Idea Management as a Software Ecosystem

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What I learned this week … came from some research I have been doing for a client. As a part of it, I have been spending a little more time getting to know the “Idea Management” software space. IdeaManagementThe conclusion that I am drawing is that while there are some mature software solutions to manage ideas, there are also a host of other specialty solutions that help generate the idea in the first place, analyze the idea, or further develop it.

Beyond Managing Ideas

I have always felt that there is more to idea management than “managing ideas.” That isn’t to say that simply managing ideas – including capturing them, categorizing them, and making them easy to retrieve is not important. What I am finding is that there are also solutions that:

  • Filter and group ideas
  • Prioritize and rank ideas
  • Collaborate on ideas

Before Managing IdeasAnd of course in order to manage ideas, you have to have some. This is where some really creative solutions are popping up (or at least popping onto my radar screen). There are solutions that:

  • Stimulate the submission of ideas
  • Target and focus ideas on specific topics
  • Provide a marketplace for those with ideas to meet those searching for them
  • Account for rewards and recognition for ideas / innovation

Ideas and Social Computing

Some other interesting things I am running across include companies that are leveraging social networking and social computing to tap into communities for ideas and innovation. This is a very interesting topic by itself, including crowdsourcing among other techniques.

Idea Management as an Ecosystem

So there is a lot of variety in the “Idea Management” software ecosystem. Of course, many solutions cover more than one of the capabilities listed above. But like PLM – and even more than PLM – there is not a uniform, mature footprint shared by the competing solutions. There is a lot of innovation happening in innovation software.

So that is what I learned, I hope you found it interesting. Who knew? I didn’t, if you did let us know about it. And if you know more than I do, please share it with all of us. What am I missing? What vendors should I learn more about?