When it comes to exploring within the “fuzzy front end” (FFE) of innovation, idea management is very important, according to Michael Osofsky. Writing in his innovation blog:
“At the FFE, you never have enough information to tell which are good or bad ideas. Only by pursuing an idea can you answer questions about the idea. The investigation itself takes time and resources. So it makes sense to construct a portfolio of opportunities and start by investigating them all, just a little bit. Once you’ve done an initial phase of investigation, you whittle down the list and do another pass of deeper investigation. You keep repeating this process until you just can’t kill the last remaining idea. That’s the process of idea management.”
The trick, he explains, is whittling a long list of ideas – products that you could create – down to one remaining, high-potential idea.