7 Key Benefits an Idea Management Software Provides to a Business

7 key benefits of an Idea Management System

For businesses to excel in existing markets and penetrate deeper into new marketplaces, they need to utilize the capabilities of their workforce to the optimum. By fostering cognitive stimulation and development of employees’ ideas surrounding efficiency and innovation, the application of an idea management system extends the participation of employees in an organization. Such enhanced participation benefits not only the business but increase the employees’ morale as well – a win-win situation.

Historically, businesses relied on the ‘suggestion box’ systems to collate ideas and feedback from employees, but these systems failed due to structural flaws, such as:

  1. As the interaction is generalist, suggestions are often of low-quality or not relevant. 
  2. After idea submission, often, an employee never hears about the outcome of the idea. Eventually, employees tend to start considering this as a futile exercise.
  3. Paper-based suggestions made it difficult for the management to promptly evaluate recommendations, thereby, leading either to a loss of opportunity or redundancy of an idea.

In contrast, idea management software accounts for a well-defined process that allows employees to provide suggestions on specific business objectives alongside ensuring a closed-loop evaluation process. 

Advantages of Idea Management Software

There are several benefits that idea management software offer to the businesses; they are:

Efficient and faster evaluation

Idea management software aid businesses to lower the turnaround time of an idea between an ideation stage to the patent stage. The best ideas are identified, implemented, reviewed, and evaluated, whereas the poor ones are discarded. 

Credits: Viima

Divergent thinking

The best ideas are those that take inspiration from various sources. To ensure a consistent flow of creative juices, employees need mental freedom to indulge in divergent thinking without worrying about the consequences. In essence, this is the bedrock for a true “light bulb” moment. 

Enhanced Collaboration

How often a brainstorming discussion between team players turn into an ego-clash? Way too often.

An idea management system makes it easier for employees to engage in a collaborative effort without transforming the discussion into a chaotic communication.

By inputting data into an idea management software, participants can keep track of the progress of the idea, any reservations to the idea, and potential avenues to improve the idea further.

Better Focus on Employees’ Efforts

By guiding employees’ creative energies towards the fulfillment of business aims, a business can improve the quality and relevance of the suggestions. An idea management system allows a business to highlight specific business goals and even specific business processes to gather suggestions or feedback.

The innovation program introduced by Altice Portugal (formerly known as Portugal Telecom) resulted in a 44% improvement in employee engagement over four years (58% in 2008 to 84% in 2012) and annual savings to the tune of $38 million due to business process improvements from employees’ ideas. 

Also Read: 7 ways to Encourage Innovative Thinking at Your Workplace

Foster Innovation

A vital ingredient in R&D is ideas as they form the backbone of the significant, radical innovations that can fundamentally change as to how a business runs or the birth of new products. Ironically, for specialized departments like R&D to be successful, they require feedback and suggestions from all other departments to be able to mold a prototype into a patentable product.

A prime example of how an idea management system can foster innovation is Toyota Creative Idea and Suggestion System (TCISS). Since its inception in 1951, TCISS has received more than 40 million creative ideas (and counting), which enabled Toyota’s products to be world-renowned for quality, reliability, and durability.

Thought Mapping

Through standardization and automation of the documentation side of the ideation process, an idea management system can enable faster, comprehensive, and more dependable search as well as storage of information.

Such thought-mapping of ideas through an idea management system can potentially save a business from loss of quality data or critical processes or technical expertise.

Ease in Patent Filing

When filing for a patent, it is necessary to provide steps that led to the evolution of a particular product or process. Through an idea management system, a business can capture the various inputs and outcomes that went into building a prototype, a marketable copy, and, eventually, the product itself.

A journal article in Santa Clara High Technology Law Journal concluded that patent documentation could be a vital tool in planning development, producing statistical information, and even for allocation of funding – an idea management software can work as a repository serving this function.

The application of an idea management system results in numerous benefits that translate into better functioning of business alongside enhanced employee engagement and morale.

Many businesses have understood the importance of capturing productive ideas to gain a competitive advantage and are increasingly investing in a good idea management software to enable such mapping.

7 ways to Encourage Innovative Thinking at Your Workplace

Encouraging innovative thinking at workplace

The start-up culture is on a boom, and with the launch of several innovative steps, many concepts unimagined a few years earlier have forayed in the market (such as tableware turning into the soil, green plastic, smart waste, etc.).

But many malicious practices (cyber attacks due to lack of/no cybersecurity) have also surfaced with the boom of this culture. Many ideas or ventures that seemed practicable have doomed terribly with no signs of recovery. 

Why do you think some ideas don’t make it to the finishing line?

What is your opinion? What are the steps we are not taking to curb this issue?

Where do you think we are lacking? 

Here are some ways that may take you to the answers. They may even help you or your business get out of the mess or launch an idea successfully.

Think Tank

This is not the real think tank where you get paid to do only research, study, and research. An organization can create a think tank of employees’ expertise in a particular subject or field. This can also have a discussion panel. Whenever an idea strikes, he/she should directly approach the concerned panel.

This way, the culture of innovation will flourish seamlessly. This approach will help departments to launch a creative solution to challenges.

Mixed Culture

This might sound a bit tricky but bore long-lasting results. Teams with diverse academic backgrounds, gender, and age groups make an organization fertile and successful.

Mixed culture gives a character, a personality to any organization. It creates a healthy work environment where give-and-take of ideas takes place without any hurdles. It also makes an office highly productive.

Imagine an organization with only older people, or only youngsters, or only female or only male employees. Clients often find organizations like these less approachable.

Offices have a limited scope of development if they do not have a mixed culture. Many clients might not take organizations like these seriously or might find them less inventive.

To make your organization avoid getting into this trap and run smoothly on the grounds of innovation and creativity, incorporating mixed culture is a must. Embracing diversity and encouraging different perspectives is key.

Adequate Staffing

Supposedly in an organization, employees are overloaded with work. Where will ideas thrive, if they do not have time to think on them? Employees should have adequate work, but not get bogged down by workload.

This builds an atmosphere of hate, anxiety, and indecisiveness that brings down the organization. Organizations should hire adequate, qualified, and well-trained staff.

Experimentation zone

This is like a play area, where you play with your ideas than any games. The HR team has a crucial role to play in setting up experimentation zones in their organization. Here you get leverage to discuss your ideas freely without any hesitation. This zone will enable people to hang out, discuss ideas, troubleshoot, and get a bird’s eye view of their plan. This will make innovation the new normal. It will imbibe trust in employees for their organization for contributing not just in its personal growth, but also in the growth of the employees.

Reward & Recognition

This is by far the most important step. Anybody wants to get rewarded or recognized for their contribution to any task they do. The type of award does not matter. What matters is the recognition. This creates a positive work environment. It also encourages other employees to follow suit and perform better.

Shut down

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Working 24*7 will make you successful is a wrong notion. You need to unwind and shut a few times a day or maybe at least once in a week. Offices should encourage this culture to thrive. Constant work challenges your brains’ thinking abilities. A power nap after lunch, outing with colleagues, coffee break, stroll after lunch or in the evening are some of the many ways that take you out from the monotony. Who knows shutting down can give you a new perspective of a problem that is bothering you for long!

Flexible environment

Gone are the ‘9 to 5’ days. People love to work in an environment where they are heard. A grumpy boss, gossiping and jealous colleagues and tight working hours make the work environment hazardous. Will innovation thrive in such an atmosphere?

Of course not!

A flexible and relaxed environment increases productivity 10 fold. Employees won’t get Monday blues for sure if they are provided a positive work environment.

To make your office a safe haven, you might try incorporating all these steps. This way employees will not hesitate in taking that necessary leap. Some plans might fail. But with discussions and interactions, all the problems will be easily dealt with. 

To build in a healthy work environment, employers should carry out regular surveys and set up the organization accordingly. They should make sure every resource hired is valued.

In the present time, an agile innovation management tool like TIP tool can transform the way your business fall, collect and implement various ideas. 

Also Read: How to control patent costs without compromising on your patent?

Richard Branson has rightly said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”