When running an idea management campaign, one of the most crucial steps is the expert evaluation stage. Without properly scoring the relevant ideas, focus may be put on ideas which are either impractical or which require too many resources to develop, instead of on ideas which can provide a positive ROI. The question that arises when I discuss this with my clients is whether they should use a different scorecard for each individual campaign, or one unified scorecard to evaluate ALL campaigns.
In my three years as a project manager of some of Qmarkets’ largest international clients, I’ve had ample opportunity to help our customers plan how their organization will utilize our platform in a way that will provide the most benefit to their innovation process as a whole.
The specification process of an innovation management system includes making numerous decisions, both large and small. Each of these decisions will ultimately have an effect on how the platform is used in an enterprise-grade organization, both from the user’s point of view, as well as from the point of view of the innovation manager and/or the platform’s moderators. One of the areas which I have seen much debate is the issue of campaign innovation scoring.
Why is Innovation Scoring Important?
When running an idea management or crowdsourcing campaign which receives a significant amount of submissions, one of the most crucial steps is the expert evaluation stage. Without properly scoring the relevant ideas, focus may be put on ideas which are either impractical or which require too many resources to develop, instead of on ideas which can provide a positive ROI.
The score card method enables defining idea evaluation criteria with different weight according which the idea will be evaluated. Criteria can be defined in various ways, and can be generic (like Time to Market, Implementation efforts, Risk, etc.) or organization specific. As the scorecard is an essential element of any idea evaluation process, providing the innovation manager with the most effective and efficient tools possible is of paramount importance.
The question that arises when I discuss this with my clients is whether they should use a different scorecard for each individual campaign, or one unified scorecard to evaluate ALL campaigns. There are advantages to each option:
Having a unique scoreboard for each campaign enables the ideas to be rated only on the criteria most relevant for that specific campaign. For example, the criteria focused on in a process improvement campaign will be entirely different to the criteria relevant for a disruptive innovation or NPD campaign.
Another reason for having a different scorecard for each campaign is allowing the campaign manager to set the weight of each criterion to reflect exactly what he/she is looking for. For example the importance of “Branding Value” might be weighted higher than “Market Availability” in specific campaigns , and lower in other campaigns.
Using a consolidated scorecard for all campaigns can provides the innovation manager with an easy place to see all ideas, an overall bird’s-eye view. A unified board allows the innovation manager to take in everything in a glance, and then drill down to individual campaigns, seeing how they are performing not only as stand-alone campaigns, but also compared to other campaigns.
Another advantage of using a consolidated scorecard is that it provides cross-organization standardization and consistency. Using one scorecard for all campaigns, a five-star idea has the same value, regardless of which campaign it is in. If an external expert evaluator has provided an idea with a Marketing or Time to Implementation score of 8/10, you can easily compare it to other ideas evaluated by the same expert.
Whether choosing individual scorecards for each campaign or one scorecard for all campaigns, the importance of a innovation scoring to running a successful campaign can’t be stressed enough. Qmarkets’ idea and innovation management platforms, such as Q-max and Q-flex, support a very detailed scorecard layout with many different options.
Among the different aspects to choose from on scorecards are:
✔ Allow the evaluator add a specific comment for each criterion rating,
✔ Using drop menu options vs stars to enable more accurate scoring,
✔ Free-text fields for additional comments or questions.
These, in turn, offer the campaign manager an unparalleled level of flexibility in building the scorecard they choose.
I can tell you from my experience that once I’ve laid out the pros and cons of both types of scorecards to my customers, many customers choose to go with consolidated scoreboards for company-wide campaigns and individual scoreboards at department-level campaigns within a multi-tenancy system. A large system with many users is almost like having numerous small companies working within the same overall company, so it’s necessary to fit everything to the unique requirements of individual tenancies – including scorecards. Of course, each campaign and each customer (just like each scorecard) is unique. I can help you implement the ideal innovation scoring method you need, to ensure that your campaigns are a total success.