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How To Get The Most Out Of Idea Management Software

16.06.2015
Photo By: Sean Macentee https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/

You got into innovation and idea management because you thrive on creative ideas. And it’s amazing seeing those ideas through to the point where they are helping someone in your community. But there’s a big disconnect between those stages. How do you get from brainstorming to a super awesome project? If you’ve clicked on this article I’m guessing you’re past the point of trying to decipher scrambled notes from meetings and sifting through emails for old conversations. You’ve heeded the advice or organisational gurus and are ready to invest in an idea management software. We want to make sure that this won’t be another tool that gets lost in the day to day grind of organisational management. How can you make sure you get the most out of your idea management software?

1. Create a non-judgmental environment

One of the advantages of using a software to supplement meetings or other face to face interactions, is that it makes it easier for introverts to participate. It also allows people who may not feel comfortable sharing their ideas in other situations for various reasons (being in a junior position, being a contractor, minority, part-time employee, etc.) an even ground to share their ideas. To encourage this, it’s important to create a non-judgmental environment from the start. Make it clear that you are looking for everyone’s ideas. If you notice that it is the same people commenting, voting, and coming up with ideas, get in touch with some of the other participants and see how you can make them feel more comfortable participating.

2. Encourage people to read and expand on existing ideas

Idea management software decentralizes information. If you are in charge of organising the ideas in your organisation, I’m guessing you see a lot of similar, overlapping, or complementary ideas sitting on your desk. Idea management software helps people see places for collaboration from the start. Encourage team members to read and comment on existing ideas before adding a new one. Finding places to collaborate is one of the biggest benefits of using an idea management tool.

3. Create a stream or newsletter so everyone can stay up to date/ send reminders

Don’t let your idea management software become another tool that never gets checked. Put a system in place so that it is easy for participants to stay up to date with the latest research, ideas, and projects. WE THINQ integrates a stream into the tool and allows you to pull reports from the back end. These can easily be used to generate a weekly newsletter to keep your participants up to date and inspired. If things are starting to slow down once the momentum of a new project fades, don’t be afraid to send reminders to your team. Encourage them to continually innovate and create!

4. Encourage feedback

An idea benefits from thoughtful feedback. This ties back into the first point. If you’ve cultivated a judge-free zone, participants should feel comfortable leaving valuable feedback for the fellow innovators! Just as important as encouraging people to leave feedback for each other is for you to get feedback on the process. Build a way for participants to easily give you feedback on how you are using your idea management software. I bet they will have amazing ideas for how you can be doing things more effectively.

5. Experiment experiment experiment!

You already know this. Experimentation is essential to innovation and idea management. Yet it still bears saying because many people get caught up in the organising and forget that you are meant to do something with all these great ideas! Put ideas into action and continue the feedback loop on those ideas. Continue to keep your participants up to date as the idea goes through different stages of experimentation and implementation. Collaboration doesn’t end after brainstorming.

Are you ready to put these ideas into action? Download the free trial of WE THINQ and start to experiment with the ways you can put idea management software to work for you.

How have you used idea management software? What old systems has it replaced? What do you find easier and what do you find harder with using idea management software?

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