If you have installed enterprise crowdsourcing software in your business, you are making important steps towards true innovation. However, having it installed is not enough. You must take a strategic and structured approach to actually benefiting from it, which is known as the Innovation Process Management, or IPM, approach. Getting IPM right is down to seven key steps.
The 7 Steps of Enterprise Crowdsourcing Software and IMP
You must define what the problem is. In order to crowdsource the ideas of your staff, they must know what ideas you are looking for. For instance, you may need to cut costs without cutting quality, in which case you could ask your staff how they feel a 10% cost reduction could be achieved. Be specific in your definition and explain where the problem came from. For instance, you may have been allocated a smaller budgets by the CEO or your profit margins have been reduced.
Determine the challenge. This is where you create a statement that exactly highlights what the issue is and what you want your stuff to do. A good question with the above example would be “How do we make a 10% saving in our operating budget?”
Spread the word. People will not share their ideas with you unless they know that they are expected to. Make sure that your staff knows the enterprise crowdsourcing software is in place and ready for them to use.
Collate all the ideas. Good enterprise crowdsourcing software will ensure all ideas are kept together in one place but do also provide people with other opportunities such as suggestion boxes, emails, or even regular supervision.
Evaluate the ideas that you have received. It is possible that you receive a huge amount of ideas, which is why it is so important that you have some preset criteria in place, allowing you to narrow things down. Transparency is key, however, so make sure that your stuff is aware of what the preset criteria are and that they can find out what happens with their ideas at each stage of the process.
Implement the ideas that you believe are helpful. Make sure everybody is involved in this, particularly the person who submitted the idea. Perhaps what you implement is a combination of multiple ideas, in which case multiple people need to be involved.
Measure your level of success. There is no such thing as a failure, only a lesson to be learnt. If you have implemented an idea and it did not lead to that 10% saving that was your ultimate goal, then be honest and open about it and use the lessons learnt from this experience to improve on the next idea and simply starts the process again.
Enterprise innovation software is a wonderful piece of technology that can help with each of the above 7 steps. While it is certainly possible to innovate without this type of software and place, it will certainly make things more difficult and more time consuming. These software packages essentially bring everybody together in a virtual space, creating full transparency across the board.