Introduction to Funnel management
Funnel management is the process of managing funnels with customizable workflows of stages, gates, and actions. Funnel management is part of the Innovation Management process. The Innovation funnel is a visualization tool for outlining a high-level innovation process in search of good ideas. It is a highly adaptable and flexible system that allows innovation teams to effectively analyze and assess ideas for desirability, viability, feasibility, business impact, profits, costs, risks, and other relevant criteria.
With Innovation funnels, you can monitor the whole process from idea to delivery. Whether this is for innovations regarding new product development, cost savings, process optimizations, or improving customer experience. The goal of the Innovation funnel is to create valuable insights that lead to expert decision-making that, in the end, will increase impact & value to its stakeholders.
Generally, an innovation funnel has three parts:
· The wide mouth: The entry point for collecting many ideas via challenges, brainstorms or idea-sharing sessions (input)
· The narrowing section: consists of several stages & gates with actions + decisions
· The narrow part: outcome is a shortlist of high impact ideas/solutions (delivery)
Implementing funnel management in your business processes makes decision-making highly effective in every step of idea collaboration, idea selection, product development, and delivery. Because each funnel has a unique series of stages, gates, owners, actions, and notifications. So for every stage or gate, the ideas have to meet certain requirements before the stage owner decides to move it to the next stage (or reject the idea). In the end, it helps you to filter down a long list of initial ideas to a shortlist of proven high-impact solutions.
An innovation funnel
We from Accept Mission have optimized this traditional innovation funnel approach by making it optional to separate the idea management process (from idea to proposal acceptance) and the innovation sprint process (from development to delivery). The benefit of this approach is that the process can more precise, consists of more go/no-go decision moments which in the end leads to overall better results and less waste of resources.
1) Creating new funnels
With Accept Mission you can create funnels for both ideas and Innovation projects.
You can create specific Funnels for:
- Strategic goals / themes / departments / countries / brands
- Innovation type (invention / innovation / improvement / large / small)
- Innovation Campaigns / Project development
The process of creating a new funnel is very straightforward, but you can customize your workflow to your needs. In these lessons, we are going to you show step by step how to create a new funnel and tweak the settings to let the funnel work for you and your funnel managers.
In IDEAS you can select a funnel or create a new one
a) To create a new funnel:
- Go to settings and click on the tile “funnel management”.
- In the top left corner you decide to create an [ IDEAS ] or [ PROJECTS ] funnel
- At “select funnel” you see the current selected Funnel and details. From scratch on, every company has at least one Idea funnel and one Project funnel. And if you created more funnels you can switch here between those funnels.
- By clicking on [ add funnel ] you can create a new funnel
- Give your funnel a title and press [ save ]. Now you new funnel is also "selected"
- The Funnel owner is the one who is responsible for this funnel. When creating a new funnel, the creator (you) of a new funnel is automatically the funnel owner, until you change this. You can choose another owner, who automatically becomes the new owner.
How to create a new funnel
b) Customize your funnel
To customize your funnel, you can add, remove or drag around the stages. You can also edit each stage with [ Stage settings ]. This table shows you:
- The status for each stage (Active, Approved, On Hold, Denied), for new stages the default status is “active"
- The type (stage or gate). Ideas cards in a stage require certain information (action), idea cards in a gate, require a decision
- Stage Owner: You can assign owners to each stage. The Stage owner is an admin user that is responsible for the ideas in that stage and needs is responsible for actions (check, update) or decisions (accept, decline) regarding the ideas or projects in this stage. Per default, the Funnel owner is also the Stage owner until this is changed. The Stage owner can “view”, “edit” and “delete” the items in the funnel. When creating new funnels, the name of the funnel creator is assigned to all the stages.
- Items (ideas or projects) that are linked to that stage
- in [ stage settings ] you can set the above properties for each stage, and more:
- you can delete a funnel if it has no items attached
How to edit the stages
2) Admin Access: Set the level of Admin access
In Admin Access you can set the privacy for each funnel and access to items for admins. This means for instance, that in the ADMIN ACCESS, you can decide if a funnel is open to everyone or is private (only for those with permission).
How to set privacy and add admins to your funnel
You can go even one step further, where you can decide the Item Access for admin users. This means that you can decide who can view, edit or delete Items (ideas, projects) in that particular funnel based on his permission level. We will explain step by step how you can set the Funnel Access
a. Open vs Private
In the ADMIN ACCESS tab you can set the FUNNEL ACCESS to Open or Private.
Open: The IDEA funnel is accessible to all (super-) admin users in your organisation. All admin users can “view” the items in that Funnel. All new created funnels are default set to open until you decide to change it to private.
Private: The IDEA funnel is only visible to Funnel Owner, and those admin users with permission. If you want to give permission access to a few administrators, you need to [ add admins ] to the funnel.
b. Add Admins
With [ Add Admins ] you can add admin users to work in your Funnel. By adding admins to your funnel, you give them the ability
- to view, edit the funnel settings (change: Owner, stage settings, Funnel access, etc)
- to work on the items in this funnel based on Item Access (see next topic)
Note: Admins that are on this list can be selected as Stage owner in tab FUNNEL
c. Item Access
With Item Access you can set specific Item permissions for each individual. This means you can decide if an admin can view, edit or even delete items in the IDEAS funnel. If you add a new admin via [ add admins ] the following permission is checked “list” “view”. If you change the funnel owner, his item access level with be listed as “list”, “view”, “edit” and “delete”.
3) Managing ideas in each funnel
Now you’ve created your own funnel workflow, assigned some stage owners to make calls on ideas and set the funnel permission for your innovation team, we are going to show you how you can pro-active work your funnels. You can find funnel in the <IDEAS> section of the Admin interface.
This is an Idea funnel in Accept Mission. It shows you a Kanban view with stages, gates, and a number of idea cards. Furthermore, It presents information about your selected funnel [Climate Neutrality 2030], the number of items in this funnel, and has several buttons including [action], filters and different views to visualise your ideas.
a. Select a funnel
In the top left corner, you can see your active funnel [ Climate Neutrality 2030 ] and the number of IDEAS in this funnel. By clicking on the funnel dropdown icon, you can select another funnel, if there are any, or create a new funnel. This will redirect you to the funnel settings page (see previous lesson 1a for instructions) to customize your funnel.
How to select a funnel
b. Funnel Kanban view
The Kanban view present you all the stages, gates and idea cards in your funnel. From here you can do all sorts of idea management tasks, including add new idea cards, searching, filtering and upvoting idea cards (give a thumb up) and moving cards to next stage using drag & drop. With the [ action ] button, you can also move idea cards to other funnel or delete unwanted idea cards.
c. Link your Mission to a funnel
If you create a new mission than you have to select a funnel, otherwise you can't save your new mission. If you are editing an older mission, you can select a funnel in the dropdown section. The new ideas will automatically be saved in that selected funnel. You can always manually change the funnel in the Idea box settings or the idea card forms.
How to link your mission to a funnel
d. Update the Idea Card
If you need to work in an idea card, you need to click on the card. This opens the card viewer. With the given permission level (see 2 C) you can either “view”, “edit” or even “delete” cards. In the idea card you can see the selected funnel, which you can change manually if necessary.