Innovation Library Management Best Practices

Consider the following tips when planning and using your innovation library management tool:

  • Take full advantage of the ability to describe the many aspects, or categories, of an innovation (ex. idea, intellectual property, prototype, consumer test, etc.) Organizing innovations with these attributes helps differentiate content and allows users greater flexibility when searching for solutions.
  • Utilize keywords to broaden search results.  Work with your team to expand their use of keywords to describe innovation attributes, benefits, and cross-associations
  • Before setting up innovation categories, carefully plan your category groups and their descriptions. Also, consider how your categories map to your innovation process and stage gates.  It’s not always optimum to have innovation categories to be limited to a 1 to 1 association to innovation phases
  • Create smart presentations with your innovation library data.  The better innovation management applications have built-in presentation capabilities to reduce the need to manually create new PPT decks, and automatically keep the data presented up to date.
  • Multiple users can upload the same innovation, creating duplicate entries.  To help maintain a streamlined repository, instruct all users who add or edit innovations to conduct a search before creating a new record.  Their additions might be more effective as annotations to an existing innovation instead of creating another record.
  • Review your usage regularly to understand how your innovation library is growing, which innovations are most popular, the suppliers that are providing the most new ideas and which supplier records are referenced most often.
  • Commit to growing the library with the appropriate resources.   An empty innovation library provides no value.  Stocking you innovation library with records is important, but rarely raises to the importance that requires your more experienced team members.  Rely on interns and junior team members to generate the innovation library records for your company’s existing innovation knowledge.  Set performance targets (ex. number of new innovation records per week) to make sure that the library can provide value and quickly become your company’s go-to tool for addressing your innovation challenges.

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