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Innovation Management

Challenge Deployment Toolkit: A Strategic Approach to Scaling Innovation Program Engagement

Published By Guest Blogger

Happy New Year to you!

The time is ripe for big dreams, high hopes, and well-intentioned resolutions for what we’re going to set out and achieve in the coming year. One popular New Year’s Resolution is getting fit – so here at Planview IdeaPlace, we wanted to share with you a series about how to get “Innovation Fit” in 2018 to ensure your innovation program is set up for success.

When we think about ideation as a business discipline, there’s one topic that’s important to talk about when it comes to the value a company derives from an innovation program: scale.

Scale is good. It means you’re seeing results from your innovation efforts and you’re looking to double, maybe triple, down to extract as much value as you can.

When we look at the tactics that are involved in scaling an innovation program, one way to accomplish this is by broadening the size of your audience. In other words, more people from different parts of the business (or outside the business) participating in ideation challenges. This results in more ideas generated, including diversity of ideas, and ultimately more output.

In fitness terms, I equate this to working out with friends, partners, or groups. There are key benefits documented to ditching the solo workouts, including:

  • You are more likely to stick to your fitness regimes when you work out with a partner
  • Trips to the gym are deemed to be more enjoyable and pleasant
  • Working out in groups encourages people to push themselves harder

All great things to target in your innovation program as well.

Challenge Deployment Toolkit

So, to engage more employees and partners in your innovation efforts, here are a few options to consider:

One Planview IdeaPlace client recently launched over 100 challenges (to 100% unique audiences) , during their “Innovation Week”, an annual company event focused on…Innovation. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow, Danny, that’s a pretty lofty target”. And you’d be right. And, I agree. It’s even more lofty when you consider they only had a small team to support the development, launch, and management of these various campaigns!

So, how did they do it?

This client made use of a Challenge Deployment Toolkit, with a complementary challenge launch portal.

The Challenge Deployment Toolkit was comprised of 3 main elements:

  1. A single, standard challenge template and process. Each of the “Innovation Week” challenges would follow the exact same format. This helped with simplicity, process consistency, and mental sanity of the core innovation team.
  2. A lightweight (1 page or less) Challenge Intake Form. One representative from each participating team was required to submit this form, which provided the enabling innovation team the information needed to actually configure and deploy the challenge sites. (As a side note, we see more and more clients taking this approach and generating challenge demand by advertising their Challenge Intake Forms open on their Planview IdeaPlace site(s).)
  3. A Planview IdeaPlace-based portal for Best Practice Sharing and Training. Launching 100+ challenges is all well and good, but this team wanted to be very careful that they didn’t sacrifice quality in the process. To make things simple for everyone, the team built, directly in their Planview IdeaPlace environment, a series of pages that sequenced the challenge teams through best practices. Step 1: Define your challenge question, Step 2: Build your challenge team, Step 3: Plan your communications, Step 4: Plan your incentives, and Step 5: Launch and Monitor your challenge!

In the end, this client was able to launch 116 total challenges during their Innovation Week! A great success, and an easy way to scale quickly to expand into broader, more diverse audiences in a short period time.

If you’re looking to scale your efforts in 2018, and engage more employees, partners, and groups in your innovation program in the coming year, please give this approach some thought.

Here’s to a safe, happy, healthy, and innovative 2018!

Danny Flynn is the Director of Client Success & Strategic Services at Planview IdeaPlace

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Written by Guest Blogger