A successful structured ideation session can feel like a major accomplishment. So, it’s no surprise some teams lose momentum after a great ideation session. However, coming up with good ideas is not enough. What comes after brainstorming is essential to successful innovation. Your ideas must be evaluated and implemented to make a difference for your business and your customers.
Your brainstorming session (or another ideation process) probably resulted in lots of ideas. That’s great! More ideas give you more options to choose from as you move through the later stages of ideation. All ideas in consideration should be well documented. This can be done in any format that makes sense to the idea’s creator, whether that is you or another member of the systematic ideation team, including figures and recordings.
Describe the Idea
After the structured ideation session, all ideas should be described in detail. Give the original contributor the chance to fully explain how they picture the final product or process. Then, invite others to contribute their perspectives on the idea. During this process, you may find that two or more ideas can be grouped together and presented as one solution. Clearly describing an idea eliminates the opportunity for a misunderstanding later on. It will also help the team evaluate the idea based on a number of factors.
Evaluate the Idea
You need to know if an idea is likely to be worth the resources required to bring it to life—ideally before you invest these resources. Of course, “worth the resources” is rather subjective. It depends largely on your company or team’s unique goals. Ideas are commonly evaluated on factors such as:
- Novelty: In order to patent and implement your idea without infringing on others’ IP rights, it must be novel.
- Budget: Consider the funding it will take to bring your idea to market, including research, development, and marketing.
- Timeline: How soon does a solution need to be implemented?
- Risk: Some ideas are likely successes. Others are much riskier.
- Return: Based on other factors, such as risk and budget, will your idea offer a return on investment? Are there returns beyond financial gains, such as greater good, positive publicity, or partnership opportunities?
Evaluating Ideas with AI
Taking so many factors into account can be a challenge, especially with multiple perspectives and priorities among shareholders. An AI solution can help eliminate some of the gray areas. IQ Inventor’s Aide™, part of IQ Ideas Plus™, offers engineers and inventors a guided ideation session to generate new solutions to a problem. The tool then scores the uniqueness of the invention and provides a snapshot of existing art and other players in the technology landscape.
Watch as IP.com product manager Erik Garcell, Ph.D. goes through the stages of brainstorming with IQ Ideas Plus.
Implement the Idea
After prioritizing which idea(s) has the greatest potential, it’s time to implement them by gaining support from stakeholders, assigning tasks to team members, and bringing in other teams where necessary.