In the first post in our Power of Proposal series, we highlighted some of the benefits of developing ideas into business cases before deciding which ideas to move forward with.
Until recently, effective tools to support this crucial part of the innovation lifecycle were missing. That's why Brightidea created Switchboard 2.0. A part of our social innovation suite, we designed Switchboard as a sophisticated engine for idea development and evaluation. Now, let's take a look at the overall functionality and some key features of Switchboard Proposals.
Social Meets Goal-Oriented Flexibility with Switchboard
To successfully go from a long list of ideas to just a few ready-to-invest-in business cases, the process – and the tools enabling it – require three key attributes:
- Social: Collaboration of the right subject-matter experts is necessary to determine the true value of an idea and maximize it early on.
- Focused: A goal-oriented, structured process makes sure that proposal teams stay geared toward the overall objectives and evaluations are based on consistent parameters.
- Flexible: To not stifle productive creativity and allow for all kinds of innovations, workflows and features need to offer flexibility.
So, here are a few selected Proposal features that were designed with these qualities in mind.
One size doesn't fit all in innovation processes. That's why Switchboard administrators can easily create and maintain proposal templates. These templates give business case teams a framework by asking specific questions and structuring the proposal. For example, if limited resources are a major concern, the proposal template can specifically request information on the type and amount of resources needed to bring an idea to life.
Transitioning ideas from WebStorm into proposals in Switchboard is a quick, easy and smooth process. Once a proposal is created, proposal team members can be invited to build the business case in a private environment.
Proposal Team Collaboration
Proposals offer an exclusive space for the assigned team. Members can add content, make edits, attach supporting files and keep track of action items and much more. A discussion thread allows for private communication between the team members. With all information and activities in one place, collaboration becomes focused and effective.
Proposal Development Tracking
When team members add or edit information, Switchboard automatically creates new versions and allows for easy tracking of all actions. The history of versions offers full transparency. No more "My dog ate the business case".
With direct links to related ideas, evaluation details and results, and the projects that derived from this business case, tracking functions span beyond Switchboard across the whole innovation pipeline.
From Proposal Development to Evaluation
Stay tuned for our next Power of Proposal blog post in which we'll describe Switchboard's features to evaluate proposals through multi-round scorecarding.
In the meantime, don't hesitate to contact us for a live demo of Switchboard.