The process of innovation of technology arose through different ways including ideation. Ideation is the process of coming up with new ideas and implementing them to achieve the desired goal. Ideation requires a thought or a concept of a new innovation, how ideas will be organized and the plan for implementing the ideas. The ideas from generation process are many and therefore, they need to be grouped and assessed. Then the best ideas are acted upon Therefore, ideation follows three important steps: generation, filtration and validation of the ideas.
Ideation process starts with the generation of ideas. It involves coming up with a new idea that has a market value and importance. The success of an innovation depends on the best idea identified. For many instances, the need to find a solution to the problem being faced provides the basis for the generation of an idea. The problems are easily identified and the decision leads to ideation. Another way of generating ideas is through identifying customers' needs and finding the best alternative that will satisfy those needs. Generation can also be approached through customer insight. Customer insight involves the use of market researchers such as focus groups and surveys and administering them to have collective idea sharing surroundings. Surveys are efficient although response rate always seems to be low. Focus groups are similarly efficient. Nevertheless, it never reaches the extent of ideation because of its high cost and other circumstances that prevent it from accessing a larger population of participants.
In companies, individuals work together as a team to create and evaluate ideas. Teamwork may involve two categories; individual working alone for some allotted time then coming together to evaluate the ideas generated or the team working together to generate and evaluate ideas. Idea generation results as an act of brainstorming whereby an individual or a group exhausts all ideas and records them in a journal (Cooper & Edgett, 2008). These ideas revolve around defining the problem, business goals, consideration of customers' needs and constraints. Brainstorming provides an individual with diverse ideas and allows the individual to borrow ideas from others
The second step filtration of ideas involves organization of ideas and prioritizing them and selecting the best. It is based on the phenomenon that a good innovation depends on quality of ideas. This would help to meet the needs of users and provide solution to the problems. Those ideas which have less effect to the objective are discarded. A lot of ideas are normally generated based on the thought that with more ideas, the likelihood of having the best idea is high. At some point of idea generation, there are a lot ideas identified and it would be unnecessary to keep on looking for more and thus idea generation stops. Therefore, this calls for filtering of ideas where ideas are grouped, ranked and the least important ideas are discarded in order to reduce the number of ideas being evaluated (Girotra et al., 2010).
The most important thing in filtering is having the criteria to be used in evaluating ideas. In an organization, the filtering involves handing over ideas to groups for evaluation. Ideas are organized with the use of labels and tags into significant groups where individuals or experts are then allowed to tag ideas and provide extra filtration. Prioritization the follows; it allows the key ideas to be moved to the next step, implementation. It is important to deal with customers' needs because they are normally overlooked. When this happens the selection of ideas for implementation will not meet the customers' needs and therefore the ideation process will be ineffective.
The third step is implementation. It involves the use of the best ideas that have been sorted to incorporate the innovation into daily life products. It depends on the capacity of an individual or an organization to use the important idea from filtering step and convert it into a new product. Implementation validates the whole process of ideation because an idea would be of no use if it is not implemented. The product designed should have a market value. The process of designing a product involves series of refinement processes till the new product meets the required specification. Implementation calls for persistence because the best ideas which are worth implementing usually become setbacks temporarily before the product become successful. Individuals or companies may collaborate in the process developing innovations to ensure relative quickening of overall marketability and improve productivity (Brown & Wyatt, 2010).
Usually, implementation involves several steps involving designing and creation of a prototype, testing and analyzing it. Then the product undergoes product development technicalities. The product is then commercialized and launched. Testing may involve the creation of experimentation brand which allows freedom of testing new ideas in the marketplace. The product is directed towards the normal market and users and also to nonusers. The direction towards nonusers symbolizes a chance for a company to aim innovation towards a rising market.
In conclusion, ideation process is propelled by the purpose and therefore it should be guided and not managed. Ideation process depends on workflow process in a company where work is handed from one team to the next. This improves employee engagement in evaluating and acting upon the worthwhile ideas. It is also imperative to note that the people involved in the process of idea generation would like to know the reason behind the rejection of their ideas if their ideas are rejected.
Cooper, R. G., & Edgett, S. (2008). Ideation for product innovation: What are the best methods. PDMA visions magazine, 1(1), 12-17.
Girotra, K., Terwiesch, C., & Ulrich, K. T. (2010). Idea generation and the quality of the best idea. Management Science, 56(4), 591-605.
Brown, T., & Wyatt, J. (2010). Design thinking for social innovation. Development Outreach, 12(1), 29-43.
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