The Innovation Framework outlines four steps to successful innovation. Each step follows a process to help you complete it successfully.

What is idea selection?

The idea selection process is a structured method which helps you choose the best ideas to develop and test, based on their viability and ability to create value for your business. 

Watch this short animation to learn how to complete the selection process correctly.

How to choose the correct idea?

You should have a list of ideas that you have completed during ideation. You now need to complete the idea selection process to help you ensure that you choose the best idea to develop and test.

  • Record

    Bring the right people

    Assemble a diverse range of individuals, with a range of skills from across your business. Include subject matter experts to ensure the ideas are feasible and well as creative minds who will think outside the box.

  • Checklist

    Get organised

    Bring together all the ideas from the ideation workshop and remove any duplicate ideas. Use post-its, cue cards, digital pin boards or online tools to organise the remaining ideas.

  • Review list

    Initial review

    Carry out an initial review of all your ideas. Rule out those that will not solve the problem or are not feasible. As a group, consider which of the remaining ideas have development potential. You will most likely have a few strong ideas that you can begin to evaluate more closely.

  • Selecting

    Establish selection criteria

    Develop a selection criteria to assess your ideas. Agree on the criteria as a group and consider how each one fits with your business under specific categories.

    • Strategy: Does the idea align with your business strategy? Is it risky to take the idea forward, or is it riskier not to make a change at all?
    • Capability: Do you have the skills and technology you need to take the idea forward? If not, what is required to bridge this gap? Think about the impact on all elements of your business, such as finance, HR and communications.
    • Market: How would you describe your target market? What is it its size, and who are the people in it? Are there already competitors in this market? Is there demand for the idea?
    • Customer: Will your idea solve a problem for your customers? If so, how much will they pay for it? If your idea is an internal business process, business model or management structure your customers are your colleagues.
    • Budget: How much will it cost to bring this idea to market? How many people will you need to develop it? How will you finance development, testing and launch? How profitable do you expect it to be?
    • Value: Will the idea provide a great value proposition and a successful business model?
  • Stars

    Create a scoresheet

    Develop a matrix to help you evaluate your ideas. Assign a maximum value of 100 for each idea, and break this down further, allowing a maximum value for each criterion. Distribute the points evenly or allocate a higher value to your priority criteria.

  • Stars

    Score your ideas

    Complete the matrix for each idea, calculating the score as you go. The best idea will be the one with the highest mark at the end of the process.

You should now have agreed on the best idea to take forward to development.

Selection checklist

Make sure that you can answer the following questions before starting to develop your idea:

  • Is there a market or use for this idea?
  • What is the value of your idea to customers?
  • How does the idea fit with your business strategy?

Next steps


Next: Development

Now that you have selected the best idea for your business and your audience, it’s time to develop something more tangible.


Get advice and support

The Northern Ireland business support finder is a searchable database that can help you find publicly-funded and not-for-profit sources of assistance.

Innovation Assessment

It's easy to take part in the Innovate NI Programme. Simply complete the assessment to discover where you are on the Innovation Framework today.