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YOUR IDEASCALE PROJECT PLAN
JOE  PETERS  
IDEASCALE  |  ASCENTUM  


Your IdeaScale Project Plan
Planning
Design
Delivery
Analysis and Reporting
Evaluation
Final Thoughts  
3  
4  
5  
5  
...


Joe Peters is a Partner at Ascentum. Ascentum is the global IdeaScale professional services
partner. From strategy and p...


4YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN
IdeaScale was a good fit. Your boss might have told you to try crowdsourcing. Your boss’...


5YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN
Design  
This is where the fun begins! Two key elements of the design or development of ...


6YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN
This cannot be the only message. You need to keep people connected. IdeaScale helps
with...
7YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN
Evaluation  
Every organization and target audience is different. While there are obvious ...
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White Paper: Your IdeaScale Project Plan

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Over the past decade hundreds of organizations have delivered high quality and overwhelmingly positive results for their engagement initiatives. Each project has a lifecycle, whether you consciously recognize it or not. There are a thousand different ways to slice and dice the phases or subcomponents of a project. In this book we'll talk about the six basic phases. For each of these phases, we will provide you with a couple of key considerations. This is far from being exhaustive, but should provide you with some food for thought before you start engaging your customers, employees or stakeholders with IdeaScale.

What's Inside

6 Basic steps to ensure high quality and positive results.
A simple punchlist for your moderation and planning team to review before launch
Learn how to have fun and deliver a fantastic IdeaScale community

Published in: Technology, Business
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White Paper: Your IdeaScale Project Plan

  1. 1. 
 YOUR IDEASCALE PROJECT PLAN JOE  PETERS   IDEASCALE  |  ASCENTUM  
  2. 2. 
 Your IdeaScale Project Plan Planning Design Delivery Analysis and Reporting Evaluation Final Thoughts   3   4   5   5   6   7   Exploring Crowdsourcing & Risk
  3. 3. 
 Joe Peters is a Partner at Ascentum. Ascentum is the global IdeaScale professional services partner. From strategy and planning to outreach and delivery, to analysis and reporting, Ascentum can help your IdeaScale initiatives soar. Over the past decade I have assisted hundreds of organizations in delivering high quality and overwhelmingly positive results for their engagement initiatives. Each project has a lifecycle, whether you consciously recognize it or not. There are a thousand different ways to slice and dice the phases or subcomponents of a project. I am going to make things a little easier and keep it to six phases. For each of these phases, I will provide you with a couple of key considerations. This is far from being exhaustive, but should provide you with some food for thought before you start engaging your customers, employees or stakeholders with IdeaScale. The  six  phases  are:  strategy,  planning,  design,  delivery,  analysis  and  reporting,  and  evaluation.   Optional model: Your IdeaScale Project Plan 3YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN The  project  equation  is:  6  phases  x  2  tips  =  Engagement   By  Joe  Peters,  Ascentum
  4. 4. 
 4YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN IdeaScale was a good fit. Your boss might have told you to try crowdsourcing. Your boss’ boss said he wanted ideation yesterday. Regardless, there are two things you need to think about right now. What do you want to achieve from your IdeaScale and what does success look like? Setting some objectives up front creates a foundation for you to build your IdeaScale engagement from the ground up. Common objectives are: capturing feedback, enhancing employee or customer relations, identifying potential innovations, or building community of practices. These are just a few. The next step is to think about some concrete goals. Is it five great ideas? Is it thousand ideas getting tweeted out by customers? Is it having 80% of a workgroup participating? Understand what you would like to achieve and then plan and design accordingly. The devil is in the details, as they say. The good thing about IdeaScale is that a lot of those details are taken care of for you. Two critical questions to work through are whom are you trying to reach and the time frame for the initiative. Planning   Who? Is it staff? Is it customers? Is it a workgroup, division, or region? Are they 21 or 42 years old? Are they in your stores, at headquarters, or on Facebook? You need to understand your target audience to the greatest degree possible. The design, moderation and incentives will depend on this. The timeframe is important. We have found that a focused timeframe works best to keep people connected and motivated. You have to decide what the right one is for you. We have done a lot of 4 to 6 week IdeaScale initiatives. Open feedback processes are longer term. There are different types of ideas that can be requested of participants. You may ask participants to explore a specific topic/issue. You may make it broad and open to all ideas. You may also ask them ideas that meet certain conditions or take competing interests into account. Do you want them to view a video first? Is there background information that you want your audience to consider? The way you frame and present your IdeaScale is ultimately important to its success.
  5. 5. 
 5YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN Design   This is where the fun begins! Two key elements of the design or development of your IdeaScale are the topics and the prompts. Sometimes this is not as easy as it seems, but remember by this point you have already decided what you want to achieve and have a really good idea of who you want to participate. Topic creation is a bit of an art form. There a couple of best practices here to consider. Don’t overwhelm people with too many choices. Try to narrow it down to 3 to 5 max. Humans don’t generally process really long lists very well, but you know who your audience is, right! Also, be clear and get to the point, e.g. “How can we make service X better?” IdeaScale lets you create some custom questions that you can add to be part of the idea form. This might be a pull down list that answers why this might be important, e.g. reduce costs, improve service, higher revenue, etc. You could also delve deeper into our customer service example. You might want people to identify the channel whether it be in store, on phone, through your website, or through social media. Keep it to one to three of these types of prompts. Don’t overwhelm the contributor. Delivery     Okay, I was kidding before. The delivery phase is really where the fun begins. There are so many elements within delivery it is difficult to keep it to just two. However, if I stick to my self- imposed equation limit of two, then I would have to go with messaging and moderation. (You’ll see I have created a little loophole with picking these two as there is so much within each!) If the launch of your IdeaScale is the start of delivery, then your first message is your invitation or call to participants. You already have a lot of details on your target audience, but this invite must communicate at least five things: • What is the IdeaScale on/about? • What do you want them to do? • Why should they participate (e.g. recognition and incentives)? • How long will the process last? • How will their input be used?
  6. 6. 
 6YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN This cannot be the only message. You need to keep people connected. IdeaScale helps with digests and updates, however reminders and invitations and results need to be planned communications. Moderation is a behemoth of a topic. Basically there are two schools of thought, passive and active moderation. Passive means you take a laissez-faire approach and really stick to policing only if necessary. Active can be anything more than that all the way to frequently commenting and encouraging participants. The key is to be consistent and not active one week and passive the next. All things being equal, we have found that being active is better, especially at the outset. There are many other moderation do’s and don’ts, but we’ll save that conversation for another day. Analysis  and  Reporting     IdeaScale can really help you out here. There are some powerful reporting and dashboard elements that allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your IdeaScale. The two pieces that are important for you to consider here are tracking and reporting back. What we have found to be consistently instructive is to watch the impact of communications and promotions in terms of the impact on participation and contributions. For example, if you send an email out to targeted staff inviting them to contribute, the message will impact participation for 2 to 3 days. If you think about it, that is about the maximum lifespan of a message in your email inbox. Find out what works for you and use the data to refine future messaging. Reporting is a make or break stage for many IdeaScale initiatives. It is often a real opportunity lost. A fundamental principle of engagement is the concept of assured listening, regardless if it is customers, employees or anyone else. You have to get back to them. They need to know that you were listening and their contributions were not in vain! We have seen organizations fail to appropriately communicate the fact that IdeaScale ideas have been adopted. This is an easy win. It is good form to consider some interim and final reporting back to participants.
  7. 7. 7YOUR  IDEASCALE  PROJECT  PLAN Evaluation   Every organization and target audience is different. While there are obvious similarities, we know that there will be learnings that are specific to you and your organization. The two important pieces are documenting and refining. Keep some notes. I know that you either have a meeting notebook or a word processor on your computer. Take 10 minutes at the end of every week of your IdeaScale and make a quick note on what worked well and what could be improved upon. In six weeks this will be worth its weight in gold. (FYI – gold is trading at $1600 an ounce) Your IdeaScale journal will provide insights for you and others on what happens with your next initiative. The notes lead to the final step, refinement. You will learn. You will improve with every IdeaScale that you embark upon. This can be anything from how to improve your messaging, to rethinking incentives, whether custom badges are needed, or deciding to add a new custom field to your idea form. Your IdeaScale will be great from the start, but you will learn how to make your next one even better. Final  Thoughts   I have given you twelve things to think about in the lifecycle of your IdeaScale. There are many other considerations, but by thinking through these I can guarantee you that your IdeaScale will be better. Also, don’t forget we are here to help. Ascentum is the leader in IdeaScale Global Professional Services. We can work with you on your initiative so that you can take advantage of our insights and expertise. Send me an email to joe@ascentum.com and I’ll get right back to you. FOR  MORE  INFORMATION   sales@ideascale.com Global  /  Americas   +1  800-­‐549-­‐9198 New  Zealand   +64-­‐080-­‐099-­‐5088 Australia   +61-­‐02-­‐9037-­‐8414 United  Kingdom   +44-­‐0-­‐808-­‐189-­‐1476

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