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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

Even though our Idea Exchange has been live since 2009, there have never been an official set of guidelines. This is something I'm working on now, and hoping to go live with in the upcoming weeks. In our external guidelines, I want users to understand what type of ideas they can post and what details make a good idea. In our internal guidelines, I want to ensure ownership is taken for each product line that has its own idea exchange, and that we provide best practices for idea review. As has already been stated here, it's great to have an idea exchange available for product feedback, but you're going to cause more damage than good if you don't have proper internal workflows in place.

 

An interesting point I've noticed reading over other companies' guidelines it is often not stated who is reviewing the ideas.

While we've never had official guidelines in place, our idea exchange has always been positioned as "collaborating with R&D." This is true, but we also have other internal parties (marketing managers, business owners, software engineers) that are jumping into idea discussions. Also, since we are creating internal guidelines and policies, there may be changes in workflow that puts more onus on the marketing managers. So while writing our external guidelines, I am considering how to position this now. I think there's a lot of value to our users to know that our R&D is seeing their ideas -- I just want to ensure the proper expectation is in place.

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Lili McDonald
Sr. Digital Business Manager - Community
@ National Instruments
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Trusted Contributor Trusted Contributor
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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

Hi all,

 

We're considering and planning to run some ideation in our organisation. 

 

I had a couple of questions:

 

1. Does anyone ideate both internally and externally (eg with staff privately and customers publically)? If so, any pros and cons to this?

 

2. I'm struggling to find any material relating to the administrative side of managing ideation, through the Lithium platform. Where can I find screenshots etc of how the admin console helps manage ideas?

 

Thanks in advance for any help, Jamie.



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Respected Contributor
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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

@JMcJohnston I can't help with the first question, but regarding the second, the normal reporting in LSI is all I find I need to measure popularity of a particular idea.

In the Content section of LSI, you can view all ideas and rank them in order of page views, votes or comments. You can rank based on other things too, but those three give the best indications of popularity I think.

 

Cheers,

 

Tom

 

 

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Esteemed Contributor Esteemed Contributor
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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

I guess I can supply a little insight to the first question. When I was working on public ideation a different team was handling the internal version at the company and we would occasionally swap notes. Eventually the internal ideation was scuttled. The team advised me that a large reason was that management saw the site as more of a complaint box than an idea creation, based on the interaction. Personally, I see complaints as ideas in disguise and an opportunity to improve relations and disagreed with the decision. In both public and internal ideation, having the proper plans and people in place before launch are a huge componant of success. 

 

As for the second question, I cannot provide much insight as my ideation experience was with a different platform. I do however think it would be helpful for you to explain exactly which functions you are looking to perform. It could be something as simple as marking an idea's status or as complex as tracking the idea's internal process.

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Honored Contributor Honored Contributor
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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

@JMcJohnston You are wise to consider the administrative end of ideation as many organisations seem to underestimate the commitment required. An idea exchange can be a very public window into an organisation, and you certainly don't want to present an image of disorganisation and/or disinterest by not replying to all submissions promptly. It's not always easy to manage, particularly when you start to build up hundreds of submissions. Do make sure you establish a process for who and when will manage the admin, with a firm commitment regarding involvement from all stakeholders. 

 

I would also suggest you contact your Lithium account manager who should be able to set up ideas in your Staging environment for you to test. Then you can ensure it meets your needs and document the admin process, make sure all stakeholders are comfortable with the process and familiar with the platform, etc. 

 

And one last tip, enable exporting of search results on your community for mods/admins - this can be useful for doing a stocktake of ideas and/or sharing with stakeholders in the business. 

 

Good luck,

 

Jason

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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

Thanks all.

 

I'm definitely not underestimating the level of effort required to manage Ideation. 

 

I guess for the Administrative side I'm looking to understand how the platform can help make the process more efficient. 

 

Eg we are looking to set up a team who will represent each product area of the organisation - they will take responsibility for assessing each idea (facing off to the relevant teams to get that assessment). So it would be good for those individuals to get notifications of when an idea is added, edited or voted for etc that falls into their "category".

 

I know LSI will provide probably the core reporting needed in terms of page views, comments etc.

 

I don't think the Admin side needs to provide much, but it would be good to know how it can/will help.

 

I'm keen that the internal and external ideation is managed in one platform as there's bound to be cross-over, duplication etc and longer-term, once the organisation warms up to it, we might be able to more transparently bring the internal and external discussions together - who knows! 



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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community


JMcJohnston wrote:
Eg we are looking to set up a team who will represent each product area of the organisation - they will take responsibility for assessing each idea (facing off to the relevant teams to get that assessment). So it would be good for those individuals to get notifications of when an idea is added, edited or voted for etc that falls into their "category".
I don't think the Admin side needs to provide much, but it would be good to know how it can/will help.

 


Hi @JMcJohnston --

 

Will you have one idea exchange for each product, or one idea exchange for all products? In our community, we have one idea exchange for each product due to the high volume. Since we have it setup this way, it's easy for the idea moderators to subscribe to their product idea exchange to get updates for posts and comments. If you have one idea exchange for all products, I assume you'll utilize labels for each product category. If so, you should be able to subscribe to a label.

 

As for updating the ideas, there is a dropdown menu for the statuses on each individual idea page.

 

changestatus.png

The status available are manage in the admin console with a simple interface:

 

statusmanage.png

 

I hope this helps! As Jason mentioned, you will definitely want to play around with this in stage first.

 

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Lili McDonald
Sr. Digital Business Manager - Community
@ National Instruments
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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

Thanks @lilim

 

As I have no idea (pun intended!) what kind of scale we will get once we start, any advice on whether I should start with 1 idea exchange for each product or just 1 and use labels to categorise as you suggest? 

 

Obviously I hope we will reach some high level of engagement, but chances are it will start slowly. 

 

I'm assuming it will be easier to manage multiple idea exhanges with my wider change team and make each category quite distinct, but may make inital setup a little more involved? 

 

Probably pros and cons to both.



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Honored Contributor Honored Contributor
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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community


JMcJohnston wrote:

Thanks @lilim

 

As I have no idea (pun intended!) what kind of scale we will get once we start, any advice on whether I should start with 1 idea exchange for each product or just 1 and use labels to categorise as you suggest? 

 

Obviously I hope we will reach some high level of engagement, but chances are it will start slowly. 

 

I'm assuming it will be easier to manage multiple idea exhanges with my wider change team and make each category quite distinct, but may make inital setup a little more involved? 

 

Probably pros and cons to both.


I would consider the number of products, how many active users you have, and what the activity levels are currently. You could probably start with one Idea Exchange, then break it into multiple if you find some products get many ideas.

Some communities with very high idea counts still only have one main Idea Exchange -- see the Spotify Communtiy for instance. You just have to figure out what works best for your company.

We have many products with many different product teams on both the marketing and R&D side, so splitting things out created a better workflow for us to manage. Labels are used for the type of features being requested which helps segment it further for the appropriate teams.

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Lili McDonald
Sr. Digital Business Manager - Community
@ National Instruments
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Occasional Advisor
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Re: Ideas Rules on the Community

We are using the idea exchange and are looking to expand the functionality. Is there an option in the idea exchange to do batch processing to provide a status to similar ideas? Are you able to limit the number of kudos to an idea per company so you don't have 50 kudos for an idea from the same customer/company?

Danielle Beeken
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