There is no industry standard for a set way to determine if an idea gets implemented or not. While this could lead to confusion, it is probably better to let this be determined by guidelines, logic and sensibility as it relates to your products or services.
- Comments. With an assumption that comments have more than "+1" or "me too" in them (and it's inevitable these will exist) to either affirm or challenge the merits of the idea presented, having many comments shows general interest. Since implementing an idea probably takes thought and discussion both among customers as well as by the business, reading all comments to get a complete view is usually warranted to make a decision as to whether or not the idea should be or can be implemented.
- Don't judge a book by its cover. This applies as much to consideration of an idea as it does for not considering an idea. Regardless of how many views, comments or votes an idea has, carefully read everything in the details and comments of an idea to truly understand it. It also helps, before implementing it, to confirm your understanding with the author and those who have commented by adding a reply to ask if your understanding is truly the same as the intent and discussion around it. Speaking of voting.....
- Don't let voting be a final determining factor. Many company's make the mistake of implementing and communicating that when ideas are suggested they will review the voting to determine if it goes in or not. In our experience, this transforms voting from a sentiment (which is how we see it, kind of like "liking" something) to a popularity contest and that is likely to be a big mistake. There are also some sub-plots to this:
- Voting without reading the idea and all of its comments is too easy and can be done mindlessly. It is for this reason that we did not include the ability to vote in Browse Ideas, forcing users to at least go to the idea detail page before they can vote.
- Once it is known that you will or will not implement an idea based on voting, some customers will spend more time garnering votes for what they want instead of more constructively spending time on generating ideas or digging in to why a particular idea is good or bad.
- Ideas that could be great, could become obscured because they rest at the bottom of the voting pile.
- Constantly maintain status. It may look odd to see this in this section, but maintaining current status on all ideas is paramount to tracking what you will or will not be implementing. While it is up to you as to how you use the statuses, the default statuses are pretty common in most idea exchanges and have been proven over time. Assuming you are monitoring what ideas are in what status (and if you are not, you should be!), if all ideas have the correct current status then your periodic picture of where you are will always reflect what is happening in your idea exchange. Otherwise you risk gaps that could be hard to explain.
Note: In our Premium version, there are several tools at your disposal to help collect and monitor data whether that is to be able to print the Browse Ideas (known as Browse Reports), export ideas to a CSV file for further analysis or basic reporting where you can see a summary of ideas created, ideas commented and by status (which can each be exported to a CSV file as well).