Weekly Recap 5-14-08

Over the past week, the IdeaStorm team has been discussing and researching innovation and idea management a little more than usual. This fervor was due in part to the suggestions of pmdigangi on Making IdeaStorm Even Better but also by a surge of innovation conversations in the blogosphere. Dawn provided the community with some thoughts on innovating the idea management process for IdeaStorm.

Creating a sustainable idea and innovation management process is one of our priorities at Dell, especially for Community. There are some that see our site as a fad (just a combination of social networking tools and innovation software), which could fall victim to the same issues of traditional suggestion boxes. Jeffrey Phillips of Innovate on Purpose states several reasons why just “following the crowds” is not necessarily innovative. I somewhat agree with his take on this since listening to customers is an important piece for innovation management, but not the whole story.

Almost 9,000 ideas from IdeaStorm (more than 60 in the past week) is a bit overwhelming, but we continuously improve how the team categorizes and prioritizes the ideas to ensure relevant feedback gets to the right groups within Dell. As Piers Jones of Feed Need noted, with a lot of ideas it can be difficult to identify the suggestions that can provide the greatest benefit. Our process flow allows for a variety of idea topics (ideas that our customers believe are important and suggestions about what we believe are significant) to flow to the correct parts of the business for evaluation. The business evaluation is critical to the innovation process because that is where we are able to take customer feedback and integrate it into new products and services.

And, for a bit of IdeaStorm News of the Weird, our site is being used as an exercise in text analytics and linguistics.

Welcome to New Users!

In the past week, IdeaStorm has gained more than 240 new members. A special call out to mauribe, goldschool, newhard2009, phil.christs, and mdevoucoux; they each contributed at least one idea and numerous votes during their first week as members. It’s great to see new users becoming a part of our community!

Gaining Momentum

There was also a lot of chatter about system options for customers purchasing online. Both winoffice and jamesmoroni1 submitted ideas about the different channels on dell.com. Robert_p weighed in on the conversation to clear up some of the confusion, which prompted jmxz to create a new idea about better informing customers all their purchase options

About the Author: Kara Krautter