Idea management is a critical component for companies to secure their market position and meet the needs of their stakeholders.
Even with the knowledge that idea management often leads to innovative solutions, management and IT departments still tend to hesitate when it comes to idea management software. Oftentimes, companies believe that their already purchased programs are sufficient or IT departments believe they’re capable of building their own.
However, while idea management tools such as SharePoint and Yammer claim to “do it all,” the fact of the matter is they don’t do any one thing really well.
While SharePoint can be used successfully for idea generation, research has shown that the simple generation of ideas alone does not result in innovation solutions; rather, a systematic process of reviewing, prioritizing and tracking implementation of ideas is necessary to achieve optimum results.
SharePoint is often looked at as a tempting alternative to innovation management software, however according to Business Insider, SharePoint is one of Microsoft’s most hated products.
In fact, research from the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) found that nearly two-thirds of respondents report that either SharePoint is not meeting their original expectations, or they have a SharePoint project that is stalled. Only 11% said that their project was considered a success.
Here are five reasons why SharePoint won’t work for your idea management program.
SharePoint lacks usability
SharePoint has been described as “difficult and complicated to deploy and maintain.”
In the survey conducted by AIIM, over 20% of respondents said that their biggest on-going issue with SharePoint in their organization is that user interface is too difficult to navigate.
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Another 30% of people said that collaboration and discussion within the SharePoint system never really took off.
In addition, Jacob Morgan, Chess Media Group’s principal and founder, says that enterprise social networks make it difficult to determine financial measurements in general.
“One size fits all” tools have lower engagement rates
Gallup research has shown that 70% of employees report being disengaged at work. Idea management software can be implemented in order to combat that statistic and empower employees with a voice – resulting in higher engagement and job satisfaction.
However, enterprise social networks and traditional intranets like SharePoint tend not to engage employees because there’s no specific goal set for the use of the platform. If stakeholders don’t understand the purpose of something, there’s a slim chance they’re going to take the time to participate in, and interact with, it.
There’s also a slim chance employees are going to want to interact with a system where 30% of survey respondents cited that being hard to use was a direct cause of their low engagement rate.
AIIM also reported that over 40% of users have either reached an adoption plateau, are facing adoption issues or are seeing reduced numbers.
A lack of engagement can ultimately result in programs and software being cut from the budget, severely limiting the opportunity for potential innovation.
No dedicated innovation expertise or consulting
To ensure a high long-term engagement rate and positive return on investment for an idea management program, what’s just as or more important than choosing a platform is the process and strategy for rolling out and managing the innovation process.
Although SharePoint and other enterprise social networks may be able to be repurposed for idea management, not having the expertise to help overcome common obstacles and leverage best practices results in having to expend more time and effort in making the program successful and reduce chances of achieving a high participation rate and a positive return on investment.
Idea management companies like Ideawake have refined and perfected the process for setting up the correct infrastructure, rollout plan, communication and strategy for taking selected ideas and transforming them into implemented projects that result in realized revenue growth and cost savings for an organization.
SharePoint lacks features and incentives to effectively manage innovation and maximize participation rate
Although idea management platforms and SharePoint may look similar on the surface with their ability to capture and vote on ideas, they are actually entirely different tools. SharePoint lacks a lot of the critical features needed to create an idea management program that results in a strong return on investment.
For example, SharePoint lacks innovation funnels, making it hard to track ideas, facilitate communication and update users on the progress of their ideas.
Research done by the O.C. Tanner Institute found that “90% of great work projects include employees who remain involved through implementation.” This shows that when employees have a personal investment in a project, they have a higher tendency to care about the success of it.
Without updating people on the progress of their ideas, SharePoint users will eventually lose interest in the program due to a lack of tangible results.
In addition, 35% of AIIM respondents reported that a lack of mobile support and difficult external access to the program resulted in frustration. Ideawake, however, is accessible on mobile, desktop or tablet, allowing for innovation wherever there’s Wi-Fi.
Configuring SharePoint will take more time and require more resources than IT thinks it will
In her article, “It’s About Time: Overcoming Resource Constraints to Deliver Technology Value,” author Lori Bocklund explains that while technology is an absolute necessity in regards to achieving business goals, there is functional gap between fixing current technological issues and pursuing new capabilities. This is due to resource constraints within companies and IT departments.
With IT wanting to be involved and feel valued, they can overextend themselves without realizing how long it actually takes to reconfigure and implement SharePoint, a timeline that is at least 2-3x longer than Ideawake’s implementation process.
In fact, out of the AIIM respondents that reported having stalled or failed projects, 40% attribute SharePoint’s downfall to not doing enough “planning and scoping at the outset” by their IT department. And over 25% report not having expertise of IT resources to utilize the technology.