideas. Can be used to facilitate an effective selection meeting.**|
|Report||Idea Tracking Report||Shows all ideas closed successfully. Tracks idea details that have been selected for implementation.**|
|Report||Ideas Activity Report||Shows all ideas’ graduation criteria fields and how close they are to reaching the threshold set for graduation to the next stage. Used towards the end of a phase to see if any ideas should be manually moved to the next stage.**|
|Report||Moderator and Expert Activity Detail Report||Lists the activity of all moderators and experts within a given date range.**|
|Report||Private Comments Report||Lists any ideas that have had Private Comments posted by either an Administrator or Moderator.**|
|Report||Rapid Report||Provides a holistic picture of the activity around top ideas. Displays Pairwise ranking, idea stats, and review scores. Used to compare ideas and where they were ranked by the crowd and review team.**|
|Report||User Task Report||Tracks who has been assigned tasks, which are outstanding, and which have been completed during Expert Review phase.**|
|Report||Users with no Activity Report||Lists users who have not taken any action since a given date.**|
Three visualizations on the Task tab that show Reviews Assigned and Completed, Idea Review Scores, and Review Fields Average Score.*
|Analytic||All Data Clusters||Shows automatic modeling of Ideas, Taps, and Tap Responses together.*|
|Analytic||TeamTap Key Themes||Displays key themes, which are obtained solely from the Tap Title (Tap Description).*|
|Analytic||Tap Drill Through Dashboard||Provides a readout of all the key data on a selected Tap.*|
|Analytic||Tap Clusters||Shows which of the Tap Title key themes drive Tap Response themes.*|
|Analytic||User Activity Breakdown||Displays configurable viewing of activity level. The default slicing on the page shows the top 50% of active users in the last 90 days.*|
|Analytic||Tap Explorer||Focuses on a blend of user activity and themes to show how key themes drive activity levels across the crowd, allowing for identification of the most active users in each scenario.*|
|Analytic||Tap Explorer Activity||Demonstrates count and type of activity when linked with user attributes, using a "cord" type visualization.*|
|Analytic||Tap Explorer Themes||Conveys levels of activity against Tap key themes and user attribute data, using a "cord" type visualization.*|
|Analytic||TeamTap Sentiment Influencers||Focuses on the drivers that increase and decrease sentiment.*|
*Standard report in Insights/Power BI.
**Legacy Excel report. Available but no longer supported as of 4/30/2021.
Innovation Program Management Best Practices
An Innovation effort can be a complex, sequential series of actions around posted ideas, in response to a corporate-approved Challenge Question (challenge). By contrast, it can also be a simple, spontaneous outreach amongst one's peers to solve an immediate problem (Tap). The following Best Practices illustrate opportunities for Collaborative Discovery and Collective Decision Making in an Innovation Management Solution.
Managing Your Innovation Program
Crowdsourcing Program Advocacy: Educate your colleagues and potential challenge sponsors on what crowdsourced innovation is: engaging the people who know your business best—your employees, your suppliers, your partners, and your customers—to collaborate, generate and prioritize new ideas. Secondly, let them know how it can be used, for example, leveraging the power of the crowd or identifying challenge opportunities. Lastly, inform them how to run different types of Innovation Events, i.e., a time-bound vs. Always On challenge, Hackathon, Internal vs. External Challenge, Team Tap.
How to run a Successful Challenge: Running challenges in a continuous cycle is a highly effective way to align individual motivation with organizational goals. Before the challenge begins, identify key goals and obstacles. Formulate the right Challenge Question to pose to your crowd. Select the best Challenge Owners for their roles. Launch the challenge and energize participants. Give participants feedback and conduct transparent idea evaluation. Follow up with challenge results and celebrate wins. Note Lessons Learned for the next challenge.
Build the Right Team for your Innovation Program: It’s crucial to build the right team in order to maximize the effectiveness of the Innovation Program's effort. Clear roles and responsibilities are necessary in order to succeed. Participants, roles, and responsibilities will change over time, particularly as goals are met and new problems and opportunities emerge, but it’s critical that assignments are clear and understood at launch.
Best Practices for Idea Evaluation: Consider the evaluation criteria before you begin reviewing ideas, to determine which Ideas show the most promise and which can be easily put to the side. Determine what characteristics an idea must have in order to move forward to the next stage. Use built-in metrics like star votes, views, comments, or time of last activity to determine which Ideas are in most need of response, which ones are potential winners, and which can easily be taken out of the mix. Be as specific as possible about what you’re looking for when starting a challenge. Establish a strong context and use the challenge description in IdeaPlace Email Notifications to state what your goals are and what factors you’ll need to evaluate Ideas.
Develop Products more Effectively: If there’s one thing Product Teams are not lacking for, it's a constant flow of ideas about how their product should evolve to meet the needs of different constituents. However, without a systematic process, teams can struggle to ensure they're focusing scarce resources on the most impactful validated enhancements that customers and potential customers desire. Empower Product Teams to build better products by managing the flow of product ideas with IdeaPlace,
Long Term Success
- Promoting your Innovation Program: Internal marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to inspire employees and motivate them to become innovators. Introduce IdeaPlace to Your Community. A town hall meeting is a key event for communicating your corporate strategy and innovation goals to your entire community and explain how IdeaPlace is part of realizing that vision. Branding your Innovation Program makes it easier for you to talk about the program and rally participants. IdeaPlace Email Notifications are an internal marketing tool built directly into IdeaPlace that can be used to introduce initiatives, kick off Challenges, motivate participation, and celebrate wins.
- Driving Participation with your Innovation Program: By providing frequent and continuous feedback, maintaining transparency, recognizing contributions, and sustaining long-term engagement with rewards and incentives, you motivate employees to keep contributing and remain active participants in your Innovation Program.
- Leadership in Innovation - Moderators: The Moderator is responsible for managing the day-to-day activity of the Innovation Program, and directing ideas through different stages of evaluation to turn potentially useful ideas into action. Through a four step approach—Discover, Discuss, Evaluate, and Decide—you can better understand how to use IdeaPlace features to motivate participation, drive sustained engagement in your innovation program, and identify and act on the best ideas.
- The Power of No in an Innovation Program: Declining ideas is a necessary part of an Innovation Program, and when done transparently, can provide the fuel for ongoing engagement with the program. If that “no” comes with a thoughtful reasoning as to why the idea won’t be presently acted upon and realized—usually citing a constraint—nine times out of ten the person will accept the outcome. People understand constraints. What they want is a conversation. To be listened to. Often “nos” in an innovation program represent the fitness of the idea to the current environment. As that environment changes, that “no” can easily turn into a “yes.”
Top 10 Tips/Best Practices for Hosting a Challenge
- Find the right sponsor: Someone dedicated to solving an important opportunity and willing to advocate for the challenge and follow through with the ideas.
- Ask the right question: Something that is owned by the sponsor and is aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization.
- Invite the right audience: The more the better. Diversity in thinking is an innovator's best friend.
- Moderate the conversation: Active moderation helps build ideas, connect people to ideas, and keeps the crowd focused on the challenge topic.
- Evaluate the ideas: Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) should evaluate the crowd-nominated ideas, to ensure they meet the sponsor's criteria for success.
- Communicate: A well planned communication campaign drives overall participation and engagement on the desired behaviors and goals.
- Recognize excellence: Provide recognition for participants that go above and beyond with their activity levels and quality of content.
- Monitor the challenge: Check idea graduation rates and participation levels often; which can help determine needed adjustments to graduation criteria and communications.
- Take action: Do something with the selected ideas to build credibility and demonstrate value to all stakeholders.
- Follow up: Let the audience know what's happening with the selected ideas, so it doesn't turn into a black hole suggestion box.
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