Idea Hub for Jira: How to approach innovation & idea management

Michał Miernik Today the Seibert Media blog welcomes our guest writer Michał Miernik who will tell you all about Idea Hub for Jira. Michał is Head of Marketing and certified AgilePM at Promity, designs and executes marketing strategies for several other company main brands and products such as Promity, CoreSoft Labs, Idea Hub, CX Metrics, and Promity Academy.

Throughout his 16 year career, he has been involved in dozens of digital and traditional marketing projects for various industries – from music to fintech and hospitality to IT.

Innovate or fade to black!

It's been a year since the world first heard about Covid-19. At the time, we were thought perhaps that the virus could be stopped at the point of origin or only spread within a smaller area. When the first global lockdown went into effect, only a few governments worldwide predicted that the virus would be sticking around. Our hope was that by the summer of 2020, things would start going back to normal. 

Fast forward one year, many countries are still in hard lockdown, and the rest of the world is living with various restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK lockdown will last at least until March 8th. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced in early January that Germany's lockdown would last until Easter or even longer if necessary. 

2021 won’t provide the relief we had hoped for

While lockdown is meant to keep us safe and healthy, it won't save the world economy. Initially, it was believed that the crisis would, worst-case scenario, replicate the crisis of 2008. However,  there are indications that it could be more like the one from a hundred years ago. But what is more likely? What is certain is that in today's highly interconnected world, the crisis affects everyone.

Currently, we have no global data as to how much the crisis will affect those industries that are targets for Atlassian, its partners, and vendors. Even without detailed market knowledge, we can predict that financial institutions will suffer because the loan market (especially mortgage loans) may significantly shrink due to the loss of financial liquidity of loan takers. We can also guess that the media & communications industry may lose advertising contracts and PR campaign budget-cuts. This will lead to cost-cutting, lost jobs, and more. However, we do not know how it will ultimately affect the software industry. It depends on many factors, e.g., the type of software and for whom it is developed. The industry itself seems to be crisis-proof. Apps for ordering food from restaurants like Uber Eats are experiencing the biggest increases in history, while apps for booking rooms in hotels or flight tickets suffer.

Are we supposed to sit by and just watch the world burn? There are probably some out there who may enjoy watching economic turmoil. However, a responsible entrepreneur doesn’t remain passive. What we can do is "arm" our businesses for a possible recession.  A recession could include things like reduced revenues and purchasing power, interrupted supply chains, lockdowns of individual industries, customer bankruptcies, to name a few.

Drive innovation

One way of dealing with a crisis is to keep pushing forward. A wise entrepreneur gets ready for a crisis even before it touches his business. Unfortunately, many companies are still sleeping through this moment, and problems are starting to grow exponentially - at great cost to the normal worker. Innovation is the foundation of economic growth and in times of recession, being innovative allows us to dig our way out of it. As the definition says:

Innovation (Latin: innovatio, meaning: renewal) is a sequence of activities leading to new or improved products, technological processes, or organizational systems.

In a nutshell, an innovative company knows how to adapt itself in an ever-changing world. It can produce, absorb and sell new products or services. As it’s commonly known, start-ups react very quickly to any changes, adopt the agile mindset, use lean startup methodologies or design thinking. Do corporations think innovatively? Large companies spend much more on research and innovation teams than SMEs, but their own inertia can be their downfall. A great example is provided by Gary Pisano, professor of business administration at Harvard: Blockbuster - which was a tycoon in the video rental market - was completely replaced by online streaming. Meanwhile, Netflix, which hails from the same industry, previously sent videos by traditional mail in a red envelope. However, Netflix switched to VOD and became a key player in this market as it proposed a completely new business model. Blockbuster could not adapt to the new reality due to the lack of innovative thinking and faded out of existence.

Everyone counts

How many people work in your organization? Well, there you have exactly the same number of ideas for improving the company. According to CultureAmp, employee engagement is strongly correlated with innovation behavior in companies of all sizes. The portal, by analyzing which aspect of engagement is most related to innovation, showed its motivation. We can see that employees' willingness to do more, i.e., performing beyond role expectations, is very strongly related to innovation. The same portal cites the work of the International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, C. Brooke Dobni, which showed "a clear link between innovation and strategy" and that managers can influence their innovation culture. To do this, Dobni concluded that " there has to be an emphasis on the employee.”

What does this mean for you and your organization? In short, the more team engagement, the more innovation. Each employee can become a source of innovation. If management lets employees express ideas, a culture of innovation is built. As a result, team morale is increased, especially in times of crisis.

Idea management, tamed, with Idea Hub for Jira

To build a culture of innovation in the team, you must aim to aggregate all the ideas and evaluate them effectively. If you perform brainstorming sessions in a conference room, you probably write them on a whiteboard, flipchart, or similar. But hey, we have a pandemic, and we all work remotely! While Jira and Confluence are great for improving the productivity of remote teams, platforms where you can submit your ideas and evaluate them, are still in demand. These platforms exist, but only outside the Atlassian ecosystem.

We are an IT company, and we operate using the agile methodology. Apart from the plugin development for Atlassian products, we do many projects that require continuous innovation from our end. We needed a simple tool that would be a sort of backlog for ideas that we can evaluate within the team and select those that will go to the implementation phase. We didn’t want to go beyond the Atlassian ecosystem, which we ourselves use, so we created a user-friendly tool for Jira to manage ideas the way we need it to. It turned out so easy to use that it is also successfully used by people in the office who don’t have any contact with Jira or Confluence regularly. That’s how our app Idea Hub was brought to life.

Should idea management be implemented in every company? Yes! Clever idea management leads to their implementation and transformation into a ready-to-go product or service. This is the essence of innovation, development, and a way to survive the crisis.

How do you approach innovation in your organizations? We'd love to hear from you! How do you manage your ideas, and how do you get engaged in co-creating innovations?

Curious about idea management? Try Idea Hub for free and take control of your ideas and innovation.

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