The idea template guides your employees in creating an idea. Choosing the right template is critical for the success of your initiatives as it ensures that your employees submit relevant and high quality ideas.
Based on our experience of running innovation challenges and idea campaigns over the last 10 years, we compiled a few tips on how to create an effective idea template.
Download an example idea template that has proven to create great results here. Feel free to use the template in your next initiative. However, remember each initiative is different so feel free to adjust the template to your objectives and needs.
Tip 1: Include an Idea Summary
The idea summary can be seen as a written elevator pitch. The idea authors are asked to compress their idea in a short compelling summary. Even though, writing a good idea summary is not easy, it will help the idea author to think about the most important aspects and selling points of their idea.
Moreover, the idea summary will give readers, managers and evaluators a quick overview of the idea and makes it easier for evaluators to get the essence of the ideas and make better decisions.
Find a template for how to write a compelling idea summary here
Tip 2: Help idea authors to structure their idea
Often idea authors are tempted to lose themselves in technical details without considering other important aspects of the idea e.g. what is the problem the idea is solving, what is the underlying need, what is the target group and market, etc .
The result are long, incomprehensible and hard to read descriptions of technical details.
Provide idea authors some guidance on how to structure their idea. This will help them to consider important aspects and make it much easier for you to read and understand the idea.
Typically we structure the idea description as follows:
- What is the problem/opportunity?
- What is your solution?
- What is the market?
- Resources needed & Next Steps
Tip 3: Make some fields required
Often times we see that idea authors don’t fill out all fields in the template because their idea is in such an early stage that there are a lot of uncertainties and unknowns or they don’t take the effort to fill out all fields. In order to get ideas that have sufficient information for you to screen them it can be helpful that you make the most important fields in the template required to fill out.
Tip 4: Keep it lean
People are already busy with their daily jobs. Asking them to submit an idea puts an extra workload on their shoulders. So try to keep the template as lean and as short as possible. Make it easy to submit an idea while still getting all the information needed.
Tip 5: Decide on a final template before you start your initiative
Once an idea has been submitted, its template can’t be changed anymore. In order to avoid having ideas with different templates, make sure to finalise your idea template before you start your initiative.