Idea Harvesting may take place in many fields. One of the most important is the company itself: people working together as a team seeking for common objectives may have a lot of unexploited ideas that can be of great interest to harvest, manage and analyze them. At the beginning ideas appear to be dispersed and unexploited: a methodology is needed to manage the knowledge.
Traditional brainstorming methods have evolved and adapted to a more competitive and dynamical environment: New ideas should be recollected, discussed and applied in a standardized and well-managed manner. Everyone in the organization should feel free to expose her or his worries and possible solutions. A good process or set of processes is needed to assure the accurate atmosphere and motivation to develop this framework.
Answare Technologies’ method on Idea Harvesting within its Human Resources has proved to be reliable and robust enough to assure this issue without losing a piece of flexibility. Our framework consists of three phases: Detection, Management and Decision. The fist of them takes place when a problem is noticed and a solution is required. Then, during Management phase, a responsible takes charge of organizing the meeting by supplying the team with needed resources and support.
The main phase is Decision. Three different subprocesses to harvest ideas are provided. The responsible of the Management phase takes charge of selecting one depending on the problem context. L-M-N method obliges everyone to participate in the brainstorming, providing new ideas and/or commenting other’s. Metaplan is a more flexible frame, but cannot prevent one participant to refuse joining the discussion. 6 Hats method needs more training, and fits well when the team is experienced and motivated. Finally, regardless of the selected branch, a balloting process is launched to obtain a sorted out list that must be checked by an authorized committee.
Auraportal tool, developed during ITEI project, has helped Answare to model, clarify and distribute the whole process, adding the possibility of automating the decision methods, driving the harvesting and balloting processes, allowing the Harvesting and Valuation process areas to be performed.