The IDEAM method for idea management is a systematic approach for generating and improving ideas and turning them into developed concepts. This method was developed by Innomantra and involves the following five steps: Investigate, Define/Detail, Explore, Assess, and Manage.
Step 1: Investigate
The first step of the IDEAM method, called the investigate step, involves a deep study of existing knowledge structures and user insights. The goal of this step is to gather as much information as possible about the problem or challenge that the ideator is trying to solve.
To investigate existing knowledge structures, the ideator might conduct research on the topic, review relevant literature, or consult with experts in the field. This can help to provide a solid foundation of knowledge on which to build the idea.
At the same time, the ideator should also be looking closely at the problems that users are experiencing and the technical challenges that need to be overcome. This might involve gathering user feedback, observing users in their natural environments, or conducting user interviews. By understanding the needs and challenges of the users, the ideator can develop an idea that is more likely to be successful and valuable.
In the define step, the problem and idea are fleshed out in increasing detail. This step proceeds iteratively with the investigate and explore steps, as new information is gathered and incorporated into the idea. The define step of the IDEAM method is focused on fleshing out the problem and idea in increasing detail. This involves defining the problem more clearly, identifying the key stakeholders, and developing a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the idea.
To define the problem more clearly, the ideator might use techniques such as the Five Whys or the Five Ws to dig deeper into the root causes of the problem. This can help to ensure that the ideator has a deep understanding of the problem, which is essential for developing a solution that is both effective and relevant. At the same time, the ideator should also be identifying the key stakeholders who will be affected by the problem or solution. This might include users, customers, employees, or other groups who will be impacted by the idea. By understanding the needs and perspectives of these stakeholders, the ideator can develop an idea that is more likely to be successful and valuable.
The define step proceeds iteratively with the investigate and explore steps, as new information is gathered and incorporated into the idea. This means that the ideator should be constantly reviewing and updating their understanding of the problem and the potential solutions, as new information becomes available.
Step 3: Explore
The explore step of the IDEAM method is focused on incorporating new knowledge structures into the idea. This involves looking beyond the current state of knowledge and seeking out new perspectives and insights that can help to enrich and improve the idea.
One way to incorporate new knowledge structures is to explore emerging technologies. This might involve keeping up with the latest research and developments in the field, or looking for ways to apply new technologies to the problem or challenge at hand. By staying current with emerging technologies, the ideator can develop an idea that is more innovative and relevant.
Another way to incorporate new knowledge structures is to study non-customer groups. This might involve looking at other industries or sectors that are facing similar problems, or seeking out insights from people who are not typically considered part of the target audience for the idea. By gathering perspectives and insights from a diverse range of sources, the ideator can develop an idea that is more well-rounded and effective.
Overall, the explore step is designed to help the ideator think creatively and look beyond the current state of knowledge.
Step 4: Assess
The assessment step of the IDEAM method is focused on evaluating the idea based on its novelty, feasibility, and the product of these two factors (novelty*feasibility). The goal of this step is to determine which ideas have the most potential to be developed further, and which ideas should be set aside.
To assess the novelty of an idea, the ideator should consider how unique and innovative the idea is. Ideas that are highly novel have the potential to lead to significant breakthroughs and have a greater impact on the field. Therefore, ideas that are high in novelty are given priority in the assessment process. At the same time, the ideator should also consider the feasibility of the idea. This involves evaluating the idea based on factors such as cost, resources, and technical complexity. Ideas that are highly feasible are more likely to be successful and should be given priority in the assessment process. The product of novelty and feasibility (novelty*feasibility) is also an important factor to consider. Ideas that are both highly novel and highly feasible have the greatest potential to be successful, and should be given priority in the assessment process.
However, it's important to note that ideas that are quickly achievable are not necessarily ignored. Even ideas that are relatively low in novelty or feasibility can still have value, and should not be automatically discarded.
Step 5: Manage (Monitor, Make, Market)
The final step of the IDEAM method is the manage step, which involves implementing the idea in a way that is appropriate for the context. This might include monitoring the idea to ensure that it is meeting its goals, making changes to the idea as necessary, or marketing the idea to potential users.
To manage the idea effectively, the ideator might need to monitor its progress to ensure that it is meeting its goals. This might involve setting benchmarks and tracking progress towards those benchmarks, or conducting regular reviews of the idea to ensure that it is on track. By monitoring the idea, the ideator can make adjustments as needed to ensure that it stays on track and achieves its desired outcomes. In some cases, the ideator might also need to make changes to the idea as it is being implemented. This might involve adapting the idea to changing circumstances or refining it based on feedback from users or other stakeholders. By being open to making changes to the idea, the ideator can ensure that it remains relevant and effective. Finally, the ideator might need to market the idea to potential users or customers. This might involve creating promotional materials, building a website, or engaging in other types of outreach. By marketing the idea effectively, the ideator can increase its visibility and reach, and increase the chances of success.
Overall, the manage step of the IDEAM method is designed to help the ideator turn the idea into a reality that can be used or experienced by others.
The IDEAM method by Innomantra is designed to help ideators generate and improve their ideas in a structured and systematic way, with the goal of turning raw ideas into developed concepts that are both novel and feasible. IDEAM is a part of the Functional Innovation Methodology which uses 11 heuristic tools to guide the idea development process in organizations.