How to Find out which Ideas Take Priority

If you have installed idea management software in your workplace, you are on the right track. You will know that innovation is only possible with ideas, and that everybody should be involved in that process. Once your software and processes are in place, however, and the ideas start to roll in, how will you know which ideas you should put into place?

Prioritizing Innovative Ideas

Once you understand how to gather your employees’ ideas, you need to figure out how to prioritize them, after which you can determine which ones to actually implement. To achieve this, you need to have a standardized process in place to evaluate the various ideas. Remember that just because something has the most votes, doesn’t mean that it is also the best idea. Rather, it means that people are interested in it, which can tell you a lot as well.

What you should do instead, is determine which idea has the potential to really make a difference. There are two different processes that you can use for that. Firstly, you can use standard factors to prioritize your ideas. Those factors include:

  • Strategic fit.
  • Market attractiveness.
  • Product advantage.
  • Sales growth.
  • Time and financial resources required.

The other process, however, is the V-SAFE screening option. This helps you to really get into what the ideas are and effectively dismiss anything that will not work. V-SAFE is an acronym for:

  • Value, meaning you need to think about whether your organization will tangibly benefit from the idea.
  • Suitable, meaning you need to think about whether the idea aligns with your organization’s strategies.
  • Acceptable, meaning you must consider whether you different stakeholders will support the idea.
  • Feasible, thinking about the necessary time and other resources, and whether you have those available to you.
  • Enduring, meaning that you can have an idea of the long term benefits and values of the idea.

Based on these two prioritization processes, you should be able to narrow down your list of ideas. Remember that transparency is very important, and that everyone in your organization is aware of the process that you use. By doing this, you may sure there is no favoritism, or even accusation of favoritism.

If you are ready to start innovating, then you should have a system like the one described above. What is even better, however, is to use your idea management software to do it for you. If you manage a small company, then you don’t have to worry about receiving too many ideas to manage. But if you work for an organization with several hundred of even thousand employees, then putting each idea through the two prioritization processes would be a full time job. With proper idea management software, however, the work can be done for you. You can tell the system the parameters that you are looking for in terms of good and feasible ideas, and it will highlight those that meet those criteria. Automating the process will save you a great deal of time.

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