When choosing which innovation management software to purchase a list of features that any product of this kind should have would be helpful. That, of course, assumes you’ve already identified you need one. Since the purchase of innovation management software is an investment rather than a cost, there should be a strong vision of what it should provide.
The first thing you experience when you access any software is an interface, and because innovation is something you would embrace on every workday, this is the first thing on our list. While it is not the most relevant aspect of innovation management, it is essential for the implementation of everyday innovation operations. A user-friendly interface boosts navigation and saves time in any busy organization. This is why, despite the fact that it is not a basic instrument, it is regarded as a productivity feature.
Behind the pretty (inter)face, there is something that is critical at the start of any innovation project... the quest for new ideas! Idea management should be included as a basic feature of every innovation management software since it is an ideal way to organize the ideation funnel. Collaboration is an important concept of idea management. It promotes idea enrichment and increases productivity on a company level. Aside from teamwork, challenge-driven ideation is an excellent way to instill a competitive mentality in the minds of creative individuals. As a result, idea management technology should have a structured top-down idea-collection platform, or Challenges as we term it. And lastly, to avoid discouraging bottom-up innovation initiatives, every employee from every organization framework should have access to a service that facilitates free idea-sharing.
Crowdsourcing feature reminds us how important it is to listen to the voice of customers. We all know how powerful this tool is, but its value skyrockets when combined with innovation management software. In our experience, any part of the innovation program should be centralized, putting all critical data at the fingertips. When ideas collected via this channel are automatically transferred to the innovation management software you use, each idea is immediately ready to be further developed. This way, the entire process of idea screening, evaluation, and approval is being streamlined.
Project management - NPD
Turn the most promising ideas into actual goods or services. With project management integrated into innovation management software, you don’t miss important knowledge from the start of an innovation project. When the idea component of the innovation process has completed its task, you simply continue where you left off. There are many methods for managing the NPD process, one of which is phase-gate methodology, which is used in our innovation management software. The use of this method has multiple benefits, but the key argument is that an innovation management software should incorporate this or a similar NPD facilitator.
Automation configures the innovation process based on the company’s requirements. Routine activities can be automated to save time and allow you to concentrate on strategy and improvement of the existing offer and creating new one.
Any activity you engage in during the innovation process should be carefully interpreted. Analytics based on real-time data obtained from the whole lifecycle of an innovation project help you to keep track of all areas of particular interest and indicators in a reasonable timeframe. It also makes you look good when you have to report to upper management. Instead of dispersed offline notes, a good innovation management software allows you to easily print out or abstract any analytic report you believe is needed for the upcoming conference.
Finally, any innovation management software should be able to work with the in-house ERP system. Your employees have innovation potential, and you should avoid overwhelming them with "yet another software," which is why you should look for software that can be integrated with existing systems.
There are several other features that improve your innovation management experience in your everyday job, but these are the most important. This list can seem to be a little lengthy, but we couldn’t picture a corporate innovation management software without any of these features, and you shouldn’t settle for less. A decent piece of software would have all that a company requires and pays for with the money of its investors. Finally, innovation management software is not purchased every once in a while, and the decision should be taken with as much detail as possible. Check out Innovation Cloud as a potentially suitable option, and you will discover that it covers the whole list with a few additions. If you have any further doubts, please contact us here and one of our experienced Innovation professionals will happily assist you.