Product management glosary


Product Management Glossary: Ideation

What is Ideation?

Ideation is a crucial stage in the product management process, where ideas are generated, developed, and refined to create innovative products or solutions. It involves brainstorming, research, and collaboration among team members to identify new opportunities, solve problems, and improve existing products or services. The ideation process aims to foster creativity and innovation, leading to the development of unique and valuable products that meet customer needs and drive business growth.

Why is Ideation Important?

Ideation plays a vital role in product management for several reasons:

  • Innovation: Ideation encourages the generation of new ideas and concepts, which can lead to the development of innovative products or services that differentiate a company from its competitors.
  • Problem-solving: The ideation process helps teams identify and address challenges or pain points faced by customers, leading to the creation of solutions that meet their needs and expectations.
  • Collaboration: Ideation fosters collaboration among team members, enabling them to share their expertise, insights, and perspectives to develop well-rounded ideas and solutions.
  • Continuous improvement: Regular ideation sessions can help teams identify areas for improvement in existing products or services, ensuring that they continue to evolve and meet changing customer needs.

Key Steps in the Ideation Process

While the specific ideation process may vary depending on the organization and product, there are several key steps that are generally involved:

  1. Define the problem or opportunity: Begin by clearly articulating the problem you are trying to solve or the opportunity you want to explore. This will help focus the ideation process and ensure that ideas generated are relevant and targeted.
  2. Research and gather insights: Conduct research to gather information and insights related to the problem or opportunity. This may include customer feedback, market trends, competitor analysis, and other relevant data.
  3. Brainstorm ideas: Encourage team members to generate as many ideas as possible, without worrying about their feasibility or practicality at this stage. The goal is to foster creativity and think outside the box.
  4. Evaluate and refine ideas: Review the ideas generated and evaluate them based on their potential impact, feasibility, and alignment with business goals. Refine and develop the most promising ideas further.
  5. Select the best ideas: Choose the ideas that have the greatest potential for success and move forward with developing them into actionable plans or prototypes.

Tools and Techniques for Ideation

There are several tools and techniques that can be used to facilitate the ideation process, including:

  • Brainstorming sessions: Gather team members together for a dedicated brainstorming session, where they can share their ideas and build on each other's suggestions.
  • Mind mapping: Use mind maps to visually represent ideas and their connections, helping to organize and structure the ideation process.
  • Storyboarding: Create storyboards to illustrate ideas and concepts, helping to bring them to life and make them more tangible.
  • Prototyping: Develop simple prototypes or mockups of ideas to test their feasibility and gather feedback from stakeholders.
  • Surveys and focus groups: Gather input and feedback from customers or other stakeholders through surveys, focus groups, or other research methods.


Ideation is a critical component of the product management process, enabling teams to generate innovative ideas and solutions that drive business growth and meet customer needs. By fostering creativity, collaboration, and continuous improvement, the ideation process helps ensure that products and services remain relevant, competitive, and valuable in the marketplace.