Open source Idea Management Software: The best thing you can do for innovation
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
In today’s fast-paced world, where innovation is key to success, managing ideas can be a daunting task. They very easily get lost in the shuffle, miscommunicated, or even great ideas may be deferred for shifting priorities – never to see the light of day. Well, until your competitor releases it first.
Thankfully, technology has evolved to offer a solution in the form of open source idea management software. This software is designed to help individuals and organizations manage their ideas efficiently and, in many cases, can be customized to fit specific needs.
Ideas are an essential element to a company’s ability to manage their innovation. Unfortunately, many of the tools out there do not support innovation and idea management in the same place that you are doing the work. Or they require you to create a way to track this in the system; often in a way that isn’t naturally intuitive or easy to do. The “best” tools leaving us in the land of needing SaaS for our SaaS.
Fortunately, though, there are tools that allow you to do both — manage your work & your ideas cohesively. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of using innovation management and the use of open source idea management software.
Table of contents
- Effective Time Management = Effective Idea Management
- Getting to Open source Innovation Management Software
- Good team centered innovation management…
Effective Time Management = Effective Idea Management
One of the biggest challenges people face is managing their time effectively and this error in time management will trickle in to our ability to manage team and company innovations. Add in competing priorities, tasks, and goals… your ideas will naturally end up on the back burner.
This may even mean that the work suffers from “doing the same old thing.” A repeating cycle of bad habits and decisions that actually does allow your competition to get ahead. Organizations need innovation to be able to stay on top of the market and to remain competitive in their space. So… all these things are competing for your time. What do you do?
Manage your time to manage your ideas
The first thing you need to do is to find a way to manage your time more effectively. Whether you tend to procrastinate, struggle to get started, or are just overloaded in work — there will be changes you can make to improve the situation.
If you’re overloaded, begin to prioritize better. What is “do now” and what is “can wait for later?” If it doesn’t need your attention right away, then remember: “No.” is a complete sentence. Not ready for no? “Not now.” is equally acceptable.
If you procrastinate, we’re currently working on some solutions to solve for this here at Leantime. Using principles of change management, neuroscience and psychology to build out features to help us get motivated when we need to be motivated. If you’re interested in partnering with us on testing, be sure to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plan your time in order to manage your innovation
So if you’ve nailed time management then you’re ready for innovation management! No, not quite. Next is to plan and strategize your time in order to get the most and effective benefits out of doing so. This part is particularly important because the last thing you want to do is to sit in front of your work and then wonder, “What was I going to do again?”
Wait… what was I going to say?
The elements of planning and the work of saying “No.” will often overlap and coincide.
Idea management is part of project management
Ok, ok. Before you see the words “project management” and tune me out on this; hear me out for a second. Project management is done in 5 primary phases. These phases are:
- Project Conception
- Project Planning
- Project Execution
- Project Monitoring & Control
- Project Closure
Project conception will always start with an idea. Whether that idea turns into a goal or something else, it is always birthed by an idea and that second phase lends into the planning to get that idea off the ground or even the planning prep to get to stage three. Managing your ideas is how you get to the next great thing you’re working on.
Hang on. Do I need project management or idea management?
Well, it depends.
Largely on what tool you intend to use.
At this point, you’ll find that many of the tools in the work management space (whether project management or innovation management) are segregating your ability to track your ideas with your work, don’t include them at all, or are not conducive to moving from start to finish on your ideas (or your projects). The reality here is that the project management lifecycle has a very different beginning than most tools offer.
If you’re looking at innovation management tools, you’ll find the first two phases of project management in many cases. If you’re looking at project management systems, you’ll find they support Project Execution and the final two phases only.
Getting to Open source Innovation Management Software
You and your team have great ideas and should get to work on them – and you’ve worked hard getting on improving your time management. Yet getting to work on the next great idea isn’t as easy as saying, “Time to work.” Instead, ideas need the right time, right resources (people & money) and need to be planned and strategized. So now that you know that you’re limited by focusing on innovation management software only AND you’re limited by using project management software only…
Go for open source idea management software
Two open source project & idea management systems that are worth looking at include Leantime and OpenIdeal.
Leantime is an open source project management tool that was built by project & product managers who were looking for that full project life-cycle AND in a way that was ADHD and non-project manager friendly. In order to do this, we’ve reconnected that idea, planning, and strategy piece to the execution and remaining two phases of project management. Plus, being an open source software, you can install Leantime on your own self-hosted servers or you can use our cloud hosted version.
OpenIdeal is an open source idea management software that you can schedule a demo for. While they don’t currently have any images on their website of their feature sets, they do showcase a list of the ways you can manage your ideas. They offer a blend of both components and page type views. It does not appear as if you can do both the work management side alongside the idea management here.
The benefits, though, of open source software is that, whether you use Leantime or a system like OpenIdeal, you have more flexibility of customizing the platform to your organization’s specific needs. Be sure to reach out to the project teams to see what their customization and support work is like.
Good team centered innovation management…
requires being in the right mindset, with the right resources, and is supported by the right tools. Benefits of using software to manage your ideas means that you’re 1. less likely to lose them in a sea of sticky notes and 2. gives you better visualization to prioritization.
Open source software in this space will also promote collaboration within the teams as your members can share their ideas with each other, prioritize, work together and refine them. In a tool like Leantime, you can even tie them to milestones and keep everyone on the same page as to what the purpose of the work and what they are working towards.
In addition to time management and prioritization, open source idea management software also offers other benefits. For example, it can help users track their progress and monitor the status of their ideas. This can be useful in identifying areas where improvements can be made and ensuring that goals are being met. Seeing your idea make impact can also be validating to team members and promote more creative brainstorming.
Overall, open source idea management software can be a powerful tool that can help individuals and organizations manage their ideas more efficiently. They can offer a range of features, including time management, prioritization, collaboration, and progress tracking. All of which can help users achieve their goals while building smarter.