Innovation by its nature is a dynamic process through which challenges and opportunities are identified, and new ideas are collected, developed, and implemented. It is also a social process as it requires diverse experts to bring ideas to life. Innovating often means connecting different knowledge, skills and expertise to deliver value.
Whatever innovation challenge you might have, innovation necessarily requires collaboration.
Depending on the innovation challenge the organization is facing, ideas and solutions can be found within the very organization or some might have to look for it outside of the organization. Involving exterior and interior participants in collaborative innovation management will increase the chances of finding the right idea /solution. As you expand innovation participation – from the innovation department through the entire organization and beyond to include customers and partners – you will obtain more ideas and thus increase the likelihood of getting a few really good ones.
The collaboration will help new ideas emerge, improve existing ideas, provide feedback to the team, and enhance the selection and development of the best ideas. With innovation management software you will be able to connect all people relevant for your innovation system into one centralized and collaborative environment. Additionally, all collaborative efforts related to the range from the moment of idea creation to the moment it is tracked on the market, will be recorded.
Innovation management software encourages collaboration and learning as they enable knowledge and document sharing, process optimization and more efficient management of innovation projects. It provides everyone in your innovation team with a shared workspace where they can share ideas and improve others’ ideas. Lucid segregation between functions, departments and locations will improve the chances of delivering innovation projects faster and more efficiently. Let’s first understand what types of collaboration are supported with innovation management software.
What types of collaboration can be supported with innovation management software?
Innovation management software is a crucial tool assisting you in unleashing the full potential of your interior and exterior innovation participants. It facilitates active collaboration by activating multiple different participants at once.
Led by our experience and practice, we have managed to identify 6 different types of innovation teams collaboration:
- Collaboration within a department: employees within a team collaborate with colleagues from the department, who are not a part of the innovation team;
- Collaboration within a business function: employees within a team collaborate with colleagues who are part of their business function, but who are not a part of the innovation team;
- Collaboration within a company: employees within the company collaborate with colleagues from different business functions;
- Collaboration with customers: the innovation team collaborate with customers and/or clients;
- Collaboration with suppliers and/or partners: the innovation team collaborate with suppliers and/or partners;
- Collaboration with 3rd parties: the innovation team collaborates with external partners e.g. universities.
Today, the creation of value requires collaboration among multiple participants and expertise. The innovation process is intrinsically collaborative, both internally and externally. From an internal perspective, collaboration among different company teams, departments and functions must be encouraged. Managers, engineers, designers, administrators, financial experts, market researchers, production experts, sales representatives, customer service personnel - they are all required in the process of innovation. Working in multidisciplinary teams is crucial for successful innovation. From an external perspective, companies have the opportunity to exploit synergies and use expertise, skills and knowledge of others to encourage the building of their own innovation capacity.
How does innovation management software enable collaboration that drives innovation?
- Bringing together people with different ideas, perspectives and expertise opens up new and creative ideas
- Ideas are better defined and improved through collaboration
- The evaluation and selection of ideas for further development are improved and more efficient, as ideas are evaluated by people from different departments and functions
- The development, testing and launching of innovation through collaboration will ensure successful decision-making regarding the further progress
- Collaboration enhances various innovation implementations by creating joint ownership and success
- The spread of successful innovation stories supports collaboration and sharing of knowledge across the organization.
Innovation management software will enable an organization to innovate collaboratively. This way, you will be able to make the most of your organization’s collective intelligence through structured and repeatable processes. Collaborative innovation management software creates a constant flow of ideas and brings value to the organization and enables exploring expertise and knowledge within the organization, at all levels.