Innovation should move swiftly, but often it’s quite a sluggish process for most. It’s so important to have an innovative system in place to ensure your process is working not only smoothly, but effortlessly, to accelerate innovation. Your time-to-innovate should be a key metric to measure. It tells you exactly how efficient your process currently is. How long does it take for an idea to go from brand new submission to the last stage of your process or drop off?
A proper innovative solution would include features of automation and streamlining. Automation lends itself to a hands-off approach which frees more time to focus on the high priority submissions you’ll be getting from your submitters. The key feature you’ll want to be autonomous are mainly communications between the system and your submitters, reviewers and collaborators. This pushes engagement through the roof consistently.
Next, we would want a streamlined process for reviewing, deleting and pushing forward submissions. Each submission will fall into one of a few different buckets decided upon by you and your team (or what we call stage-gating). You’ll want to stay increasingly diligent on where each submission should be and where it is. These buckets also have different priorities, where late stage ideas are of a higher priority than brand new submissions still needing to be reviewed. Although, you’ll still want to review submissions in all stages consistently. This streamlined approach makes the best use of your time, lending itself to greater effectiveness overall and from various perspectives.
The way in which a submission is handled and its process is quite simple: Someone is notified through your communication or outreach efforts of a specific innovation challenge or an internal challenge has been made available to your employees. They submit their idea following a structured survey and that idea is immediately rated based on your key metrics by the system. The final piece is reviewing and deciding if a submission should move further down the pipeline at each bucket. Once an idea is at the final bucket an agreement is made and a project is typically started to turn the idea into a solution or reality.
As simple as the process is on paper, the technical and managerial side is what is so cumbersome. This is where innovation software really shines and takes over the heavy lifting for you. Rather than you build out your own process and determining the best way to organize and manage, the system does all the work with a clearly laid out process.