Whenever you're planning to start using a new software, it's almost always a good idea to start with a pilot before making a decision to purchase and/or adopt a new piece of software. The same goes for idea and innovation management, and that's why Viima comes with both a limited-time free trial, as well as a free plan.
However, what's important to understand is that a pilot should be much more than simply clicking around a piece of software for a quick look & feel. The purpose of a pilot should always be as much about testing your plans, assumptions and processes and improving upon them, as it is about testing how well the software works.
If you come across a vendor that doesn't allow you to run such a pilot prior to making a purchase decision, it's probably best to steer clear of them.
Benefits of a pilot
This approach has a number of benefits for you, most prominently it:
Gives you a Proof of Concept for the suitability of the software together with your desired processes
Helps you find potential challenges in your ideation/innovation process to further improve upon it (prior to wide rollout)
Allows you to see how the tool works in real life, which helps you learn best practices for using it.
This is crucial for preparing the rollout, as every tool will have a bit of a learning curve. With the right, easy to use platform like Viima, simple enough processes, and clear communication, this won't be an issue. However, you still need to make that happen.
Allows you to identify unforeseen issues present in your plans for the rollout as you onboard your first user group
...and when done right, should obviously provide you with tangible business value!
Choosing the right use case
Please remember that choosing the use case of your pilot is crucial.
Start off with something simple and exciting which will capture the imagination of your participants, and is seen as relevant for the business. So, ideally it would be aligned with your overall innovation strategy, but if that isn't something you really have yet, it's sometimes also ok to go with something simple and practical, even the agenda or place of your next team off-site/on-site workshop. The key is that you should try to make the pilot a part of the daily work of people in relevant roles, and align that with your desired business outcomes. This way, you don't have to push people to ideate, it automatically pulls them in!
Regardless, the topic should be something that everyone is excited about and will have something to say about, and for which the ideas are quite easy to implement. The implementation bit is important, as without it, you won't really get to see how the platform works through the whole lifecycle of an idea. Here are a few examples to spur your imagination:
Recommended use cases
Asking employees to share unmet needs customers tell them about
Asking employees to share problems customers have with current products processes
Concrete, easy-to-implement ideas for implementing the new company strategy and/or values
Asking for the most annoying/boring/repetitive things in people’s daily work
Simple use cases that can also be considered
The agenda and place of your next team on-site/off-site
Facilitating a workshop (incl. pre-workshop ideation and review, as well as post-workshop follow-up)
Improvement suggestions related to employee well-being
For a more extensive list with many more practical examples, check out our list of 35 practical use cases here, all of which have been proven to lead to measurable business results.
Checklist for running the pilot
We've helped hundreds of companies run successful pilots. It's not rocket science, but being prepared helps.
So, on order to help you succeed with your pilot, we’ve created a simple checklist for you to use as a reference in planning it. You’ll find that in the PDF attached below.