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Stewart McKie

4 August 2005

Idea Qualification

Innomation believes that the performance of Idea Lifecycle Management (ILM) is

improved by a formal process of idea qualification. The idea management process
is used to refine idea content and convert the idea into a business opportunity, but
then criteria must be applied to qualify the idea and justify further investment to
realize the value of the idea in the marketplace.

Once an idea has been converted into a potential business opportunity through
the formal process of idea management, it’s important to qualify the idea for fur-
ther investment by asking a series of questions:

• Is the idea viable?

• Is the idea valuable?
• Is the idea verifiable?
• Is the idea validatable?

Idea viability is about launch timing, resource availability, market readiness,

customer demand, competitor position relative to the idea. forward regulatory
expectations. A whole set of viability ranking criteria can be applied to the idea
that may vary by industry sector. Idea viability answers the question: Can it be
done right now or should it be held in reserve for later?

Idea value is about its ability to retain existing or attract new customers, to dis-
rupt markets or undermine competitors, to enhance brand positioning, to create
proto-IP or to leverage current events and trends for publicity/marketing pur-
poses. It’s not just about the potential monetary revenue/profit picture for the
idea. Idea value answers the question: Is it worth doing?

Idea verifiability is about how suitable the idea is for testing prior to
development/launch. Is it possible to create a low-cost prototype? Can the idea be
introduced using a focus group? Is it ready for an expert to give it a serious re-
view? Are there early adopter customers ready to take on the product/service and
help refine it? An idea that can’t be externally verified in some way is likely to be
a riskier investment. Idea verifiability answers the question: Can we test this
idea externally before making a major investment?

Idea validation is about whether a context already exists in which to realize the
idea. For example is there existing IP that touches on the idea or supports it?
Are there standards or best practices that can be applied to the idea? Does the
idea comply with an existing/projected regulatory control? Is there an existing
channel in place to sell/support the idea? Idea validation answers the question:
Is there a solid conceptual platform context on which to launch this idea?

Copyright Stewart McKie, 2005. For permission to re-use/quote contact