Ideation management, sometimes referred to as idea management, is a formalization of the processes involved in gathering, sharing, analyzing and executing on ideas generated within an enterprise and its collaborative networks.
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Ideation comprises all the processes involved in taking an idea from its initial conception through to its realization -- for example, taking an employee's suggestion for a product feature, sharing that idea with other employees and customers, ranking it, analyzing its feasibility and creating a plan for its development.
Ideas may come from a variety of sources including employees, customers and partners through channels including planned brainstorming sessions, intranet forums and applications, Web-based collaboration tools, surveys and social media websites. Idea management products typically harvest ideas from such sources and rank them according to a number of criteria, including the reputation of the individual submitting the idea, others employees' responses and the feasibility of acting on the suggestion. Ideation management products may make use of behavioral science methods, software algorithms and game mechanics to encourage participation and collaboration.
Some product lifecycle management (PLM) vendors include Web-based collaboration software or other ideation management tools as a module within their product suites. Vendors of ideation management products and products containing ideation management modules include IdeaScale LLC, Inc. InnoCentive Inc., I-Nova Software, Planview and Spigit.