Crowdsource software is a vital tool towards driving innovation in your business. However, getting the most benefits out of this takes quite a bit of work. You need to identify the software, install it on your network, encourage people to participate, and so on. Once you have done all of that, however, it is still no guarantee that thousands of ideas will suddenly start flowing in. Rather, you need to be realistic about the things that need to be done, and the challenges you can expect along the way. So what are the four key steps you need to think about?
First of all, you need to have a topic, or a challenge, that will encourage the team discussion to start. When you have a clearly defined challenge, people will want to tell you about their opinions. If you have good software available, you can use it to ask questions that drive ideas and deliver feedback. Think about what you are interested in, such as customer feedback, product development, or changing management process. Make sure you have a clearly defined topic. Things to consider include:
- Whether to have a broad or specific subject.
- Whether the question is open ended or limited by time.
- Whether anyone can access the debate, or whether only specific people should be involved.
Next, you need to collect the ideas and manage them so that you can drive the results. You would be surprised at where ideas can come from, and you need crowdsource software to make sure the ideas are properly captured and used in a productive way. Some of the things to think about in terms of how to capture ideas include:
- Make sure the ideas are easy to contribute to, so that people can start a conversation.
- Provide incentives for contributions, such as a leaderboard or other forms of rewards (avoid monetary rewards whenever possible).
- Make sure the software can be accessed from all kinds of devices.
- Work Together
Crowdsourcing is about collaboration. You need to make sure that everybody is involved not just in sharing ideas, but in making decisions based on them as well. This will ensure that only the best ideas actually make it to the implementation stage. Through user feedback, you can quickly see what people think the best idea is. Good crowdsource software allows people to not just contribute ideas, but to comment on other people’s ideas as well. Some of the things to remember to improve collaboration include:
- Set a challenge and answer people’s questions.
- Make sure you, as a manager, comment on ideas so that discussions will flow.
- Allow for up and down voting.
- Have metrics in place to review ideas.
This is where you bring everything together and turn the winning idea into a reality. Some of the things to consider include:
- Having an innovation committee in place responsible for monitoring ideas and informing teams about progressions.
- Being transparent in terms of communicating about the development stages of each idea.
- Reward people for success and participation.