Innovation and ISO Standards

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While results are a clear marker of the measurable success of innovation, ISO standards are quickly becoming measurable goalposts for innovators to shoot for when developing or looking at their idea management processes or platforms. We’ve recently had a look at the ISO 9001 standards and looked at the ways in which Spotlight matches and exceeds those standards. These quotes can be found in “From ISO 9001 to an Innovation Management System”, where they walk through the ideal innovation process.

“The start point for innovation in the ISO 9001 requirements is customer satisfaction monitoring.”

It seems simple enough, but monitoring customer satisfaction can become a difficult administrative tasks for businesses. Surveys aren’t ideal for this type of interaction, as the ISO 9001 requirements state: “You must stop asking questions like ‘are you satisfied with our product, delivery etc.’ and start asking questions like ‘what are you having difficulty getting done…'”. With an idea management platform, you can not only pitch more dynamic questions to your customers, but you have a platform to develop those ideas and questions and get to the heart of customer satisfaction.

“Another source of input… is the analysis of non conforming product or service.”

The ISO 9001 advises you to assess the aptitudes of your employees to discover where they will make their best contribution to the innovation process. But ideally your idea management software should be able to do this for you. With our analytics tools, administrators can clearly see which employees comment, vote, and suggest ideas. You can see the best innovators in your team without administering any tests or doing anything complicated. In fact, you can set up your homepage so that you quickly see the top innovators in your network quickly and easily.

“Data Analysis of customer satisfaction and product and service failure, give us the opportunities where we should focus”

Another clear benefit of an idea management system is that, unlike notes scribbled down from meetings, everything is submitted into an online platform with analytics tools that make it easier for you to analyse the ideas present. You can witness the entire discussion on the subject, see how many votes the idea has received, and make your decision on whether or not you will carry on the idea based on that. Customer satisfaction surveys or suggestions become ideas you can witness, develop, and approve in your own time.

“You should then have a problem solving methodology… It should be a methodology which takes you ‘out of the box’, engages other people inside and outside the organisation and is not something done by one or maybe two folks in the quality department”

We don’t just give you the software to implement your innovative structure, we consult with you to establish a firm process within your business for implementing our software. Our software is a catalyst for great ideas, but we know the importance of having employees, clients, constituents, etc. know about your platform to get the best use of it. We’ll help you develop your problem-solving methodology. Where do the ideas go once they’ve been discussed and voted on? It’s up to your organisation, but we’re there to help you figure it out.

“The best solutions come from accessing collective knowledge”

Our platform gives you the capability to get ideas from everywhere. While most businesses may use it to generate and develop internal ideas, we have extensions and capabilities to expand your idea generation pool beyond your employees. Use our consultation extension to conduct a public survey and build on those ideas. You can use our review boards or teams features to set up a team of specific stakeholders who can be pulled in on specific ideas and challenges to garner their input. Utilise the public/private challenges add-on to create challenges and generate ideas from specific, targeted audiences. We believe the best solutions do come from collective knowledge and a truly innovative idea management solution should allow you to get that collective knowledge from almost everywhere.

“Your management review should be at least quarterly.”Collaborative employees

Creating a management team to assess ideas is easy with our idea management solution. Use teams or review boards to create management panels and create challenges based on monitoring progress. Everything can be done within the idea management solution rather than in time-consuming meetings or discussions.

“Someone, somewhere will be working on the same problem as you. Ironically… [this] is where too many slow down.”

When you’re working with ideas as concepts in long meetings, discussions, and development take time. As the ISO 9001 notes, ideas may get caught between stages and suggests a well-defined project plan to counteract this issue. Idea management software provides the opportunity for multiple people to work on a single project at any given time. Because it’s all online within a single accessible platform, everyone can not only work on the idea but work on whatever other projects or tasks that are on their mind. While a project plan is always useful, a lot of the stumbling blocks of innovation processes can be tackled by having a single defined platform for idea management.

“The game changes at the final stage. The focus on product and service features in the design stages means we can often forget the original reason for starting the innovation”.

While the suggestion of a value proposition is a great way to solve this other block, the benefit of an idea management platform is that it’s driven by value propositions. Challenges and ideas make up the basis for interaction. No one forgets the original intent of the innovation, regardless of where the discussion leads because it’s spelled out right before the discussion begins or ideas are pitched within challenges.

The requirements of ISO 9001 do provide an excellent framework for developing an innovation management system and it’s clear that having an idea management platform can not only help tackle several of these issues but create a flexible but sturdy framework for your businesses’ innovation process and approach.

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