Ideation — Capturing Those Aha! Moments
April 11, 2014

Ideation — Capturing Those Aha! Moments

by Brian de Haaff

We have written about ideas in the past and commented that many of us have “idea fatigue.” We figured it was time to actually do something about it. Sure, it’s cool to talk about crowd-sourcing ideas in a social world — but the reality is that the noise of every “greatest new idea” beats you down so you miss the one that actually matters. No more. We just introduced the new new way to ideate.

You can finally empower customers, employees, and other stakeholders to submit ideas (via a custom branded portal) that you can actually act on. Capture them all in one place, visualize their priority, and promote the ones that matter to features. You can finally embed ideation directly into your product management and roadmapping process and be happy.

Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and curating new ideas. Better ideas lead to innovation and innovation leads to market leadership. So, every organization wants better ideas, but it’s tough to actually capture them in a manageable way.

Most ideas are shared in hallway conversations, via email, or once a year as part of “Innovation day.” And let’s be honest — they typically stink.

It takes real effort to develop an idea to determine it’s value and prioritization. They typically fall flat and die a quiet death because they are never vetted for a number of reasons that might sound familiar.

  • They get lost in email

  • They are not detailed enough

  • They go into a standalone system that is connected to nothing

  • There is no good way to prioritize them

  • The backlog is already overflowing

  • You have “idea fatigue”

We have enhanced Aha! to allow you to collect, curate, and promote ideas into features to ensure that key feedback and requests are seamlessly integrated into your product planning and development processes. The new capabilities include:

A custom-branded portal Publish a custom-branded and configured portal with the fields that you want completed. Publish the URL as desired and capture ideas from customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Set up one portal per product if you want.

Overview dashboard The dashboard gives you a complete view of all ideas as they are submitted in real-time. Easily track the status of ideas, the volume of ideas being submitted, and your top contributors. You will also be notified via email as ideas are submitted.

Capture the details about an idea View what information was submitted with an idea including submitter, title, description, custom fields, and any attachments. You can then enhance the idea by adding additional information like tags and move the idea through your review process using pre-defined status and workflow.

Idea value visualization You can use an Aha! Scorecard to assess the priority of an idea based on impact and effort. This is a simple, yet powerful way to see how ideas relate to one another and to determine which ones should be prioritized as features for development. You can use the default impact vs. value scorecard or create your own to plot different metrics against each other.

Promote ideas to features The Idea list view allows you to slice and dice your ideas and filter the columns and fields. This makes it easy to look at all of the ideas across products or just for one product and to filter based on any custom fields that you have added. You can also easily export from this screen as well.

Existing Aha! customers can get started immediately by going to Account settings and selecting Idea settings and portal. This will allow you to configure a portal and add the Ideas tab at the top of the screen when you are viewing that product.
Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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