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Critical Success Factors for Collaborative Idea Management

Quite a large number of companies are using tools for collaborative idea management.

Recently I reflected my own project experiences with a group of innovation managers from a number of companies. We searched for the Critical Success Factors in collaborative idea management.

Our final list showed 8 success factors:

  • Clear, consistent and continuous messages  from top-management (Clear goals and proper business reasons)
  • Idea contests at the start to raise awareness and at some carefully selected points in time to reignite motivation
  • Community management (Example: One of Germany’s largest companies has assigned 0,5 FTE for this: Actively following discussions, directly contacting experts “What do you think about this”?)
  • Meaningful categorization of innovation fields
  • Agile and visible decision making processes
  • Visibility of the top contributors (Examples: A German car maker arranges a half-day workshop with the top contributors and a Board member on the best ideas; a consumer company awards a VIP (Very Innovative People) status for the top contributors)
  • Highest usability of tool (there should be no trainings at all)
  • Technical integration of the tool into the existing IT infrastructure and (Our experience: Staff doesn’t accept the 10th username / password they need to memorize – Single Sign On is mandatory)