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The rise of the digital suggestion box

Divina Paredes | May 26, 2015
...And why a Wellington startup for an ‘idea management platform' is named as one of the 'cool vendors in government' by Gartner

He says the old hierarchical model for innovation was effective for a long time but technology has enabled the creation of "much flatter structures".

"We started to think about how do we get more organisational feedback, how do we listen to the voice of the staff, the frontline?"

That was three years ago, and they validated the concept by asking customers if HunchBuzz was something they would use.

He says their clients now include local councils across the globe and major government agencies including the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

MPI started using HunchBuzz in 2013. In a case study on the deployment, MPI noted how everyday, staff see problems and opportunities their managers may not. The agency has more than 2000 staff in over 50 locations and wanted to overcome silos, capture insights and spur innovation across the group.

"It is important to capture these ideas and listen to what our staff are saying," states Debbie Ward, director planning and business transformation at MPI.

"They are full of ideas for improving productivity, identifying issues and improving customer experience. Basically there are a lot of people within MPI who want to make this organisation a better place to work."

"Having the ability for staff in unrelated areas to be able to suggest, comment and vote on other staff ideas has been invaluable."

Gartner says companies like HunchBuzz face challenges ahead

The report notes HunchBuzz is competing in an increasingly crowded and competitive social software market, offering a standalone product that at the moment is not mainly integrated with other larger systems.

The market is likewise forcing incumbent vendors to offer diversified solutions that include civic platforms including idea generation and crowdsourcing.


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