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A Model of Idea Evaluation and Selection for Product Innovation



Product innovation is one of key strategic guidelines for sustainable business and competitive advantage. The process of innovation takes significant resources, and it is extremely important during the front-end of innovation to choose a concept with high innovation potential. There is a consensus among researchers that the evaluation and selection of ideas is critical to innovation success. Current research indicates that companies carry out the selection of ideas ad hoc or intuitively, and that only a small number has defined methods and/or the methodology. In this paper, we propose a rational and effective model of evaluation and prioritization of ideas, on the basis of which it is possible to make a choice of ideas. The model emphasizes a set of criteria for evaluating the efficacy of innovation, and defines the attributes for determining the value of each of the criteria. The proposed model represents a level in the methodology and can be applied separately or as part of the methodology. The development model is based on extensive research of the literature, empirical research and practical work. The application of the model was presented by the analysis of one practical case.
Stevanovic, Milan (1); Marjanovic, Dorian (2); Storga, Mario (2)
1:, Croatia; 2: University of Zagreb, Croatia
Product innovation is one of key strategic guidelines for sustainable business and competitive
advantage. The process of innovation takes significant resources, and it is extremely important during
the front-end of innovation to choose a concept with high innovation potential. There is a consensus
among researchers that the evaluation and selection of ideas is critical to innovation success. Current
research indicates that companies carry out the selection of ideas ad hoc or intuitively, and that only a
small number has defined methods and/or the methodology.
In this paper, we propose a rational and effective model of evaluation and prioritization of ideas, on
the basis of which it is possible to make a choice of ideas. The model emphasizes a set of criteria for
evaluating the efficacy of innovation, and defines the attributes for determining the value of each of
the criteria. The proposed model represents a level in the methodology and can be applied separately
or as part of the methodology. The development model is based on extensive research of the literature,
empirical research and practical work. The application of the model was presented by the analysis of
one practical case.
Keywords: Innovation, New product development, Early design phases, Idea management, Idea
evaluation and selection
Dr.-Ing. Milan Stevanovic
Research and Innovation
Please cite this paper as:
Surnames, Initials: Title of paper. In: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design
(ICED15), Vol. nn: Title of Volume, Milan, Italy, 27.-30.07.2015
The competitiveness of a business depends significantly on its willingness and ability to continuously
innovate products and services. Therefore, for a significant number of companies a continuous process
of innovation has become a strategic priority. A survey conducted among 1356 respondents in various
companies (AMA, 2006) has shown that two thirds of respondents believe innovation is "extremely
important" or "highly important" for their company at that time. This data becomes more significant
when we look at respondents estimates about the importance of innovation for the future of their
company. About half of the respondents believe that innovation will be "extremely important" in the
next 10 years, and 35% said it would be "highly important“. Recent studies (Iversen, Kristensen, et al,
2009) indicate that 70% of CEOs consider innovation as one of the top three priorities for company
Product innovation is a risky and uncertain process. For product innovation a large number of factors
are important but the researchers agree that a system for innovation management is still the key,
particularly in the earliest stage when it is necessary to identify business opportunities and find the
best ways or ideas for their realization. The process of innovation management requires cooperation
between different people and departments within the company, associated with the processes of
research and development, marketing, sales, production, etc. (Dornberger, Suvelza, 2012). Innovation
management is a multidimensional and nonlinear process, and it requires data access and specific or
expert knowledge from different, often heterogeneous fields (Bullinger, 2008). The process of product
innovation is mostly divided into the process of preparation of product development (PPD), process of
new product development (NPD) and the process of product commercialization (PC) (Koen, 2001).
The preparation of product development (PPD) (Stevanovic, et al., 2013) (in the literature it is usually
known (Smith&Rainertsen, 1991) as Fuzzy-Front End (FFE) or (Koen, 2001) Front-End of Innovation
(FEI), precedes the formal NPD (Khurana&Rosenthal, 1998). Identification and evaluation of business
opportunities, creation, evaluation and selection of ideas, and the development and testing of new
product concepts are the most important activities during the preparation of product development
(Koen et al. 2001; Cooper, 2008; Stevanovic et al., 2014). Because of the crucial importance of new,
creative ideas for the success of product innovation, the management of ideas is imposed as extremely
important, and, according to some authors, a key process during the preparation of product
development (Bullinger, 2008; Stevanovic, 2012; Alexe, et al., 2014). Therefore, the process of idea
management is an object of interest for a significant number of researchers (Summa, 2004; Iversen, et
al., 2009; Glassman, 2009; Stevanovic, 2012; Malik, 2014). Numerous models, methods and
techniques that encourage creativity and creation of ideas, (Glassman, 2009; Bassiti and Ajhoun,
2013) have been developed. After the ideas have been collected, the question of quality and relevance
of collected ideas or methods of storage, labelling, testing and improving the collected ideas is raised
(Glassman, 2009; Stevanovic, 2012). The number of collected ideas, especially in cases of collection
of ideas through open systems for idea gathering (open innovation), can be extremely large. Therefore,
assessment, evaluation and selection of ideas are today most often carried out on the basis of expert
multidisciplinary knowledge of participants in the process of innovation (Soukhoroukova et al., 2010).
Such estimates are usually based on a limited number of criteria or an insufficient number of attributes
that describe specific criteria.
In this research, we tried to partially point out the ways of carrying out some activities in the process
of idea management. Our goal was to develop a data model that will, on the basis of attributes, provide
a description of ideas with a goal of their labelling, storage, sorting, improvements, and qualitative and
quantitative evaluation of the process which is not necessarily tied to a specific product innovation.
The second goal was to develop criteria and propose methods and methodology, and to check the
applicability of the proposed methodology in the process of product innovation (Stevanovic, 2012). In
this paper the part of the study, which includes a method of assessment and evaluation the efficacy of
the idea, in meeting the expected value during product innovation, is given. Verification of the
proposed method is demonstrated by applying it to a selected set of ideas by using different methods
of multi-attribute evaluation.
Idea management is often an integral part of the process of product innovation. Idea management is a
relatively old process, which can be found in practical use for a long time Toyota has a history of over
30 years of innovation management oriented towards the capture of ideas (Westerski, Iglesias, 2011).
The process of idea management is the subject of a large number of researchers. According to Summa,
(2004), idea management includes the following phases: generation or ideation, gathering, evaluation,
development, implementation, and follow-up and rewarding. The author states that idea evaluation is a
critical step in managing innovation. Another way of defining phases in the process of idea
management is found in the work of Iversen et al., (2009), in which the authors point out the following
processes: inspiring and involvement, generation and capturing, development and enrichment,
evaluation and selection, implementation, post-implementation learning and feedback. In the paper
Westerski, Iglesias, (2011) distribute a lifetime of ideas in five sections: generation, improvement,
selection, implementation and deployment. According to Malik (2014), the process of idea
management includes the following phases: genesis and gathering, evaluation and selection, feedback
and recognition, implementation and idea bank. In their dissertation Glassman (2009) defines idea
management as the process of capturing, storing and organizing ideas and also, idea management can
be used to perform preliminary evaluation and screening of ideas as well as diffuse ideas across the
As can be seen from the analysed processes of idea management, all authors include and highlight the
particular importance of the process of assessment, evaluation and selection of ideas as an integral part
of the process. The reason for this is the need to reduce risk and ambiguity in product development. It's
one of the reasons for the growing number of papers in the field of assessment, evaluation and
selection of ideas. Montoya-Weis & O'Driscoll, (2000) as the criteria for idea evaluation cite:
marketing, business, and human factor criteria. On the other hand, in the paper (Feyzioglu and
Buyukozkan, 2005), the authors evaluate the ideas primarily through the "benefit" and "risk“, and
propose a model consisting of eight criteria based on artificial intelligence and fuzzy logic. Aagaard,
2008, describes an example of idea evaluation for product development and emphasizes "the metrics
are critical in idea evaluation and idea improvement ...”. In the study (Alves et al., 2005), the authors
state that the process of reducing the number of ideas is based on the search for convergence
techniques based on analytical and logical processes. In the study, "How do you measure the success
potential and the degree of innovation of technical ideas and products" (Binz et al., 2007) , the authors
claim that for technical products it is not enough just to be new, but it is also important to be
successful in the market. Application of different methods for multi-attribute evaluation and group
decision making can be found in Chang et al., (2008), in which the authors present a model of idea
evaluation process in product development and clarify the application of the method. For the
implementation of the assessment they use the following criteria: compatibility with the business
strategy, synergy with other products, technological feasibility, market attractiveness and competitive
advantage. Following the experience of other authors (Badizadeh, Khanmohammadi, 2011) emphasize
the selection of ideas for product development based on a hierarchical structure based on eight criteria,
four areas of benefits (profitability, efficiency, strategic effect and trade effect) and four areas of risk
(financial, technical, managerial and personnel), and the selection is carried out using the AHP method
(Saaty, 1980). Unlike other works, in (Ferioli et al., 2008), the authors assessed by determining the
value of an idea through indexes for three aspects: the technological, economic and social aspect, and
a whole range of attributes (criteria) whose valuation is used to calculate the index value for a
particular aspect or value of an idea. In a detailed study about the criteria for selection of ideas for
product development, Ozer, (2005), systematizes criteria that can be evaluated. In the above context,
the author emphasizes the possible application of a large number of analyses: technical, marketing,
financial, organizational, strategy, relationship, industrial, competitive, similar case, consumer and
expert analysis. Regardless of the increasing number of works in the domain of assessment and
evaluation of ideas, according to Yannou et al, (2013) "currently no clear method exists to select ideas
or concepts with a strong potential for success in the market in the context of a start-up of an existing
At the same time, together with papers which emphasize attributes and criteria for assessing the value
of an idea, there are a significant number of papers that highlight the depth of idea assessment, i.e. the
level at which ideas are assessed. Thus, in the work of Achehoug, (2013), the authors state that in
their case the assessment of the quality of generated ideas is done by the executive director of the
company. Before the assessment, all ideas are grouped in order to simplify the comparison, and equal
ideas are eliminated. After the elimination, the remaining 210 ideas are evaluated by the executive
director. As a significant number of empirical studies show, the existing processes of selection of ideas
tend to be ad hoc processes and somewhat intuitive (Herstat et al., 2004; Bullinger, 2008). This result
in an unsatisfactory situation caused by the hardship of comparison of ideas and the abundance of
ideas, and inadequate risk assessment and delayed stopping or starting of projects based on poorly
chosen ideas (Montoya-Weiss & O’Driscoll, 2000). By establishing two independent assessment
processes, a framework for assessing ideas containing a consistent methodology is created (Bullinger,
2008). Some authors (Stevanovic, 2012) recommend a separation of the process on a multiple levels
with continuous supplementation of information on ideas from a defined set, and the implementation
of assessment and evaluation by a large number of participants of different levels of knowledge and
Despite a significant number of papers and a significant number of studies, there are still a lot of
unknowns between the processes of idea generation for product development and product innovation.
There is no unique methodology for description, assessment, evaluation and selection of ideas. The
above criteria are adjusted individually, on a case-by-case basis. According to the aforementioned
report (AMI/HRI, 2006), which was based on a series of interviews with the companies that are
considered the best in the group in the management of innovation, almost half of respondents (48%)
said that they "do not have a standard policy for evaluating ideas,". In this study, 17% of respondents
said that they use an "independent review and evaluation process", while 15% said "ideas were
evaluated by the unit manager where the idea was proposed“. These responses point to a clear lack of
strategy in selection, or even in evaluation of ideas. The research presented is attempting to contribute
to overcome these gaps.
In addition to findings presented in literature, the initial data for this survey was collected through own
empirical research. The primary objective of this empirical study was to show how and when
companies collect ideas, what are the motives for such endeavour, what are the companies’ needs for
ideas, the companies’ capacity for gathering ideas, and which mechanisms are used for verification
and selection of the ideas. In addition, the intent of the study was to determine whether the needs of
the companies could be classified and generalized. The third groups of objectives sought to find what
essential features of ideas are important for the companies for describing and assessing the value of
ideas, and how the firm made a selection of ideas for new product development. The complete
questionnaire contains a total of 106 variables grouped into 35 questions, in which they responded.
The results can be found in Stevanovic (2012).
As indicated above, one of the essential problems for the assessment and evaluation of ideas is a way
of determining the transformation of the cognitive process of content analysis of collected ideas into a
formal process for which an unambiguous methodology could be defined. An aggravating
circumstance is an expressed multidimensionality of the process (application of ideas in many areas,
the impact of ideas on many levels), its non-linearity (ideas build upon each other, connect and
separate, etc.) and a large number of factors that affect the level of risk, i.e. the degree of uncertainty
of the outcome of analysed events. Due to the complexity of the problem a decomposition process of
assessment and evaluation of ideas was conducted (Stevanovic, 2012) on four levels. The first level is
a fixed component of the process of idea management and presents a filtering, i.e. screening of
collected ideas. After the first level, the ideas retained in the system are described by means of
attributes, categorized and sorted. At the second level, qualitative and quantitative assessment is
performed. The qualitative assessment primarily seeks to improve, group, clarify and complete ideas.
Quantitative assessment determines the relevancy factor, which attempts to measure the value that the
idea brings to the company, through the following criteria: benefit, novelty, risk, cost, with the goal of
early recognition of extremely good and extremely bad ideas, guidance of ideas towards their potential
application, and the creation of subsets of ideas for further evaluation (Stevanovic et al., 2013). At the
third level, the capacity factor of collected ideas is assessed, which tries to determine how acceptable,
applicable, and creative the ideas are and what their general potential for product innovation is
(Stevanovic, et al., 2014). It should be noted that the product at this stage of innovation still do not
have clearly defined goals. At the same time, the product requirements and restrictions are often not
yet precisely defined, so the list of requirements and restrictions partially depends on the content of the
analysed ideas. At the fourth level, the idea efficacy factor is determined, i.e. the subset of ideas is
evaluated in relation to the objectives, requirements and limitations set out for the specific product in
order to achieve maximum technical, market, financial, customer and social effects of innovation. In
this paper, we have decided to present a detailed method of determining precisely the idea efficacy
The evaluation of idea efficacy factors aims to create a priority list within the set of ideas, on the basis
of assessment of the potential of each idea to produce the very results which are expected from the
product. The evaluation of efficacy of ideas is based on three sets of data that are available at the time
of an assessment. The first group is data about the ideas that we have in the system from previous
activities of characterization, evaluation, upgrading, modifications, etc. The second group of data
consists of objectives, requirements and constraints that we have defined in relation to the product
which we are developing. The third group of data is comprised of metrics for the implementation of
the assessment and evaluation of ideas, i.e. the criteria and attributes which we will analyse in the
evaluation process and which we will try to determine. As already stated, the metric is often critical to
the process of idea evaluation. The literature mentions various attributes which can be applied to
similar evaluations. During empirical research, evaluation of a certain set of attributes was conducted
in practice of companies. Following the results of a wide and detailed analysis of the available
literature and empirical research, an unambiguous metric was determined for evaluating the
implementation of potential ideas in order for their expected goals to successfully come to fruition.
The determined metric is unambiguously applicable for all ideas from a set of ideas, and the basis of
the defined vocabulary allows for an unambiguous communication between the different actors in the
process of idea evaluation, regardless of their area of expertise and familiarity.
The tables below show the defined metrics. Each table contains the name of the criteria, attributes
whose values are being determined; the basic question the assessor needs to know how to answer
while evaluating attributes which is based on the content of ideas, their objectives and constraints, as
well as numerical and descriptive values that correspond to the numerical values of attributes.
Descriptive attribute values are initial and should be understood as approximate values. Also,
numerical values of scores are adjusted to values of a numerical scale, which were defined in the
survey as 1-9 (the main values being 1, 5, 9, the value 5 is an indifferent value, while 3 and 7 are
major intermediate values). Such metrics corresponds both to the method of ranking and to the
application of the method of comparison.
Table 1 shows the attributes and metrics for evaluation of technical values of ideas. Within the
technical assessment we evaluate the possibility of productivity with available technology and
resources, achievement of functionality, reliability, safety, ecologically, and aesthetics of products. It
is important to assess whether certain ideas influence the defined attribute and whether it is more or
less positive or negative
Table 1. Attributes and guidelines for assessment of technical values of ideas
Table 2 shows the attributes and metrics to assess the market value of ideas. Within the market
assessment of ideas it is necessary to determine whether the idea has any impact on competitiveness in
relation to the products of other manufacturers, in relation to customer expectations and in relation to
the distribution capabilities in the market.
1 5 9
How t he idea affect s the
possibility to production?
We do not have the neces sary
resources for the realization of such
We have th e necessary resources or
resources can be easily found
We have th e necessary resources ,
knowledge and ideas to improve our
production knowledge
How t he idea affect s the
functionality of the p roduct?
The idea does not provide the full
functionality according to known
criter ia
The idea p rovides the expect ed
functionality for set criteria
The idea offers more than the expected
functionality of the set criteria
How t he idea affect s the
reliability of t he product?
The idea s ignificantly reduces th e
reliability of t he product
The idea does not significantly affect
the reliability of t he product
The idea in creases reliabilit y
How t he idea affect s the saf ety of
the product?
The idea es sentially reduces t he safe
use of a product
The idea does not significantly affect
the safe of use of the product
The idea
increases the safet y of t he
Does t he idea affect the
The idea h as a negative imp act on
environmental parameters (energy,
pollution ...)
The idea does not significantly affect
the environmental parameters
The idea contributes significantly to
environmental characteristics of the
product (green product)
Does t he idea affect
the aes thetics
of the product ?
The idea r educes the o verall
aesthetics of the p roduct
The idea does not significantly affect
the overall aesthetics of the product
The idea contributes significantly to
the overall aesthetics of the product
Bas ic ques tion
Table 2. Attributes and guidelines for assessing the market value of ideas
Table 3 shows the attributes and metrics to assess the financial value of ideas. Within financial
evaluation of ideas it is necessary to determine the impact on some of the indicators that could have a
significant impact on the financial results of operations such as sales volume, the rate of return,
payback time, and whether the impact is positive or negative.
Table 3. Attributes and guidelines for assessing the financial value of ideas
The following table 4 shows the attributes and metrics for assessing the value that idea brings to the
customer. As part of this evaluation it is necessary to determine whether the idea has any impact on
defined attributes (user necessity for the product, the novelty of such product for the user, the
usefulness which the incorporated idea brings to the user and the usability of such a product). This is
extremely important in the case of product development for specific user groups.
Table 4. Attributes and guidelines for the assessment of customer value of ideas
Table 5 shows the attributes and metrics for assessing the value that idea brings to the community in
which the product is distributed and used. As part of this evaluation, it is necessary to determine
whether the idea has impact on defined attributes or not.
Table 5. Attributes and guidelines for the assessment of the social value of ideas
1 5 9
How competit ive is th e idea with
relation to the idea embedded in
the competitor's p roduct?
The idea is a worse solution than
that of t he competition
The idea poses a solution on p ar with
that of t he competition
The idea brings the dominant product
over the competition
How competit ive is th e idea with
regards to cust omer expectations?
The idea brings a worse solution than
cust omer expectat ions
The idea brings the expected solution
to customers
The idea brings the solution
significantly above customer
expect ations
How is the idea comp eting
against t he expectat ions of t he
The idea brings a worse solution than
other solutions on t he target market
The idea brings a solution in the rank
of solutions on the market
The idea brings the solution above
expectations and needs of the market
Bas ic ques tion
1 5 9
What is the impact of the idea
on the expected sales volume
of the product?
The idea will negatively affect the
sales volume of the product
The idea itself will not affect the
sales volume of the product
The idea will positively affect and
can be expected to significantly
raise the volume of product sales
How ideas affect the rate of
return on investment?
The idea will negatively affect the
rate of return on investment
(difficu lt ret urn)
The idea will not affect the
expected return on investment
(sa fe return )
Th e idea will sig nifica ntly rais e th e
rate of return on investment
How ideas affect the time of
payback time?
The idea has already extended
the payback time
Th e idea will no t sig nific ant ly
affect the payback time
The idea will significantly shorten
the payback time
Bas ic ques tion
1 5 9
How u sers will evalu ate the
necessity of p roducts based on
the idea?
Users will negatively assess the need
for the realization of the idea
Users will remain neutral towards the
needs for the product based on the
Users will st rongly emp hasize t he
necessity of p roducts based on the
How w ill users evalu ate the
novelty the idea introduced?
Users will negatively evaluate t he
novelty the idea introduced
Users will remain neutral towards the
novelty the idea introduced
Users will be considered significant the
novelty the idea introduced
How w ill users evalu ate the
usefulness the idea brought to the
Users will negatively evaluate t he
usefulness of a product based on the
Users will remain neutral towards the
usefulness of a product based on the
Users will considered the usefulness
How w ill users evalu ate the
usability of the p roduct?
Users will negatively evaluate t he
usability of the p roduct based on the
Users will remain neutral toward the
usability of the p roduct based on the
The idea b rings a subst antial increas e
in the usability of the p roduct
Bas ic ques tion
1 5 9
How much will the id ea
contribute to t he importance of
the product for users?
The idea would adversely affect the
significance of the product for users
The idea will be on par with t he
expectations for importance for
product's us ers
The idea will significantly contribut e
to increasing the importance of
products for users
How the idea will contribute to
highlighting of the product by the
The id ea will negatively highlight t he
poss ession of the p roduct
The idea would be neutral towards
highlighting the poss ession of the
The id ea will subst antially raise the
highlighting of ownership of the
product (s elf-advertising)
How the idea will contribute to
commitment from the users?
The id ea will negatively af fect the
commitment of the user to the
product of t he manufacturer
The idea will not have a substant ial
impact on commitment of the user to
the product of the manufacturer
The idea will significantly contribut e
to increase the commitment of the user
to the p roduct of the manufacturer
How idea contributes to t he
affordability of the product?
The id ea will adversely affect t he
poss ibility of p rocurement of
products by customers / users
The idea will have no impact on the
poss ibility of p rocurement of
products by customers / users
The id ea will significantly increase t he
poss ibility of p rocurement of products
by cust omers / users
Bas ic ques tion
Valuation of ideas for these criteria and attributes is carried out quantitatively, according to qualitative
values indicated in Tables 1 to 5. Figure 1 shows the hierarchy for the application of evaluation and
ranking of success factors of ideas.
Figure 1. The hierarchy of criteria for assessing ideas efficacy
On the basis of the conducted assessment, each of the
ideas becomes described with five new values
{ }
E E Ep Ec Em Ef Es
V V V ,V ,V ,V ,V=
Determining the value of the success factors of idea
VE is carried out according to the following formula:
E Ep Ep Ec Ec Em Em Ef Ef Es Es
V wV wV w V wV wV
+ + ++
Where the following is true:
Ep, Ec , Em, Ef , Es
www ww
Normalized values of importance of each criterion in the set of criteria
Ep, Ec , Em, Ef , Es
The values of criteria, which are determined as the geometric mean value
of corresponding attributes
During the study, effects of different methods for support multi-attribute decision making were
unknown, although it was expected that the application of the method should not be of crucial
influence. During the idea selection process, the decision-maker is not aware of a large number of
facts from the environment, including the transformation process (design process), and the final state
(final product). The number of alternatives, the number and type of criteria, the number of decision
makers and the complexity of the procedure are the main features of the complexity of the decision
problem. The case of evaluation and selection of ideas is a typical example of multi-attribute decision
making (MADM). In MADM a set of ranked alternatives is created from the final set of predefined
alternatives described by explicit attributes. A significant factor for the application of certain MADM
methods is the possibility of implementation of a sensitivity analysis, which includes an assessment of
the potential impact of changes in value of the criteria on the final rank of alternatives. Taking that into
account, for the purposes of this study we selected to perform evaluation and selection of ideas using
one method of individual assessment of attributes and criteria and one method of comparison in pairs
and ranking on the basis of such estimates. For the application of the first mode, we selected the
Simple Additive Weighting-SAW (Afshari et al., 2010) method, and for the application of the second
mode we chose the Analytical Hierarchy Process-AHP (Saaty, 1980).
4.1 Definition of examples for the implementation of evaluation
Evaluation of the proposed method and the determination of the index of the core values of the idea
were carried out on the sample of collected ideas for the development of new functionalities to
improve existing products (Stevanovic et al., 2014). Requirements, objectives and constraints have
been defined for the product, and the process of idea collection has begun. Students in several groups
participated in the idea generation and collection process (the method used being 6-3-5 (brain
writing)). We collected a total of 189 ideas which pointed to the possibility of realization of the
defined product and/or its parts. After the process of idea gathering, eligibility checks were conducted
according to the following four criteria: strategic, ethical, ecological and general suitability. After the
eligibility checks, 62 ideas have been rejected, and 127 ideas have been retained for further evaluation.
Qualitative evaluation of the ideas was performed by describing the features of ideas and the opinion
of the assessors about the ideas. It was estimated that some of the ideas need to be improved, while
other ideas did not receive a passing grade by the evaluators. Once the qualitative evaluation has been
completed, 26 ideas have been retained for quantitative evaluation. In addition, one group of ideas
was incomplete, and was referred back to the authors for refinement and improvement. After the
qualitative evaluation 11 ideas have been retained for further assessment.
4.2 Evaluation of ideas using the SAW method
Determining the success factors of ideas is carried out by determining factors of importance of each of
the defined criteria, and assessment of the value of each idea using the defined metrics. During the
evaluation, four assessors estimated the value of the attributes for each of the remaining 11 ideas. A
total of 20 attributes were evaluated for five criteria. In the following table (Table 6) the results of the
assessment of one of the assessors by SAW methods are shown.
Table 6. Index of Idea Efficacy by applying the SAW method
On the basis of assessment of evaluators for each attribute, the value is calculated for each of the
criteria. The value of criteria is calculated as the geometric mean of the attribute values from a set of
specific criteria. The normalized value of the index is presented in the last column for comparison with
other index values of ideas. On the basis of idea ranking a subset of ideas is selected for the
implementation of the process of selection of ideas for product development.
4.3 Evaluation of ideas using the AHP method
Evaluation of ideas using the AHP method was carried out with the new four evaluators. The
evaluation was conducted using the web version of the MakeITRational software. Below, appraisers,
according to their inclinations and their best knowledge determine the importance of each criterion.
The appraisers performed the defining of the significance of criteria by comparing them in pairs; the
first group did it by determining the value of ideas for each criterion by direct evaluation of the
attributes and the second group by comparison in pairs. The results of evaluation are shown in the
tables for each of the sets of criteria for which the estimation was done. Table 7 shows the results of
idea evaluation by AHP method.
Idea / Criteria
Sales volume
Rat e of ret urn
Payback time
Usefulne ss
Imprt an ce
Commi tmen t
15555555,00 5555,00 5333,56 53554,40 55354,40 4,53 11,6
25333533,56 3353,56 5333,56 53533,87 33333,00 3,56 9,1
35335533,87 1151,71 5333,56 33111,73 11151,50 2,71 6,9
45333333,27 3353,56 5333,56 33333,00 33333,00 3,30 8,4
95755555,29 5555,00 5333,56 55755,44 55354,40 4,83 12,3
13 5331132,26 3353,56 5333,56 33312,28 11131,32 2,69 6,9
21 5331132,26 3353,56 5333,56 33312,28 11131,32 2,69 6,9
22 5333333,27 3353,56 5333,56 33333,00 31131,73 3,18 8,1
23 5333333,27 3353,56 5333,56 33333,00 31131,73 3,18 8,1
24 3333333,00 3353,56 5333,56 33333,00 31131,73 3,10 7,9
25 7755755,92 7756,26 5333,56 55775,92 55555,00 5,42 13,8
39,18 100,0
Cus tome r value
Social value
Te chnical value
Marke t value
Financial value
Table 7. Index of idea Efficacy by application of the AHP method (group 1)
The implementation of the evaluation for the case under consideration, the set of 11 ideas, collected
the results of the evaluation of a group of assessors by the SAW method, and the results of the
evaluation by two groups of assessors by the AHP method. These results are marked with SAW,
AHP1 and AHP2. How the results are correlated was verified by using the Pearson and Spearman
coefficient of rank. Calculated correlations are positive and have a value greater than 0.8, which
indicates that there is a correlation between the success factors of certain ideas by using the SAW
method and application of the AHP method for both groups of assessors and that it is a strong positive
correlation. The existence of a strong positive correlation is indicated by the values of efficacy indexes
of ideas derived by evaluating the value of the idea (Figure 2.).
Figure 2. The comparison of the results of the idea Efficacy evaluation
Approach applied in the study primarily aimed to discuss the phenomenon of ideas selection
underlying the concept of future products. By studying the life cycle of ideas in NPD, the processes
through which ideas pass were identified. Following the conclusion of the need to assess and evaluate
the idea on multiple levels, methods are suggested for assessment and evaluation of ideas, one of
which is the assessment of the performance of ideas in achieving the expected effect, as shown in this
paper. Quantitative assessment of the success of the idea was carried out on the basis of the proposed
criteria, attributes and unique metrics, which provide the ability to communicate between assessors
during the evaluation, comparability of the estimated values, and finally an unambiguous set of ranked
ideas. Verification of the proposed method showed a high degree of applicability of the multi-attribute
method of decision-making and a high degree of correlation of results obtained by different methods.
Contrary to expectations, the time required for the implementation of the valuation of ideas, with the
support of appropriate software, is not longer than the time that would be spent on an "ad hoc"
estimation, which encourages and promotes the practical adaptation and application of the method.
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... In this regard, scholars have also paid considerable attention to idea evaluation as one phase of the IM process. 1 Authors have, for instance, identified idea evaluation success factors (e.g., [17,18]), proposed idea evaluation criteria (e.g., [19,20]), or designed idea evaluation methods to be applied in practice (e.g., [19,[21][22][23][24]). A repeatedly emerging understanding is that the success of digital innovation efforts and, thus, DT is determined by a properly integrated idea evaluation. ...
... In this sense, the careful evaluation of newly generated ideas plays a critical role as the idea implementation may directly follow [10,17]. However, it appears that organizations tend to "carry out the selection of ideas ad hoc or intuitively, and that only a small number has defined methods" [22], and thereby risk their DT success [10]. The questions that arise are: 1) what makes idea evaluation methods effective in the sense that their application leads to well-informed idea selections, and 2) whether such methods exist. ...
... In fact, existing methods consider the evaluation of ideas based on previously selected criteria (e.g., [19,[25][26][27]). Against this backdrop, however, it appears that contributions with respect to idea evaluation are rather situated in innovation management (e.g., [22,28]) and less frequently positioned in the context of DT with a dedicated focus on SMEs (e.g., [10]). Having a dedicated focus on SMEs requires a method to regard certain peculiarities that are commonly associated with SMEs. ...
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The joint effects of digital innovations constitute a continuous change process known as digital transformation. Every digital innovation is inevitably preceded by the initial idea for it. Furthermore, the success of innovations and, thereby, digital transformation is vitally dependent on their starting points, that is, ideas. Literature and practice observations reveal that SMEs often base their idea selection on intuitions and gut feelings rather than rigorous methods. Furthermore, they often miss the opportunity to involve external support units. Therefore, the research objective is to develop an IT-supported, criteria-based, and multi-stage idea evaluation method supporting the selection of digital innovation ideas in the context of SMEs' digital transformation. Methodologically, a design science research approach is followed. A structured literature review, two focus group discussions, and three interviews inform the artifact's design. The artifact comes with a comprehensive set of evaluation criteria embedded into a flexible evaluation method that involves an interaction concept with external supporters. Thereby, it solves a practice-inspired problem and contributes to the existing repertoire of idea management tools.
... It is possible to evaluate ideas using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) (Stevanovic et al., 2015). AHP is a wellknown decision-making tool that can be applied when multiple objectives are involved in judging these alternatives (Saaty & Vargas, 2012). ...
... The detailed pictorial representation of the IGE model is presented in Figure 4.4, and the description of each phase along with its componentsinputs, activities, outputs, and metricsare illustrated in Table 4.3. Stevanovic et al. (2015) suggested that the evaluation of ideas is done by the rating of criteria. For additional evaluation criteria refer to Figure 4.6. ...
... In B2, we built on B1 and included non-technical aspects such as the involvement of experts in creativity and evaluation during idea generation. Thus, B2 proposes the IGE model with business-related and technical aspects, as illustrated in (Stevanovic et al. 2015). Criteria in dotted boxes are elicited through semi-structured interviews and a literature review (B2, p. 199). ...
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The significance and abundance of data are increasing due to the growing digital data generated from social media, sensors, scholarly literature, patents, different forms of documents published online, databases, product manuals, etc. Various data sources can be used to generate ideas, yet, in addition to bias, the size of the available digital data is a major challenge when it comes to manual analysis. Hence, human-machine interaction is essential for generating valuable ideas where machine learning and data-driven techniques generate patterns from data and serve human sense-making. However, the use of machine learning and data-driven approaches to generate ideas is a relatively new area. Moreover, it is also possible to stimulate innovation using contest-driven idea generation and evaluation. The results and contributions of this thesis can be viewed as a toolbox of idea-generation techniques, including a list of data-driven and machine learning techniques with corresponding data sources and models to support idea generation. In addition, the results include two models, one method and one framework, to better support data-driven and contest- driven idea generation. The beneficiaries of these artefacts are practitioners in data and knowledge engineering, data mining project managers, and innovation agents. Innovation agents include incubators, contest organizers, consultants, innovation accelerators, and industries. Since the proposed artefacts consist of process models augmented with AI techniques, human-centred AI is a promising area of research that can contribute to the artefacts' further development and promote creativity.
... The collaborations between SMEs and such support units mainly focus on managing digital innovation ideas [3]. Indeed, one determining factor for digital transformation success is a properly executed idea management [24,61,53]. Idea management is concerned with the generation, evaluation, and selection of ideas [11]. ...
... What can be observed, however, is that organizations tend to "carry out the selection of ideas ad hoc or intuitively" [53]. This leads to another important question as to how SMEs can approach the evaluation of digital innovation ideas to inform the subsequent idea selection and avoid intuitive decisions. ...
... Among others, authors focus on processes and methods [22,50], conceptual models [11,56], evaluation criteria [24,52] and (IT-supported) procedures for idea evaluation [50,52,22]. The findings from those studies suggest that the application of adequate (IT-based) idea evaluation systems is beneficial [24,8,53,11,52,22,50]. ...
... So, exploring the factors that influence idea selection could provide an important component in understanding how design teams' performance is affected. Most of the research about decision-making during idea selection is prescriptive in nature and deals with strategies, tools or methods to select the most novel concept (Stevanovic, Marjanovic & Storga 2015;Yan & Childs 2015;Gabriel et al. 2016) rather than following a descriptive approach that focuses on the factors that lead to that choice. In some studies done in the past, it was found that individuals and groups who generated ideas during brainstorming showed no difference in the quality of the selecting idea or had poor abilities while doing so (Rietzschel, Nijstad & Stroebe 2006;Girotra, Terwiesch & Ulrich 2010). ...
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A new product originates from an idea, or in many cases, integration of multiple ideas. The process of transforming nn idea into a robust concept requires definition of the underlying technologies, identification of expected customer benefits, and assessment of the market opportunity. The idea-development and subsequent idea-selection stages of new product development are often referred to as the "fuzzy front end" because the radically, involve ad hoc decisions and ill-defined processes. To address this shortcoming, Nortel developed art idea-to-opportunity front-end process that provides a consistent and structured approach for idea development and evaluation. This article describes the process and how it was implemented using electronic performance support technology. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
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