The term “ideation” describes the process of generating new ideas. However, what exactly does it mean?
This article will explain the many forms of ideation and techniques for doing it so that you can develop innovative solutions for your clients.
If you’re an experienced product designer or new to the field, use these ideas to get started.
What is Product Ideation?
In the SaaS industry, product ideation is a critical step in the product development stage/cycle, as it helps to ensure that new products are aligned with customer needs and market trends.
Product ideation aims to generate many potential solutions to a given problem, which can then be evaluated and refined through further research and product development strategy. Ideation typically begins with a broad sweep of possible solutions, which are then narrowed down through filters.
For example, an idea might be rejected if it is not technically feasible or if it does not align with the company’s business model. The result is a small set of well-defined ideas ready to be further developed into full-fledged product features or services.
What Is The Product Ideation Process?
Product ideation model has a formal brainstorming process that falls under the greater umbrella of ideation management. But there is a difference in ideation vs brainstorming. Ideation is when managing ideas become a more organised system within your product vision.
Rather than focusing on just one aspect of the business, a product manager in this role directs all aspects. A product manager may use their product ideation team’s skills to create a better and more comprehensive product by inviting everybody from developers to customer service or support.
The creation of ideas also generates tangible next actions for getting concepts approved (or turned down) by senior management. This means that excellent ideas aren’t forgotten in the matrix and instead become a part of the product’s development process.
The process can be divided into four main stages:
- Brainstorming: The first ideation stage should have no limits, where all ideas are accepted and examined. The goal is to produce as many creative solutions as possible.
- Idea selection: In this stage, the group considers all the ideas generated in the previous phase and picks out which should be pursued further. This is most often done through a voting or ranking system.
- Idea refinement: Once a few ideas have been selected, they are refined and developed further. This stage usually involves creating a more detailed list of plan for the product, including how it would work and what features it would have.
- Implementation: In the final stage of product ideation framework stage, the product is built and made available to customers. This stage can be divided into two parts: development (designing, building and testing the product) and launch (making the product available to customers and promoting it).
Why Is Product Ideation Important?
Product ideation is important because it allows you to generate new ideas for products or services. This can be helpful in several ways, including:
- Developing new products or services: By brainstorming new fresh ideas, you can come up with innovative solutions to problems that your customers may be facing. This can help you create unique and valuable offerings that appeal to many customers.
- Improving existing products or services: If you already have a product or service on the market, product ideation can help you improve. By coming up with new ideas, you can find ways to make your offering more effective and efficient. This can ultimately lead to increased sales and profits.
- Entering new markets: If you want to expand your business into new markets, product ideation can help you develop ideas for products or services that will be successful in those markets allowing you to tap into new customer bases and generate additional revenue.
Product Ideation Techniques
Here are the top 12 product ideation techniques product managers can use in their interpersonal skills to help their staff members collaborate and be creative in the most effective ways possible.
This method allows people or groups to come together and devise ideas or solve issues. It’s commonly used in the early phases of product creation to generate innovative concepts.
- Mind mapping
This technique uses visual diagrams to help organise information and ideas, which can generate new ideas or brainstorm solid solutions to problems.
Role-playing is a method of experimenting with different possibilities or possible outcomes. It may be used to create new ideas or test previously established ones.
- Brainstorming with Constraints
Rather than traditional brainstorming, this process provides participants with parameters or guidelines to help focus their ideas and creativity.
- Idea Generation
Idea generation in new product development aims to generate many ideas in a short period, with quantity being more important than quality. The generated ideas can be used as starting points for further development.
- Six Thinking Hats
This technique encourages people to think about an issue from different perspectives by adopting different “hats”. Each hat represents another type of thinking, such as creative or critical. This technique can help to generate new ideas or solutions from different angles.
This acronym stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. It is a technique that can generate new ideas by looking at existing products or services and thinking about how they could be improved.
The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TIP) is a systematic way to think up new ideas. TRIZ includes various analytical tools and is used in multiple industries, including product development.
- Morphological Analysis
This technique involves breaking down a problem or challenge into parts to understand it better and identify potential solutions.
- Design thinking
Design thinking is a human-centred approach to problem-solving that can be used to generate new ideas or solutions. It typically involves five stages: empathising with the user, defining the problem, possible ideating solutions, prototyping, and testing.
- Value Engineering
This is a technique that involves looking at the function of a product or service and finding ways to improve it. This can include redesigning the product or service or finding new ways to use existing components.
- Keyword Method
This technique involves generating ideas by brainstorming around keywords or phrases. It can be used to create new potential product ideas or to improve existing ones.
Rules for converting ideation to implementation
Although it’s the company’s responsibility to establish the right foundation, each individual can also take measures to ensure their ideas see fruition rather than be wasted away.
To increase your chances of having your ideas executed, seven key list of factors must be present:
Give every idea a chance.
Developing innovative ideas can be daunting, especially when they seem to differ from everything is done before. It is often worth testing out even apparently crazy ideas on a small scale; who knows – maybe they won’t seem so crazy after all?
To develop the right ideas, ask your target groups directly about their pain points.
To achieve success, try to see things from other people’s perspectives. Developing new ideas should also revolve around those who the change will impact.
For example, think about what the customer needs to use our product more effectively.
Or consider how everyday working life would alter if we changed company processes in the future? How would efficiency or speed optimise results for the business? Asking relevant questions like these can help get a better understanding of those affected.
Before implementing your idea, test it out in a “safe space.”
It is often more prudent to begin a small project or team level first. This allows you to maintain focus and work pragmatically towards success. In a safe space, decisions don’t need to be run through multiple hierarchical levels, saving time. Also, testing can be started immediately rather than waiting for approval. What works well on a small scale is more likely to work on a large scale.
The best-laid plans often go awry–it is important to consider the unexpected.
Digital transformation requires companies to be agile, quick, and adaptable. Year-long plans and development based on requirement specifications are no longer helpful because customers’ requirements change frequently and significantly more than before. Ideas must be tested in practice as soon as possible and continuously updated. This is the only way to determine whether an idea makes sense early on.
Build relationships both inside and outside of your organisation.
Networking and collaboration are becoming increasingly crucial success factors, especially when it comes to digital transformation. Those who know their limits and have someone they can turn to for assistance may accomplish things faster and more effectively by reaching out to the appropriate people.
Your idea will only catch on if you’re passionate about it.
It’s usually a good idea to persevere and seek feedback if your ideas make sense to you. At the same time, not every concept is immediately understandable to everyone. Ensuring that they work with individuals capable of giving them the attention they need is critical.
Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.
The person who came up with the idea is never told how decision-makers received it, if it was discussed and why it didn’t end up being put into practice. To ensure your voice is heard, you need to know what the people in charge value.
Product ideation is the process of generating, developing, and testing new product ideas.
It’s an important step in bringing a new product to market and can be done using various techniques.
Following some simple rules, you can maximise your chances of success when converting your ideation to implementation.
Let us help you get started – contact us today for more information on our Ideation services.
Passionate engineer who loves talking about Machine learning and ways to improve Software development practices. CEO and Director of Software Engineering of Wolfmatrix.