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How to Get the Best Ideas out of Your Team? Introduction to Idea & Initiative Management Tools

Idea Management is a relatively fresh trend in the industry. Basically, it’s a class of methods (and tools) that allow executives to gather ideas and feedback. If we add the possibility to rate them and use them to successfully achieve the goals defined in their enterprise’s strategy, Idea Management gets completed with Initiative Management.

Though the tools are new, both Idea Management and EIM (Enterprise Initiative Management) were always a part of the strategy of many companies. The thing is, that it was executed in a distributed way, mostly through face-to-face contact, and without a way to centrally plan, manage and evaluate the initiatives submitted by the employees.

Idea Management of 1950s Japan

One way to somehow structure that was the Japanese concept of Kaizen, striving to constantly improve all functions within the organization and involve all employees from the CEO to blue collars, and has taken root in many Japanese enterprises, especially the carmaking titan Toyota.

Still, the Kaizen concept is a thing of the past, a post-war invention, which also requires a very specific organization culture, and is not easy to implement.

Modern Solutions to Complex Problems

Both Idea Management and Enterprise Initiative Management tools, on the other hand, strive to be as simple as possible, being able to be deployed swiftly and implemented into the company routine. Above all, a good EIM tool should combine:

  • Adequate communication between all tiers of an organization (transparency);
  • Consistent action plan applied to all the initiatives;
  • Priority management and rating system;
  • A process allowing to manage, collaborate and report on projects & actions.

But that’s not all. Enterprise Initiative Management tool should also provide a common ground and common process for submitting new ideas or initiatives, so the Employees or Customers don’t lose motivation due to non-transparent and murky process. There’s nothing as frustrating as another of your ideas being dismissed without a word of explanation when the ideas of your colleagues’ get high praise.

Idea Management solution should combine:

  • A great user interface to not scare away the customers and non-technical employees;
  • Crystal-clear set of rules defining the rating and assessment of the ideas;
  • Open-access for both employees and customers alike;
  • Web or mobile app access.

Integration with Project Management Tool

Moreover, it’d be good for a tool to be directly integrated with a tool used for Project Management within the organization. This has two direct benefits:

  1. There’s no need to „switch between the contexts” – the initiatives can be managed and submitted via the already-known piece of software, so the employees don’t need to learn an additional system.
  2. The initiatives selected for delivery can be immediately turned into a project and managed in the tool.

From our point of view, as a company working with Atlassian tools for years, it’s crystal clear, that in the current business context the tool of choice is mostly Jira. It makes sense to integrate the Enterprise Initiative Management with Jira, especially as more and more executives are asking for such a solution available on Atlassian Marketplace.

Currently, it’s possible to do it using Jira and Confluence, but even considering how well these tools integrate, the process is a bit cumbersome and prone to human errors.

Introducing Idea Hub for Jira

With Idea Hub, we’ve decided to combine all of the above and create a Jira-based software with a user-friendly interface, resembling a community website, with social voting and rating system. This provides the transparency and ease-of-use necessary for the blue collars or customers to participate.

To achieve the necessary alignment between the ideas and goals, Idea Hub implements the Assessment Committee and Assessment Sessions, which allow senior executives, along with Project and Product Managers, to pick the best initiatives.

Basing the solution on Jira allows us to push the initiatives further quickly after the Assessment Session is done, and convert these into regular issues, with the comment history, attachments, and the discussion perfectly in place.

Idea Hub is still in its infant phase, but we’d love to see it grow with Your business. Want to give it a try? Visit CoreSoft Labs at Atlassian Marketplace. 

Try it for Free at Atlassian Marketplace 

PS. The work on Data Center and Cloud versions is ongoing :)

2 comments

What´s your timeline till cloud version is provided?

Hello @Robby Holtmann_IntraFind Software AG_ - I think that Q2-Q3 2021 is the most probable answer. As far as I know the Data Center version is prioritized.

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