Monday, October 22, 2007

Heavy and Light Idea Submission Systems

The Alfacer blog argues in favour of making Idea Management System idea submission as 'light' and straightforward as possible:
A common mistake made in many suggestion schemes and idea management systems is requiring too many parameters from idea submitters. Innovation programme managers think: "when people submit ideas, we will make them pre-evaluate their ideas by asking them to provide additional in-depth information such as financial projections, cost-benefits analysis, implementation plan, description of how the idea would fit in the current system, etcetera. This way, they will think through their ideas better, improve their ideas and provide me with more fully developed ideas."

Such logic is admirable, but flawed.
The post argues that 'heavy' idea submission results in fewer and poorer quality ideas submitted than 'light' idea submission, due to factors including:
  1. more time required to fill in the idea submission form
  2. frustration - not getting your idea up quickly
  3. a greater need for expertise in order to fill out the additional data to the required standard
  4. such a 'heavy' idea submission process conflates the idea submission process with the idea development and evaluation processes, which are best left to later and separate stages of the process.


Stewart McKie said...
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Stewart McKie said...


I agree that this logic is flawed. The flaw lies in mixing up idea submission needs with those of idea evaluation needs and ignoring the stage in between: idea enrichment.

There's is little point in bothering with idea management if you don't recognize the need to enrich an idea before you evaluate it. Otherwise you are likely to be wasting your time on something that is literally "half-baked".

Many web 2.0 "ideablogs" that operate in "light" idea submission mode ignore a lot of useful metadata that can be used to categorize an idea (but not evaluate it).

Light and heavy submission is really a distraction from the real focus: Adding "whatever metadata is right for your business" to every idea submission and worrying about evaluation later.

Abdur-Rahman Advany said...

I agree, only enrichment of ideas is not the only stage before evaluating. An idea needs time to find its supporters, time for the group to getused to it, it needs to be related to things that are going on (environment, macro-economical development, enc). Its a stage of idea acceptance before evaluation and during/after enrichment.

Abdur-Rahman Advany