An idea is a belief, suggestion or thought that is usually generated with the intent to create value for the organization. This can either manifest itself in improvement upon existing business activities as well as completely new ways of value creation. Everyone throughout the whole organization can come up with an idea and is a potential Innovator. It also indicates the starting point of the Innovation Level.

The Innovation Level is a process that aims to identify valuable ideas, and support these ideas to be successfully embedded within the organization. This process starts at the Ideation Phase where the idea needs to conform to the ‘Definition of Ready’ in order to continue to the Validation Phase where it enters the Portfolio Kanban.

Definition of Ready

The Definition of Ready (DoR) ensures that an idea is sufficiently described and understood to formally enter the innovation process (or Innovation Level). It describes the requirements that need to be met before an Innovation Coach can support the idea. The DoR includes at least the following requirements:

  • The idea has a committed owner (the ‘Innovator‘), who is ready and mandated to guide the idea through the Validation Phase and, when successful, through the next phases.
  • The idea has been described as an Agile user story:
    • As (potential user)…
    • I want (solution description)…
    • So that (value description)…
  • It has been described what type of change it is, an incremental or radical change.
  • Description of how the idea has been spotted, thus where the idea is coming from.
  • Problem description in case the idea solves an existing problem.

Ideas meeting the Definition of Ready, enter the Validation Phase where an innovative idea is validated as an idea that is worthwhile to bring to the Experimentation Phase in which a first hypothesis about the feasibility and/or customer value of the idea is tested in a real-life environment.