3 Reasons Excel and Email Are Not Efficient Idea Management Platforms

3 reasons excel and email are not efficient idea management tools

Ideawake allows for stakeholder involvement throughout the innovation process, thereby streamlining communication & transparency within idea management.             

Anna Talamo|
August 9, 2018

Idea management programs should be focused around three goals: increasing employee engagement, gaining revenues and cutting costs.

Software like Ideawake is designed with those goals in mind, and helps champions facilitate a step-by-step funnel to see innovative ideas come to fruition and ultimately earn a positive return-on-investment.

Companies and programs that still utilize platforms that aren’t centered around these goals, like Excel and email, for their main idea management channels, or try to build their own program, are potentially missing out on opportunities to make serious innovative progress, as well as engage their stakeholders.

Here are three reasons why Excel and email are not efficient idea management platforms.

Moderators waste time finding ideas

Excel spreadsheets and emails are time-consuming and hard to navigate, making it easy for ideas to get lost in the shuffle.

In fact, the 2017 Forbes article, “How To Stop Wasting 2.5 Hours On Email Every Day,” found that the average office worker receives 200 emails each day. This proves that email is an inefficient way to collect ideas since potentially ground-breaking ideas just get thrown into a mix of endless business emails, promotional deals and newsletters you don’t remember signing up for.

Excel on the other hand, while having a more organizational structure, is still just as bad. Successful idea management requires a practical pipeline for ideas to be easily followed and collaborated upon. Excel’s columns and rows will force moderators to connect the dots themselves, wasting time and money, and ultimately resulting in frustration.

Lower employee engagement

Idea management is only valuable if stakeholders actually engage with it. Engagement rates can be determined by the number of active users, the number of ideas submitted and the number of ideas tested and implemented.

Gallup’s 2017 “State of the Global Workplace” report told us that only 15% of employees are engaged with their jobs. This means it’s more essential than ever to actively involve employees in work processes.

Systems like email and Excel lack the ability to gain employee input and feedback on ideas. This severely constricts the collaboration phase of idea management.

What other features make Idea Management software such a powerful tool? Read our “Crash Course to IM Software” whitepaper to find out!

A study by Nielsen found that larger teams generate better concepts – meaning the importance of collaboration should not be lost on champions who are searching for a great idea management tool. In fact, product-ideas generated by teams involving six or more people performed 58% better than “starting point” concepts with consumers during pre-market testing.

Employees like to feel like their voice matters, and if Excel and email are the only platforms available to them to share their opinions, they may feel like the company doesn’t actually want to invest in giving them a say.

Programs like Ideawake, however, are specifically created for idea management and are easy-to-use, resulting in more users signing up and repeatedly using the innovation management platform. In addition, regardless of company size, 25% of employees are going to submit an idea at any given time,and  an additional 40-45% of your workforce will engage by commenting, improving upon and surfacing the best ideas, resulting in higher collaboration and innovation rates.

Harder to communicate idea progress

The Quantum Workplace Employee Engagement Trends report found, unsurprisingly, that “trust in management and in the future of the company is a key component for employee engagement.” Trust is often created through transparent leaders and practices, emphasizing the importance of communication throughout the idea management process.

Excel and email don’t have a lot of visibility within the workplace, making it hard for employees to visually see the progress and implementation of ideas.

Long-term engagement is dependent upon transparency and communication throughout the duration of the program. Transparency assures participants that their ideas are valid and being taken seriously.

Ken Lin, founder and CEO of Credit Karma, says, “In a company that shares information openly and often, we can empower our employees to go about their jobs with confidence and to know the real bigger picture we’re all working towards.”

Ideawake allows for stakeholder involvement throughout the innovation process, thereby streamlining communication and transparency within idea management.

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