Ideation Unleashed: From Concept to Selection

Congratulations on applying the suggestions from my previous article and successfully initiating your digital innovation journey by organizing your organization's people, processes, and technology to facilitate the submission and tracking of innovative ideas by employees! Now that you've got a bunch of ideas to review, how do you decide which ones are worth it and actually bring (measurable) value to the table for your organization? In this article, I'll give you some practical tips and tricks on the concept of Ideation, allowing you to go from a long list of ideas to a tangible shortlist of potential use cases suitable for application development. 

Turning an idea into an innovative digital solution needs a sharp selection process, zeroing in on end-user adoption and value creation. Let me stress how crucial this is. I've seen what happens when we don't get it right. It leads to wasted costs and resources, making your employees less enthusiastic and motivated about innovation. So, where do we start?

Activate the innovation committee

First off, engage a diverse team representing various departments or expertise areas to evaluate ideas. Also known as your innovation committee. This not only boosts cross-departmental collaboration but also ensures a comprehensive assessment from different perspectives.

Initial screening

Execute an initial screening of all ideas to eliminate duplicates, impractical concepts, or those that clearly do not align with your organization's goals or capabilities. The latter requires an understanding of the desired outcomes of your organization and how these are translated into several strategic initiatives. Think about increasing revenue and customer/employee satisfaction or decreasing business costs. Make a first selection by grouping ideas that have a measurable impact on your organization's desired outcomes.

Scoring system

Use a scoring system where each idea is rated against the established criteria:

  • Number of employee upvotes: This metric incorporates the perspectives and insights of employees and determines which ideas receive the most support from them.
  • Potential impact on the organization’s desired outcomes: Ensures that ideas are assessed based on their alignment with the organization's strategic goals and objectives. This focus on impact helps prioritize ideas that contribute most significantly to organizational success.
  • Feasibility: Assesses the practicality and achievability of each idea within the organization's resources and capabilities. Prioritizing feasible ideas with ideally the least amount of effort increases the likelihood of successful implementation and minimizes wasted effort on unrealistic proposals.
  • Resource requirements: Helps the organization understand the resource implications of implementing each idea, enabling better resource allocation and planning. Clear insight into resource needs facilitates decision-making and budgeting processes.
  • Scalability: Evaluates the potential for ideas to grow and adapt as the organization evolves, ensuring long-term viability and sustainability. Prioritizing scalable ideas allows the organization to pursue opportunities with lasting impact.
  • Complexity and time constraints: This section identifies the level of complexity associated with implementing each idea and assesses whether it can be accomplished within specified timeframes. This insight enables realistic project planning and management of time-sensitive initiatives.
  • Potential risks: Highlights potential drawbacks and challenges associated with each idea, allowing organizations to proactively mitigate risks. Assessing risks helps prevent costly failures and ensures that decision-makers have a comprehensive understanding of the implications of pursuing each idea.

This can be done through different scoring methods:

  • Numerical scores: Assign a numerical score to each idea for each criterion based on a predetermined scale (e.g., 1 to 10). The scores can be aggregated to provide an overall assessment of each idea.
  • Rankings: Rank each idea relative to others based on how well they meet each criterion. For example, rank ideas from most to least feasible, impactful, etc.
  • Yes/no assessment: Determine whether each idea meets each criterion with a simple yes or no. This approach provides a binary evaluation of each criterion.

Tech stack compatibility assessment

This is the point at which you determine if the high-potential ideas can be developed within the available technology systems of your organization. To give you an idea, we use a so-called platform fit validator at Betty Blocks. It’s a type of questionnaire that, based on the answers provided, gives you advice about whether your solution is a good fit with the platform's capabilities and, if yes, which building and non-building skills are required to launch the application successfully. It is important to investigate whether a solution already exists and can be reused, if it is a standard off-the-shelf solution for which it is better to purchase a license, or if the solution is too specific and would be better built in-house. In case in-house building is not available, there is always the option to outsource the project to a 3rd party. 

Select the three best ideas 

Based on the scoring system and technology compatibility, you now have a shortlist of feasible ideas that are suitable for application development. It is now time to get the right people in the room: the idea initiators and your stakeholders. Work with them on capturing the business value the shortlisted ideas intend to produce. This results in a tangible deliverable: a compact business case per idea that allows you to select the three best ideas, present those to management, and ultimately select the winning idea for application development. As part of your innovation strategy, consider all of the above steps as an iterative process in order to build up a roadmap of valuable use cases. 

Capturing the intended business value requires ideation techniques. When you are at the beginning of your Innovation journey, start with the two most common techniques:

Brainstorming workshop

  • Brainstorming workshops are structured sessions where a group of individuals comes together to generate creative ideas and solutions for a specific problem or challenge.
  • Participants typically follow a set of guidelines to encourage free thinking and idea generation. This often involves suspending judgment, encouraging quantity over quality, building on others' ideas, and aiming for a wide variety of suggestions. 
  • A facilitator usually leads the session, guiding participants through the brainstorming process and ensuring everyone has an opportunity to contribute. To stimulate creativity, the facilitator may use techniques such as mind mapping, word association, or visual aids.


  • Hackathons are intensive events where individuals or teams collaborate intensively on software or hardware projects, often within a limited timeframe, to create functioning prototypes for solutions. 
  • Participants typically gather for a day or two days to work on projects. They may start with brainstorming sessions to generate project ideas then form teams based on shared interests or skills. Throughout the event, participants work on designing and building their prototypes.
  • Hackathons can cover a wide range of topics, from software development (e.g., creating apps, websites, or software tools) to hardware projects (e.g., building robots, IoT devices, or electronic gadgets).
  • Hackathons often provide a collaborative and creative environment, with access to mentors, resources, and sometimes prizes for winning projects.

Whether you go for a brainstorming workshop or a hackathon, the following outputs are required at minimum.

Target group

  • Application users and roles
  • Pain points and opportunities per user group

Application components

  • Business requirements
  • Integrations
  • (happy) Workflow

Alignment with the organization’s desired outcomes/strategic initiatives

  • Measurable value
  • Success factors

With this information, you should provide a high over-cost estimation (ballpark) of the project, including future maintenance costs, and deliver that compact business case. Below are two examples of what we use at Betty Blocks: a Solution Value Board and a basic business requirements template.

Solution Value Board:


Business Requirements Template:



Document the rationale behind evaluating each idea. Communicate with the idea submitters which decisions have been made and why to keep them engaged. Ideally, this is done through the use of an Innovation Portal. Also, provide the organization with frequent updates around idea evaluations. 

Great, you’ve now selected the perfect idea to proceed with. How do you gather the detailed requirements and select the right project approach? Stay tuned for the next article!