Better looking and more clever than ever, this is our Fox Edition

Exago’s 3.6 idea management software release is a major leap forward from the previous versions. With a brand new homepage look and feel, it offers additional idea review gates and a more comprehensive evaluation process, as well as more effective communication mechanisms.

Fox’s homepage follows the most up-to-date web design trends to give users an attractive and easy-to-navigate environment. You can expect: new layout of widgets and new navigation mechanisms; more graphical and appealing design configurations; expanded and more appealing highlights’ widget for more effective communication.

We know that flexibility is key to our current and future customers, as their idea management processes evolve. So we keep looking for better and more effective ways to manage the idea workflow, which now also includes:

  • New idea evaluation gates (review rating) in custom statuses: ideas can now be attributed to different groups for evaluation, and consideration of different evaluation dimensions (per status), which is particularly useful when specific expertise and knowledge are needed for a more comprehensive idea assessment. In addition, evaluations can be made public or private, according to the initiative’s requirements, providing greater flexibility in the process.
  • New visibility permissions for submitted ideas: to ensure that ideas are aligned and relevant to the challenges, they can now first pass through a validation gate before being published and visible to all.

To enable more complete and comprehensive evaluation, Exago’s Fox edition offers:

  • Sharing of private comments between evaluators: this new feature allows evaluators to share among each other views and insights on ideas under assessment.
  • New, more complete reports and dashboard: with new evaluation gates come updated reports. They now include additional content and new evaluation dimensions that bring greater detail and flexibility to platform data analysis. The dashboard now also refers to custom statuses and managers can follow the number of ideas distributed, allowing for a more complete view of the cycles’ progress.

FOX’s release opens new communication bridges with active and potential participants, namely with:

  • Fresh news page: a brand new news page, with a sleek design and great feel, now keeps all users informed and updated with relevant information related to the shared challenges and the initiative itself.
  • New guest mode function for unregistered users: in response to the needs of open innovation initiatives, we have developed a more intuitive and revealing Guest Mode. Unregistered users can now experience the benefits of being part of these communities and are invited to join in.
  • On-demand custom notifications: in addition to Fox’s default notification engine, you can now send custom notifications to all users or to specific groups.

To see our new idea management software edition live reach us here
You can also get our Fox edition brochure here.

If no magic formula exists for innovation, how could one exist for measuring it?

More than 88% of respondents indicate that innovation is a major element of their product development initiatives, according to ‘The 2015 Global Innovation Economy Survey’. However, less than 25% set innovation performance metrics, other studies found. How can we explain this incongruence?

To start with, if no magic formula exists for innovation, how could one exist for measuring it? There is no single universal indicator either. And, what works in one company may get confusing or even be counterproductive in another.

Yet, innovation is the way we do business today. From R&D to disruptive and incremental methods, companies have to find a way to measure the innovation process at hand and analyse its relevance.

At the end of the day, it comes down to accountability to leadership and shareholders, as well as your own teams. It comes down to your organisation’s survival. Innovation without results becomes useless.

Therefore, as you develop your innovation efforts, remember to adopt a set of priority metrics that allows you to monitor the process from its beginning and track major results. You need to understand what is worth following, what could be improved and what simply doesn’t work.

Finally, do not overlook vital outcomes such as higher levels of participation and engagement – your people’s collective intelligence is your most valuable asset. Take a look at our basic steps and innovation measurement framework when deciding which metrics to choose. You can learn, as you progress, how to readapt your strategy and, most importantly, how to get innovation done.

How can you measure innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder

How to avoid the innovation management analysis-paralysis

You may easily find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of innovation metrics you can choose from. But you simply cannot get mired in endless reports, comparative numbers and hundreds of percentages that may have nothing relevant to show you.

Based on experiences with our clients from across several countries and industries, we, at Exago, have come to identify the chief indicators you should contemplate at each phase of the process: from the investment phase through to performance and development and, finally, output and evaluation.

These indicators consider three dimensions we believe are fundamental: human capital and organisational culture, the ‘people factor’ as the cornerstone of any innovation programme; financial and accounting plans, a stronger focus on growth and sustainability; resources acquisition and development, namely, tangible and intangible aspects, such as assets and knowledge.

measuring innovation

Keep in mind this framework is elastic. It’s a chart to identify your own metrics set, according to your specific challenges. These three steps will help you decide which to adopt:

a) The most important step – define how innovation will serve the strategy and purpose of your organisation;

b) Establish the nature of the results and stabilise a set of priority metrics (and practices) of input, process and output;

c) Make the process evolve by including new metrics and excluding aspects difficult to measure or those that do not suggest process improvements Most of all, remember you don’t have to start from scratch and you can’t freeze up in any phase. Innovation is a process of trial and error, by its very nature. So, build a solid initial plan, including top metrics to track, and be ready to learn and adapt as you progress.

If no magic formula exists for innovation, how could one exist for measuring it?

How can you measure innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder

Are you using these innovation metrics ?

The focus on innovation has been moving to the value within organisations’ people: not only employees but also stakeholders and consumers. Being the human factor a new fundamental driver, how are companies gauging innovation results and capabilites? What metrics are they using?

According to McKinsey Quarterly: The Online Journal of Mckinsey & Co (2009), the main indicators ranked by importance by the 722 organisations surveyed are:

/ Revenue growth due to new products or services 16%
/ Customers’ satisfaction with products or services 13%
/ Quantity of ideas or concepts in the pipeline 10%
/ Expenditure on R&D as a percentage of sales 8%
/ Sales share of new products/services in a given period 8%
/ Number of new products or services launched 8%
/ Return on investment in new products or services 4%
/ Number of R&D projects 6%
/ Number of people dedicated to innovation 4%
/ Increase in profits due to new products/services 4%
/ Potential of the complete portfolio of new products/services to meet growth targets 3%
/ Changes in market share resulting from new products/services 3%
/ Net present value of the complete portfolio of new products/services 2%

These choices reflect the ‘people factor’ in innovation, namely, customers’ satisfaction with products and services and the number of people dedicated to innovation. Nevertheless, bearing in mind companies’ specific goals, many others can be suitable, as shown in the following table. Examples are the effort expended on cultivating an innovation culture or capabilities development and the investments made or the wide-ranging outcomes of innovation processes.

measuring innovation

Which of these should we choose? Do they fit the needs of our specific innovation management programmes? These questions become even trickier if we know that the output of one phase becomes another phase’s input. Cause and effect overlap.

Reviewing the literature on innovation management, Henry Edison and his colleagues, in their paper Towards Innovation Measurement in the Software Industry (2013), reported 232 metrics in use by business managers and leadership, across industries. How can you then avoid the analysis-paralysis?

How to avoid the innovation management analysis-paralysis

How can you measure innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder

Measuring innovation: the human factor

Innovation is not a stationary object. It’s a process that transforms ideas into value – a way of doing things that every company has to adopt at its core.

Since 2000, the focus on innovation has been moving to the value within organisations’ people: not only employees but also stakeholders and consumers. The emphasis is on finding new means and methods to motivate and engage these people in the search for new paths and answers to vital business challenges. In other words, innovation seeks to find how to unleash their talent and expertise – their full potential to innovate.

The Global Innovation Index (GII), an annual reference publication that gauges countries’ innovation results and capabilities, devoted its 2014 edition to the topic ‘The Human Factor in Innovation’, describing the human factor as ‘the fundamental driver’ and ‘the heart of innovation’.

Developed by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, GII surveys 143 economies around the world. In 2014, it used 81 indicators to establish countries’ ranking, based on the following framework.

measuring innovation

Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Sweden topped the 2014 rank. This index considers, among other indicators, new product creation, the quality of infrastructure (e.g. access to information and communications technology), and employees’ competence acquisition.

What about companies? What metrics are they using? We’ll see that next.

Are you using these innovation metrics?

How can you measure innovation management?

Pedro do Carmo Costa, Exago’s director and co-founder