Why that Excel Document is a horrible approach to Idea Management

Idea Management Excel

Idea management software is a solution for organizations that want to control their innovation process from collecting ideas to tracking the results.                

Trae Tessmann|
March 13, 2017

There’s got to be a better way to handle idea management for your innovation program than a spreadsheet, right?


As it turns out, 85% of the largest US companies are handling their innovation and idea management practices digitally, but many organizations both large and small haven’t quite transitioned to a better solution. And even if they’re getting some stellar ideas coming in to their pipeline (through a suggestion box or some other means) the rest of the process could use some work.

To the innovation leader or team collecting new ideas, the first step is finding somewhere to put them. By sheer coincidence, nearly every computer is equipped with Microsoft Excel or Google Drive Spreadsheets. Great spot, right? Each idea gets its own box, add some headings, dates, info, and you’re good to go.


Here’s why Excel is hindering the success of your idea management efforts and thus, your innovation program.

Limited functionality – Excel wasn’t made for idea management. The static nature of a worksheet is ill-prepared to handle the evolution of an idea from its conception and validation to development and implementation.

No Collaboration – More than one person can access Excel in Dropbox or a spreadsheet in Google Drive, but live interactions between managers or idea-owners is all but non-existent.

It’s Secret – Once an idea is shared, its often hidden until approval (if management sees fit to notify the person who shared it). Worse yet, when an idea is rejected owners are often left in the dark with no feedback.

No Updates – Idea owners, managers, and decision makers have a lot of responsibilities, and without active updates and communication surrounding ideas, those ideas are easily forgotten or misplaced.

Lack of organization – The tracking and management of a multitude of ideas from different idea challenges and innovation initiatives needs more than some column headings and workbook pages.

So if you can’t use Excel for idea management, what CAN you use?

Idea management software of course! This tool is the solution for organizations that want to control their entire innovation process from collecting ideas to tracking the results, all from one location.

Take a few moments to get a crash course on idea management software, or if you’re already familiar with functionality, learn why they’re growing in popularity with companies large and small.

Convinced your innovation program deserves better? Let’s talk!

About Trae Tessmann

Co-founder of Ideawake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Receive insights and tips on how to build buy in, promote, launch, and drive better financial results from your innovation program.