What is our primary use case?
We are using time challenges at the business unit and department level. Enterprise-wide, we are doing rapid challenges, one- or two-hour type things within department and smaller groups to generate ideas. We are just focusing on the ideation piece and using it to collect, then prioritize top ideas around different challenges.
It's on the cloud, but we have branded it internally. We call it Accelerate. When it comes up, they have a website for us, accelerate.spigit.com that we use.
How has it helped my organization?
We ran our first challenge back in January 2019. The first seven projects that we selected as winning projects have moved forward significantly. Some of those are completed and others are still in progress. In terms of just communicating out, advertising those stories, and talking about them, this has helped build engagement and a culture around innovation. It has created some excitement that there is a new way for people to collaborate.
The voting is one way in terms of how the solution’s functionality helps us to prioritize and select the best ideas. E.g., we use the number of views on an idea, the number of votes, and the number of comments that an idea gets. We're using this for most for our challenges which are expert reviews. This is where we're gathering experts who do a simple scoring mechanism. The final stage is where we use a pairwise. This is the top ideas, usually 15 ideas, then do a pairwise with the organization. We tend to have lower participation by this point but we still find we're getting enough people to statistically get a good representation. So far, so good with the way ideas are prioritized.
We are doing well on the front-end of the workflow with the collection and prioritizing of ideas. We are still figuring out how to get the execution of the Okta top ideas more highlighted or focused. This part of the workflow is still something we're working on.
What is most valuable?
The ability to collect ideas for people to be able to comment and vote. We like the pairwise portion of it. It is just a simple way in which people can post ideas and review other ideas. We have used it out-of-the-box, without doing much customization.
Spigit's dashboards and reporting are great. We generate a post challenge report with as much data as possible. E.g., a summary with the number of participants and how the participants contributed. We also get asked questions about users and where they come from, such as, how many people in my department participated in it. We connect our platform to Okta, which integrates single sign-on. Once people are signed into our internal system or their email, they can sign in through Okta to this system. It ports over a bunch of user attributes that we are able to track as part of the data. So far, so good.
I went into the Spigit Insight analytics platform last week and found a report that I needed for understanding how many active users we have out of the total number of people that are signed in. This helps us gauge our level of participation and where we're at so far.
What needs improvement?
It does enable us to consolidate duplicate responses from employees, but it is difficult sometimes. We are running a challenge right now with two ideas that are pretty close and duplicate. Once they're out there and a significant amount of people have voted on them, it's hard to consolidate or merge them. The merge feature is not very clear, so it basically hides one of the ideas, removing and archiving it. I don't know if that's the best way to do it. I would want to make the secondary idea still visible, but put it under as a possible subidea to the parent idea. That is something they need to figure out a bit better.
I would like it to have the ability to close out ideas a bit more intuitively. On a lot of our challenges, we have ideas that were submitted. With the winning ideas, people can select those as winning, while with the other ideas, all you can do in the tool is close them out and set them as closed, which I haven't done a lot of. So, people have ideas which are sitting there that weren't selected as winners and they often wonder six months later whatever happened to them. Even without going into project management, there should be a better way to close this out better.
I'm trying to figure out ways to use this tool when doing face-to-face type sessions. E.g., how can we interact with a group of people rather than having them all bring their laptops. Maybe there are mobile solutions or having people sit down as a team. We haven't learned to do this autonomously yet. I know Spigit provides a service where they can come in and do some of this ability.
I am just learning about the Insights dashboard. Prior to this, I was struggling to gather data. While I can get a lot of data within an individual challenge, getting data across all the challenges or a certain selected amount of challenges, I'm still learning how to do that. They could have an easier way to do analytics across the entire database.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability is great. No problems.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Roughly a third of the organization has signed into it at least once. Of that, we have 50 percent active users, which is really good. This is above some of the benchmarks for organizations at year-end. So, we're happy with participation so far and hoping to improve. We will keep working on it.
We just launched a new challenge enterprise-wide, and we're almost at 5,000 users. Our organization size is at 13,500. Active users: We are at 2,500.
Users are people who are coming in as participants, idea submitters, voters, or commenters. In terms of administration of the tool, we are a small three-man, innovation team within Enbridge. Right now, I am doing all the admin for all the challenges. We have done some cross-training for others to do some administration to run their own challenges, but nobody is doing that independently as of yet. So, a sponsor within any area of the company will contact me if they want to run an innovation challenge, then I'll set it up for them.
We do plan to increase the usage with more broad communication, increasing the number of sponsors and number of challenges within different business units. Eventually, we'll get other administrators in different areas to manage their own programs and keep building up usership.
We have already scaled up. We launched a challenge with a sponsor the other day, and so far, no problems with anybody. I haven't had one complaint about sign ins. I also figured out how to do a private challenges now, so I don't have any issues there. It's been good.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support has been good. I use the chat feature quite a bit, so I get support right away there. I also use the support at spigit.com where I submit loggable issues and questions. I have gotten good support there.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Other than SharePoint sites and internal databases, we didn't use other innovation management tools before Spigit.
Spigit has increased innovation efficiency and helped us to cut our time-to-market for new ideas. We weren't proactively managing ideas and the idea workflow prior to this solution. So, it's been very useful so far. Before we had Spigit, we had people managing ideas within their own departments using their own databases. They would sit down in teams and have meetings to collect ideas. It has sped up areas in which we run challenges. Though, there are a lot of areas where we haven't run challenges or used the tool.
How was the initial setup?
I found the initial setup straightforward.
We spent about a year with Spigit just learning about the tool. We did a couple of pilots in 2018. We did some tests with some groups, then by the time we sorted out contracts and built it in, our little team had built up a great deal of knowledge about innovation, innovation tools, and how a tool like this can help our organization. 2019 was the year where we officially launched with our first challenge, then subsequently ran other challenges. I found the implementation to be seamless and the tool was successful right off the bat. It's really intuitive, so we didn't have to provide much training for people. We just provided them with the link, and said, "Come here and submit your idea." We haven't really done much customization, so it's been good.
To prepare that and get ready for the first challenge, it took us awhile because Enbridge is slow moving to bring in new software. We had to get a lot of internal approvals, etc. It was almost a full year before we became a client.
What about the implementation team?
We used our internal information systems team members, our IT department, for deployment.
What was our ROI?
With each project, we try to calculate/figure out the value. Our organization is fairly large, so our annual revenue is over $12 billion. Therefore, we are seeing some savings in terms of ideas and efficiencies upwards in the hundreds of millions.
Because it's a new program, we're measuring success through participation, knowledge of engagement, and the ability to submit ideas, then prioritize them. There are wins. The projects and ideas that come out of it are what we expect this year. Next year, we'll start to calculate ROI. From that standpoint of participation, Spigit has proven its value.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We have a tiered annual licensing fee.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We did a market survey. We pulled up five or six different companies. We looked at Planbox and Planview Spigit. I can't remember the some of the names of the other ones, but we had five or six companies that we evaluated, and Planbox was Spigit's strong top contender. We had them all come in and do a demo. We talked to each one of them. We did a pros and cons of each, then selected Spigit at the end of the day.
I remember at the time that we selected Spigit for the predictions analysis part of the tool, which determines costs and value. However, we haven't used that feature and probably won't use that within Spigit, which is funny at the end of the day.
What other advice do I have?
Just go for it and get started. We were at the beginning trying to get all the approvals in from senior leadership and train upwards. At the end of the day, we didn't get a lot of focus. Now that we have created a groundswell with a lot of attention, our senior leadership is seeing the success that we've had and they're now getting onboard. So, it just takes time.
I would rate the product an eight (out of 10).
Biggest lesson learnt: A lot of people have many ideas. There's an untapped collective intelligence which exists within your organization and people want and love to share their ideas. It has been good to tap into that.
We have gone just with Spigit. We haven't spent much on the Planview side, which brings in more of the project management side. We've built an in-house solution for that, so we're tracking successful projects to completion in a separate tool. For right now, we're just using Spigit for the front-end, ideation, and prioritization of ideas.
We haven't done surveys yet or benchmarked internally.