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How to Best Communicate Your Open Innovation Challenge

How to Best Communicate Your Open Innovation Challenge
Maggie Franz

Maggie Franz

Photo by Startup Stock Photos

And create a smashing project brief

In order for your open innovation challenges to be successful, you need to be able to provide the right information, via the right channels, to the right people.  While this sounds like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be. That is, if you use the right tools that facilitate the right format. Idea Hunt offers a predefined, step by step project creation framework that aids open innovation challenge hosts in collecting and disseminating the right information, successfully.

What information needs to be communicated to your participants? There are a set of nine essential elements that should go into your brief to help ensure a smashing project.  These are: Title, description, phases, participant involvement, rewards, stimuli or media, and coaches. The following paragraphs outline each of these elements in greater detail.

Essential Elements for a Successful Open Innovation Project Brief

Title - The title of your project is often the first interaction your participants will have with this open innovation project, whether they read it in an email, hear about it in a meeting, or by visiting an open innovation tool/platform.  By creating an accurate and meaningful title, you can begin to explain the project from the very story. Often titles are either in the form either a question or a challenge statement.



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Project Description - After a participant reads the title of the project, they are going to and need more information.  The project description should describe the overall project, the reason for the project, the project scope and what the desired outcomes for the project are.  After reading the description, your participants should have all of the information that they should need to know in order to begin participating in the project.  


Project Phases - If the project is big enough that it needs to be broken down into phases, it’s important to break these down ahead of time for your participants to help frame/manage their expectations.  Phases are a great way to help keep the project on track and meet an overall deadline. Breaking your project into phases will also allow you to create shorter deadlines and tackle the project in bite sized bits rather than all at once.  Include those deadlines here to help your participants plan their involvement, as well as track the project’s progress.

Participant Involvement - Another important part of the project description that will set your project up for success, it to outline what you would like your participants to actually do during the project. You might have a very clear understanding of the type of project you are running, but it might be a participants first experience, or they may not be able to glean the different aspects of the project from a short description.  Describing why these various actions are important and what they mean to the overall project will help motivate participants to do them.

Rewards or Incentives - Not all open innovation projects will require a reward or an incentive to gain success, but offering one (or multiple) can dramatically increase the participation rates of your participants, and add a fun element of friendly competition.  A single reward or incentive can be offered for the project, multiple can be offered or, you can incentive any participant that takes a specified action. Participants can be rewarded for submitting ideas, giving great feedback, and more. Our customers have offered both tangible and intangible rewards and incentives, from actual things like iPads, to incentives like casual dress days or even days off.

Stimuli or Instructional Media - Adding great imagery, instructive visuals and other visual stimuli to your open innovation project brief will further enhance the experience for your participants and thus increase the project’s chances of success.  Good stimuli or media can help participants visualize the challenge and help to inspire better quality ideas, ideas that are more fully formed, etc.

Coaches or Project Leaders - Project administrators are often referred to as coaches for open innovation projects and challenges.  By identifying the coaches for your project, offering a photo and a method of contacting that coach, you enable the individual participants to ask questions and seek help when needed.  A good coach will participate in the projects, ask questions to prompt thoughts and feedback, and to help improve ideas. An active coach is an attainable or approachable one, and will encourage interaction from your participants, which can equate to a successful project.

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