How do we evaluate our ideas?
In the previous posts in this series, we learned how to bring clarity to a problem and how to generate creative ideas as potential solutions to this problem. We will now have a look at a technique called the PPCO, which is used to critically evaluate each idea. This is a crucial step because it allows us to identify the potential and the feasibility of these ideas.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
American author & management expert
The PPCO is a great way to encourage feedback within a team for your creative ideas. In structure and in concept, it is similar to a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) used in marketing.
Concretely, PPCO stands for the immediate Pluses gained from implementing a specific idea, the longer-term Potential, any Concerns this idea might raise and the possible ways in which these concerns can be Overcome.
Long-terme (potential) benefits
Ways to overcome the concerns
Using this technique, we can minimize the risks associated with implementing our idea before putting any resources into it. It also allows us to test the potential of different ideas before abandoning them. Even though the process takes only about 15 minutes, the results create a lot of value.
Take a closer look at our example below to get a better understanding on how the PPCO can be structured successfully:
Idea: Each employee spends one day per week outside the office in a co-working space
- happy employees
- employees become more creative
- employees get inspired
- meet new people
- more efficient employees
- networking opportunities
- publicity for this company practise
- more innovating company
- logistical difficulties, PC, documents
- difficulties in communication with the company
- how can the impact/value be measured?
- can we trust the employees?
- facilitate through using iCloud
- use communication facilitators
- observe employees’ working attitudes or efficiency
Taking time to identify an idea’s longer term potential is an extremely useful exercise if you want to go further than a context of “quick wins”.
Take note also of the direct link between each of the concerns and the suggestions to overcome them. The PPCO analysis clearly lists the advantages and disadvantages of sending each employee to spend a day working outside the office in a co-working space.
With the techniques that Joanne Marchand has presented to us in these three posts, we are now armed to successfully focus on those challenges that are relevant to us and to tackle them with solutions that are creative and to the point.
This article has been written in collaboration with Joanne Marchand.
Who is Joanne Marchand?
- Innovation & Corporate Social Responsibility lead at BNP Paribas Securities Services.
- A 2-hatted role combining innovation leadership, acceleration, and creative facilitation at the service of the business strategy & the roll-out at a local level of the BNP Paribas group Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Trained in the methods of creative leadership within the workplace in Italy, Paris and at the BBC Academy, London.