IBM Collaborative Innovation Platform - ThinkPlace


Published on

Describes the background and progress of IBM's Corporate Innovation program and ThinkPlace platform, for which I led Technical Strategy and product roadmap. Deck contains Information and background shared with customers and analysts circa 4Q 2008. (so obviously very out of date now - but a good representation of our thoughts etc at that point in time)

Published in: Technology, Business

IBM Collaborative Innovation Platform - ThinkPlace

  1. 1. Innovation That MattersIBM’s ThinkPlace Program Fall 2008 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  2. 2. Innovation That MattersIBM is an Innovation Company Open, collaborative, global, multi-disciplinary Combine products, technology, know-how to create systemic value for clients and for the world “Innovation occurs at the intersection of invention and insight. It’s about the application of invention – the fusion of new developments and new approaches to solve problems.” – Sam PalmisanoInnovation is what is going to differentiate businesses and national economies2 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  3. 3. Innovation That MattersCEOs: Top sources of new ideas and innovationCollaboration drives innovation Employees Business partners Customers directly Consultants Competitors Associations Internal Sales & Service Units Internal R&D Academia Think-tanks Labs and/or other institutions 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% IBM Institute for Business Value, CEO Study 20063 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  4. 4. Innovation That MattersIBM Innovation ManagementMoving ideas to reality Incubate, Mobilize Interest, Implement, Ideation Prototype and Collaborate Take to Market Validate Pipeline of ideas Innovation is not always linear4 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  5. 5. Innovation That MattersIBM Innovation Programs Incubate, Mobilize Interest, Implement, Ideation Prototype and Collaborate Take to Market Validate Software Group Global Technology Systems Group Outlook First-Of-A-Kind Global Services Communities of practice Industry Sales Business Transformation Technology Adoption Program Management System (BTMS) Integrated Supply Chain (ISC)5 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  6. 6. Innovation That MattersInnovation “lifecycle” has many steps6 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  7. 7. Innovation That MattersThinkPlace: 24x7 Idea Marketplace Open, collaborative system: ideas submitted, discussed, then refined by community Every employee can see ideas from others, comment on ideas, rate them, or tag them Facilitates social networking by using tags to enable discovery of similar ideas or people with similar interests APIs allow developers to create tools that provide entitled access to different views of information in ThinkPlace. Executive Challenges request ideas to address specific issues Hundreds of Catalysts worldwide facilitate collaboration and implementation in their areas of expertise Innovator’s Awards for implemented ideas7 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  8. 8. Innovation That MattersThinkPlace Momentum Over 18,000 ideas an 500 “wins” Participation – Half of the IBM population – 18,000+ ideas Collaboration – Community-focused activities drive adoption of ideas – More than 1000 IBMers are “Innovation Catalysts” who help idea submitters make the connections across the IBM company to get their ideas implemented – “Leader board” feature on ThinkPlace homepage allows users to quickly see which ideas need collaboration from IBM colleagues – “Tagging” capability to find ideas of interest Wins – More than 500 “wins” since program inception in 2005; leading to the recognition of hundreds of IBM employees as “innovators” and millions in cost and productivity impact8 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  9. 9. Innovation That MattersInnovation Catalysts shepherd ideas to implementation Mission: Identify opportunities for innovation on behalf of defined communities and groups Review idea submissions and advance applicable ideas for management review Evangelize IBM’s strategic approach to innovation Provide feedback to project teams How does it work? Any regular IBM employee can become an Innovation Catalyst Sign up via the Catalyst wiki (using internal wiki platform) Participate in weekly calls to find resources and discuss techniques for being an effective catalyst; receiving mentoring from an experienced Catalyst Participate in new Catalyst Reputation System – earn “points” for taking specific actions such as bringing ideas to closure or helping other catalysts. “Cash in” points at a review meeting with ThinkPlace project team. Note: actions and point totals awarded were set by the Catalyst community as a whole.9 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  10. 10. Innovation That MattersInnovation Catalyst success stories Master Catalysts Master Catalysts• Actively search ThinkPlace• Actively search ThinkPlace for new ideas for new ideas• Promote a ThinkPlace idea• Promote a ThinkPlace idea through to implementation through to implementation• Complete a successful “Win”• Complete a successful “Win” review process with the review process with the ThinkPlace Program Office ThinkPlace Program Office which in turn makes which in turn makes recommendations to recommendations to management for awards management for awardsDistinguished CatalystsDistinguished Catalysts• Be a Master Catalyst• Be a Master Catalyst• Drive implementation of• Drive implementation of ideas that exceeded $1M in ideas that exceeded $1M in business impact business impact• Can receive awards up to• Can receive awards up to $10,000 $10,000• About 6 Distinguished• About 6 Distinguished Catalysts in IBM Catalysts in IBM10 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  11. 11. Innovation That MattersExecutive Challenges Purpose and results: Used as a means for “seeding” idea generation by focusing attention on the key issues of interest to an Executive. 20 challenges generated nearly 1000 new ideas in 2007 Best Practices: Challenge topic is specific and focused; target audience is clearly defined. Executive either assigns individual(s) within organization or works with an Innovation Catalyst to follow up on ideas generated by the challenge. Challenges can be posted on ThinkPlace with linkage from corresponding business unit / organization Web site. – Strong communications support = a successful challenge Executive’s team “closes out” ideas after challenge event is complete and implements high impact “wins”; could fund a BizTech project or FOAK project or take some other specific action that implements top idea(s).11 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  12. 12. Innovation That MattersThinkPlace Ideas #71108:Sales Prospecting w/Connections Tool (July 2008)Description: Increase both revenue opportunities and productivity by using a"cookbook" method describing how Lotus Connections social software candramatically improve the sales follow-up process.Impact: Executive ChallengeRevenue impact from better lead follow upProductivity savings from more efficient processSubmitter:Jeannette Browning (S&D, Dallas)Collaborators:David Leip (, Somers)Luis Suarez (GTS, Netherlands)Martha Mealy (SWG, Beaverton)Lisa McMath (S&D, Atlanta)Jay Crawford (S&D, RTP)Gerard Clancy (S&D, Ireland)Pam Coyne (S&D, Atlanta)12 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  13. 13. Innovation That MattersThinkPlace Idea #49458:Reduction/elimination of administrative-related bottlenecks Opportunity: On-boarding of new employees, interns, and co-ops requires managers to fill out multiple overlapping forms and can take up to 6 weeks (half the time of a summer co-op). Idea submitted Solution: Wrangle all stakeholders to merge all on-boarding in response to an executive processes, use 1 form for managers, and complete all on-boarding challenge within 1 week. Impact: Big productivity savings for managers from pilot on first 25 new employees on-boarded. Will be rolled out as official on-boarding process for all of IDS. IDS team also working to encourage larger spread across other parts of IBM. Note: idea was submitted in response to Jerry Keesee’s “time buster” radical simplification Executive Challenge in February 2007 Submitter: Carla Wilcox/Las Vegas/IBM (SWG) Catalyst: Nicholas Geib/Lenexa/IBM (SWG/IDS) Implementer: Mukta Singh/Lenexa/IBM (SWG/IDS)13 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  14. 14. Innovation That MattersWe “package” our “best” sites to create a “brand”around best practices that we can replicate Ireland: 109 wins Fishkill: 43 wins Key sites have an end-to-end culture of innovation complements the ThinkPlace tool Result is “serial innovation” Mexico: 17 wins Compile best practices from Ireland site and officially designate Ireland as first ThinkPlace “Innovation Hub” Communicate “Innovation Hub” program widely, to encourage adoption14 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  15. 15. Innovation That MattersTransforming ThinkPlace into the next generationcollaborative experienceHighlightingmeaningful content(better visibility forpopular ideas andexecutivechallenges)Leveraging socialnetwork data tohighlight actions ofpeople we knowCelebratingemployees andtheir ideas15 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  16. 16. Innovation That Matters Putting employees’ networks to work Using social network data, employees discover “interesting ideas” in ThinkPlace -- ideas being worked on by people they know.16 © 2008 IBM Corporation
  17. 17. Innovation That Matters17 © 2008 IBM Corporation