7 Digital Transformation Traps: #3 Inadequate Idea Management
All too often, the promise of digital transformation falls flat. In fact, according to McKinsey, 70% of digital transformation efforts fail. You might think this statistic doesn’t really apply to you if you’re a product leader, though. You’re already at the forefront of developing new technology, right?
Not so fast! Our most recent Product Excellence Report revealed some of the challenges product teams and leaders are facing:
- 57% of respondents are focused on driving innovation and delivering the right products
- 49% are focused on driving efficiencies across the product organization
- 48% of product leaders said identifying bottlenecks, clearing blockers, and helping teams ship faster were their top challenges
It turns out that the struggles of many product leaders and teams could be addressed by digital transformation.
Here’s our take: avoiding digital transformation is simply not an option. If you put it off for too long, you risk losing your competitive edge, falling behind industry disruptors, and missing out on opportunities for growth and innovation. You’ll also find it much harder to attract top talent. Not to be too dramatic about it, but your choices are either to adapt or face the consequences of stagnation and irrelevance.
But you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Productboard has teamed up with Umbrage to combine our expertise in product management and digital transformation strategy to help you navigate the seven most common pitfalls organizations face on their digital transformation journey.
In this post, we’re looking at Trap #3: Inadequate Idea Management.
Trap #3: Inadequate Idea Management
One of the key pain points organizations encounter during digital transformation is the lack of structured ideation processes and tools to foster the rapid generation, evaluation, and management of ideas. This often leads to a slow and inefficient ideation funnel, hindering the ability to prioritize and address backlog items effectively. Without a systematic approach to managing and tracking ideas, valuable opportunities may be missed or delayed, impeding innovation and progress.
Here’s how Wells Riley, Head of Product at Envoy, describes the challenge his team was facing:
“We were getting this great customer feedback but didn’t know what to do with it. If it is related to some feature idea we’d say ‘Great let’s add it to the icebox.’ But in reality, we didn’t do anything with it unless it came from a really important customer. It was too difficult to track which feature ideas came from which users and who needed what. No task management tool could help us answer the question ‘What should we build next?’” Ever experience anything similar with collecting and managing feedback and ideas in your company?
To address this challenge, focus on educating your entire workforce about the organization’s full value chain, encouraging a culture of innovation and cross-functional collaboration. By promoting a holistic understanding of the business and its goals, all employees can contribute their diverse perspectives and ideas, fueling the innovation engine. Additionally, implementing a formal process for idea intake and establishing a feedback loop can create a structured framework for idea management, fostering creativity and ensuring alignment with your organization’s vision.
How to Get Started
Begin by conducting an inventory of current ideas and in-flight products, evaluating their alignment with your organization’s overall strategic vision. This inventory will help you identify valuable ideas that can be integrated into your new strategy and highlight any necessary adjustments to ensure alignment with your organization’s overarching goals. By systematically capturing and managing ideas in a centralized system, your org can create a thriving environment of innovation, where ideas are nurtured and transformed into tangible outcomes that drive digital transformation success.
For example, after rolling out Productboard at Envoy, Wells says cross-functional partners were much more likely to share their ideas and insights: “These days, the product team has a lot more respect. Our colleagues across the org feel more heard because they know when they contribute feedback, a real person is going to look at it.”
We’ve just scratched the surface here. If you want to avoid the other traps and set your organization up for success with your digital transformation, download our eBook for even more tips and tricks.