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Idea Lab - FAQ

Q. I’m not the primary site contact for my library. Can I participate?

A. Yes! Idea Lab is open to all staff at Innovative libraries, not just system administrators. We welcome the perspectives of all users, from front-line staff to directors.

Idea Lab will allow all IUG members to have direct input into Innovative product development, and we encourage Innovative libraries of all types across the globe to take advantage of Innovative’s commitment to this new process.

Q. How do I access Idea Lab?

A. Follow these steps to create an account:

  1. Visit Idea Lab at https://idealab.iii.com
  2. On the Sign In” page, scroll to the bottom where it says “New to Idea Lab? Please register by clicking on this LINK” and click on the LINK to create your account.
  3. Use your full business email address -- the one associated with your Innovative library or consortium -- as both your “Username” and your “Email”.
  4. Create a password that is at least six characters and contains at least one number and one letter – no special characters will be accepted.
  5. Once you have created an account, you should see open challenges on the “Activity” tab or “Challenge” tab. Just click on the challenge to get started!
  6. You can edit your profile to add information about your primary Innovative Platform (Sierra/Millennium, Polaris, or Virtua), a profile avatar, and more.

Q. Can I use my Supportal or CSDirect login to access Idea Lab?

A. Not at this time. We hope to enable integration between Supportal and Idea Lab in the future.

How does it work?

A. Idea Lab uses challenges to collect and act on ideas.

  • Time-bound challenges focus on a specific opportunity that could be a topic, a functional area, a product, or a theme. Each challenge is designed to solicit actionable ideas from the participants, with a clear path to implement one or more winning ideas. Time-bound challenges are tied to development resources at Innovative so participants can expect to see winning ideas on future product roadmaps.
  • The Always Open space, launched in March 2018, allows users from all platforms to post ideas that do not fit a particular time-bound challenge. We expect to see ideas that are related to enhancing current products as well as ideas related to solving problems with new technology solutions in that Always Open space. Whether you have an idea in the old enhancements system that is still important to you or you’ve just discovered a development opportunity, the Always Open space will provide a commons for discussion and comment. We hope that ideas submitted to the Always Open space may surface topics for future time-bound challenges.

Q. How does a Timed Challenge Work?

A. Each time-bound challenge progresses through distinct phases:

  • Idea submission
  • Commenting and voting
  • Expert review
  • Prioritization
  • Selection
  • Implementation

When the challenge ends, Innovative will announce which winning ideas have been selected, and what users can expect regarding how those ideas will be implemented (e.g. development plans, target timeline, etc). The details will remain accessible for viewing in Idea Lab even after the challenge ends.

This is a key difference from the old enhancements system: fewer ideas might be designated “winners” but every winner has a commitment from Innovative and a spot on the roadmap.

Q. How will the Always Open space work?

A. Ideas will also progress in the Always Open space, with longer timelines for each phase. Visit the Always Open space for more details on how ideas progress and a detailed FAQ.

Q. What about the legacy Sierra / Millennium enhancements system?

A. You can still search the legacy Sierra Millennium enhancements database. If there are items you feel are still a priority, you can create them as ideas in the new Always Open space.

Q. What about legacy Polaris Enhancements currently listed on the Supportal?

A. Polaris libraries can still view these when logged in to the Supportal. If there are items you feel are still a priority, you can create them as ideas in the new Always Open space.

Q. I have an idea for Idea Lab! Where do I send it?

A. Send your suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Q. Why did we make this change?

A. Our goal is to improve coordination between Innovative and the user community regarding innovation. The previous model limited submissions to incremental enhancements for existing products, and the ballot process was cumbersome and not inclusive. With voting limited to one vote per IUG (or PUG) member library, it was difficult to gather meaningful feedback from all users of the systems. The annual ballot process did not align with Innovative’s quarterly development cycle, nor did it include a mechanism for conversations between users and Innovative about the context for requests.

Idea Lab will foster communication and get your winning ideas into the development cycle faster.

Q. I have more questions.

A. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Beth Juhl, University of Arkansas, Enhancements Co-Coordinator
Jeremy Goldstein, Minuteman Library Network, Enhancements Co-Coordinator
Gwyneth Jelinek, Fayetteville Public Library, Polaris Team Lead


Updated 7/9/18 mej