Bill Gates once said: “Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people.”
At Planview IdeaPlace, we’re fortunate to help some of the most innovative companies on the planet drive their innovation efforts and solve business challenges by enabling collaboration and ideation at scale.
For years we’ve had a front row seat as ideation has changed how businesses around the globe operate – both internally and externally.
We’ve witnessed the proverbial silos separating companies from customers, and departments from each other, shatter. Ideation has become the de facto way of collaborating internally, externally, and across geographical locations.
To put structure around their ideation practices, companies in all industries – even ones you’d least expect – have turned to idea management software to harness the collective intelligence of their employees, partners, and at times customers. Ideation is quickly becoming an integral part of how companies solve problems and surface new opportunities.
Just like any technology or industry, ideation management software has evolved from a simple digital suggestion box to a way to a more sophisticated way of sourcing, tracking, and managing ideas by leveraging the latest advances in technology – automation for example.
But what about beyond that? What about idea implementation, development, and measuring success? As an innovation leader, having the ability to go from idea to impact – with complete visibility at every stage of an idea’s lifecycle – is not only critical to success, it’s the difference between ideation being a key business discipline or not.
As you read this, the technology that enables ideation to happen at scale is undergoing another evolution – from simple ideation management to full lifecycle idea management (yes, there’s a difference…a big one).
Full lifecycle idea management – from idea to impact
To understand what full lifecycle idea management is, you first need to understand what idea management is when it comes to the technology that makes it happen.
Ideation management software today focuses on the frontend of innovation. Meaning, it’s useful when it comes to sourcing ideas from employees, for example, and gives innovation leaders a way to manage the selection process. But it has its limits.
Whereas full lifecycle idea management is the process of going from idea impact – having visibility into each stage of this process
Full lifecycle idea management software, such as Planview IdeaPlace, goes a layer deeper by focusing on the frontend and the backend of ideation. It enables innovation leaders to go beyond the frontend by enabling the complete management of the entire lifecycle of an idea – from inception to implementation and beyond.
To illustrate the evolution from idea management to full lifecycle idea management, take a similar technology change like analytics tools for marketers.
Before marketing automation technology, tools such as Google Analytics gave marketers a high level overview of the activity on their websites – where are visitors coming from, for example. Sure, you can come away with important insights and actions, but you never had all the pieces to complete the puzzle.
It wasn’t until marketing automation technology – and it’s ability to pull data in from other sources – became a staple in marketing that you had all the pieces needed to complete the puzzle. This technology went a layer deeper and gave marketers not only the ability to have deeper insight into their target audience and demonstrate ROI, but all new capabilities that have changed the way companies approach marketing.
Full lifecycle idea management brings about a similar change. It gives innovation leaders a whole new set of capabilities enabling them to go from surfacing innovative ideas to a enabling the corporate strategy. This is what we’re seeing at many companies as the role of innovation leader becomes key to driving bottom line growth and cultural change.
Planview IdeaPlace has worked with hundreds of companies on their ideation practices. Using crowdsourced ideation means that coming up with and prioritizing ideas is not an issue for them. The need becomes turning those ideas into measurable impact that can be tied back to strategic goals.
That’s why full lifecycle idea management is so important. It optimizes the frontend and backend of ideation in a way that enables innovation leaders to do things they haven’t been able to do before: have complete visibility into the idea development, testing, piloting, and launch process.
As innovation leaders take on a strategic role in companies, full lifecycle idea management is going to give them a structured, transparent way to turn ideas into meaningful business impact.