Based on my experience, I have identified the following seven stages that underpin successful crowdsourcing projects:
- Defining the objectives, project planning and set up
- The launch event
- Going live with idea generation and submission
- Idea prioritisation and selection
- The Dragons’ Den event (or whatever is best suited to your company culture)
- Routinely communicating the business benefits from the implemented ideas
- Managing the ideas log (i.e. continuing the process of implementing ideas that did not make it to the Dragons’ Den finale but are still worthwhile implementing; periodically communicating the results back to the business)
Common pitfalls include: rushing through stage 1, insufficient guidance during stage 3, and ignoring stages 6 and 7! Placing too much faith in the crowdsourcing software is another common error - today's software is good, but software alone doesn't guarantee a flow of ideas.
This article covers the key activities during Stage 1.