What is the best ideation tool for idea collection and management?
We're looking for a tool that is aligned to the nature of a "immature" organization entering into a innovation cycle. This tool should both support the nature of the challenge ahead and enable the development of the company and staff as we progress. Any advice?
Having been around the block with a few tools now, ranging from simple to the decked out features version, I would highly recommend Wunderlist (wunderlist.com):
1. A very simple online and/or app interface to list ideas
2. The list can be shared with a team
3. Users can 'star' their favorite ideas
This is great for the ideation stage only but extremely simple and effective. To clarify, I have no affiliation with Wunderlist other than being a rabid fan of its simplicity and effectiveness.
My alternative recomendation would be Evernote but this has to setup well to allow for effective use, especially by a team.
Thanx Kenya, some issues are raised by these suggestions, particularly data sovereignty and scalability that perhaps I wasn't particularly clear about. The implication/assumption I think is this is for a small team/company, unfortunately it's for 11,000 staff across a number of companies, then ideally partners & customers. I fully support Tools like Evernote for a small teams, but as you could understand, for the above approach, it may have limitations. I should have been clearer. Thanx for your thoughts N
Yes. It's Pinterest...no, don't laugh, wait...Pinterest is a Visual Discovery Tool for projects (although we are barely scratching the surface of that). Look, you know when you see those cop shows, they have a wall - a case wall. They Pin things to this wall, the suspects, the evidence, the victims, they add notes, they draw arrows. They add and remove as necessary. This is a very real technique which is used in Police. Why? Because it allows to see the whole picture, it allows to see patterns, it allows to join the dots. It is tried and tested and uses the human aptness for visualization and pattern recognition. It helps us to make those intuitive leaps of thought. That is exactly what Pinterest boards represent. These boards can be secret. This means you can create virtual Case Walls which can be accessed anywhere by anybody who is part of the project and pinned too - but not others - and you can invite others in. But you can also pin to public boards for focus groups and feedback.
I would suggest there are many tools that are applicable - but none perfect.
Besides the basic infrastructural issues of how, through time and space, your team can interact, there are issues of framing at play. Each tool captures and structures ideas that both stabilize an idea, which can also mean calcify it. This last bit means that future ideas tend to build on the last - this may be a bad lead!
Look at how your group interacts and consider a layered approach to idea generation, adoption, and adaptation. I am fond of the "Stage-Gate" model that allows you and your team to build a regular process of idea generation and management. You will have a superstructure that requires developing criteria for the acceptance (gates) of ideas as they absorb more resources on their way to becoming core parts of your products, services, and internal procedures.
Use a thoughtful survey technique that focuses on what the organization wants to achieve as a goal. Combined this with statistic report for at least 3 years of experience from organizations with similar goal. From analyzing both data you have to design your own pattern to collect ideas based on options that are purely unique to get attention.
Start with the development of your mission statement...Then go to your vision statement, develop these as a team that you wish to go, and to visualize getting there. Innovation starts by opening up the communication cycles and allowing thoughts and ideas to be discussed with nothing being initially discarded...I used to have rule that every time people told me what we could not do, it cost them a $1.00. Then used the money to buy them all a lunch later
We have used Trello.
We have used pictures of our white board.
We have used recordings video and audio.
We have used Excel.
None have seem perfect all seem to restrict us but ideas keep flowing and we keep recording them...
There are 4 key phases that need to be considered. Phase 1 - ideation (have a framework for what constitutes an idea), Phase 2 - criteria for selecting winning ideas, Phase 3 - stage gate process to translate winning ideas into full baked solutions and Phase 4 - implementation.
The key features of an "immature" organization are frequent changes with a blurred direction. Specific tools may be used but need to abandon after a short while. The normal approach is I will adopt Agile mindset and design the organization to execute on an agile platform so that it will shape up as and when required.
Thanks JC, sorry, I may not have been clear, the organisation is immature in it's thinking of innovation/idea collection/development, rather than age. Risk aversion and longevity at perhaps key weaknesses.
Thanks for the answer.
Richard Stern- Outline the Project for the management group then assign each person a part of the Project to do. Have the staff submit Plans for reiew. Sich action provides management a chance to see how members of staff think. This type of action puts staff on notice that their input has meaning and can impact the business. Great employees will shine the others tell you by their actions that you should be looking for better employees.