So nowlet’s review what should be considered when opening up the innovation process internally or externally.First, do you present the entire problem or a discrete component of the problem? Framing the problem for the targeted solvers is critical to your success and a factor of how you plan to manage the IP, if there is any involved with the challenge.Do you need to go broad or deep? To some extent this will depend on the solution provider you choose and it’s an important issue to address when selecting your vendor. Some platforms vet their experts before they’re invited to be a solver and tend to be deep in select areas of expertise while others rely on votes to evaluate the credibility of a particular solver for a given subject.Are you casting a wide net or geographically specific net. New NPD 2.0 solution emerge every day around the globe and tend to be populated by the natives…you might choose to submit a challenge to a region your organization is not familiar with in order to gain more insight about entering that market. STB example.Is this a problem that can be solved by a single expert or does it need a team approach? As the NPD 2.0 platforms mature, they increasingly include capabilities to facilitate team problem solving.Is this a challenge should be solved internally or leverage knowledge outside of your organization? Prediction markets are a great example of leveraging internal expertise and many of the solutions out there can be used in an open manner or in a closed enterprise application. If you’re standardizing on one platform be sure to work with a vendor that provides both an open and enterprise solution.And lastly, the most important thing to consider is how to reward. There is an assumption out there that ideas are free – in a bad economy that’s closer to being true. As the economy improves and as you consider your internal costs for managing NPD 2.0 solutions, it’s critical to get the reward and recognition right so you’re not wasting your time. To illustrate this, Dell’s use of Salesforce.com’s Ideastorm platform generated approximately 10,000 ideas by the community, based on 1 million unique users and more than 670,000 positive votes with approximately 4,000 comments per month. They employ full-time engagement managers to oversee this solution. The benefit is that 200 ideas were implemented by Dell as of July 2008, and 4% of the ideas were considered break-through ideas.So now that we’ve reviewed what to consider when implementing NPD 2.0, let’s now review a summary of best practices.
Most importantly have a clear strategy for engagingexternallyNPD 2.0 tools are relatively inexpensive but not without cost, particularly the soft cost of staff. Identify weaknesses in the organization either in terms of expertise or unacceptable costs/time delays to know where to insert NPD 2.0 tools in the process. Make sure that you leverage NPD 2.0 tools by having the right reward mechanism in place by either granting IP ownership/royalties to the solver, having a shared ownership of the IP or providing a cash prize while you retain ownership. Using NPD 2.0 resources is not very different from using an RFP process.You need to scope the project correctly. Requirements need to focus on functions and parameters to be delivered rather than preconceived solutions. You can neither be too specific nor too broad if you want to create the environment for your internal and external partners to be successful. And, if your brief stops you from making cross industry connections you’re going to miss out on big opportunities for faster, lower cost and bigger impact innovation. But most importantly you need to ensure that you can integrate the solutions produced by your challenges.Engaging your community or experts outside your organization requires a win-win attitude.This means keeping your commitments, having an open channel of communication and feedback on the ideas the community is delivering to you and ensuring that the community is recognized for their contribution. It also means being open to radical or unexpected options and recognizingthat potential solutions can come from anywhere.And lastly, take advantage of the global resource pool available to you through NPD 2.0 solutions. Don’t let your surprise about where the idea originates from keep you from recognizing the merit of the solution. NPD 2.0 tools provide great access into the hidden talents within your organization and around the world.Now, another quick poll before we look at some of the tools available to you….
We just saw a great example of a firm that was able to develop the right products at the right time. They didn’t implement every NPD 2.0 approach overnight but continued to build on their successes and enhancing customer engagement. So where do you start?