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AI For Idea Management Done Well

Chief Delivery and Product Officer at Sideways 6 Tashya Sendanayake shares her approach to developing product conscientiously with AI and her top tips to consider when it comes to designing an AI strategy.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is swiftly evolving from a trendy buzzword to a practical tool that businesses can confidently employ to enrich user experiences, optimize operations and efficiency, and secure a competitive advantage. Some already consider it to be business critical.  

However, the key lies not just in adopting AI but in doing it properly – strategically, user-centrically, and reliably.

Selecting High-Impact Use Cases

The first step towards implementing AI effectively is identifying high impact use cases that address real user problems, and aligning this to your product strategy. 

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Whilst it may be tempting to integrate AI for the sake of ‘implementing AI’, a strategic approach involves a careful evaluation of where AI can truly make a difference. 

At Sideways 6, we identified four main areas where AI could have the biggest impact on our product offering: 

  1. Process automation: use AI to automate highly manual or time-consuming actions to decrease the time it takes to manage ideas and make it easier to find the best ones. 
  1. Content creation: use AI to autogenerate or inspire content so there are less barriers to getting new campaigns up and running. 
  1. Insights and Analytics: use AI to identify patterns and trends in ideas so top themes are raised to the surface to aid decision making and senior stakeholder involvement. 
  1. Personalisation: use AI to personalise user experience so employees see ideas and insights that matter most to them and get tailored support and inspiration to drive up engagement with the programme. 

By taking a more strategic approach to prioritising AI-powered features, AI can become integral to your product's value proposition and not just an under-appreciated, under used nice-to-have optimisation that is soon forgotten. 

Illustration of a person shaking hand with an AI

User-Centric Design

Implementing AI is not just about the technology; it's about creating a seamless user experience. It is important to consider the target audience, their preferences, and the context in which they interact with your product. By tailoring the UX to the specific needs of your users, you ensure that AI features are utilised by the right people at the right moment, in the right way to maximise impact. 

3_User centric AI

As a design principle, we try to make everything as easy to use as possible. We must consider the fact that most of our users are on the go and short on time, so all the features we introduce must be seamless. All of our AI features have the option to provide feedback consistently so that we can continuously optimise the quality of the content generated, as well as the user experience.   

Can AI Generate Ideas?

In principle yes, but we are very mindful to avoid AI replacing users' ideas. Instead, we designed AI to recommend improvements rather than brand new ideas in a way that allows idea submitters to choose whether to adopt the AI recommendation, so the submitter feels like they are always in the driving seat. With our newly released ‘Improve with AI’ feature we allow our AI to inspire improvements to ideas in a coach like style, but ultimately we ensure that the submitter makes the final decision on what their idea should include- after all it is their idea! 

Improve with AI


Reliable and Robust Implementation

A key challenge in AI implementation is ensuring reliability. Users need to trust that the AI-powered features will consistently deliver accurate and valuable results. 

Thorough testing, ongoing monitoring, and continuous refinement are essential aspects of building a reliable AI system. By prioritising reliability, you not only enhance user satisfaction but also encourage repeat engagement. 

In the fast-paced world of AI it is easy to look for a singular, all-encompassing AI model that can do it all. While the idea of a one-size-fits-all AI solution is tempting, the reality is that relying on just one AI model can be limiting and even counterproductive. 

AI evolving

AI for Idea Management 

Our new Similar Ideas AI combines two important steps to ensure the ideas presented are as close to the idea being submitted as possible.  

How does AI Detectors Work? 

First, we use a mapping AI to look at general similarities and how closely related ideas are. We then us Chat GPT4 to compare the actual content of the ideas to identify specific similarities from a more focused group of ideas. Not only does this result in closer matches, but also significant improvements to processing times and speed. 

Similar Ideas being flagged by an AI robot illustratiobn

Josh Vincent (Former Straight to Stuart Project Lead) @ Marks and Spencer says

"A complex problem we were facing at M&S was that of the 13,000 suggestions we received in the past year and a half, many were duplicated leaving our expert reviewers with a lot of repetitive work.  For example the idea to introduce airfryer cooking times to our product packaging was suggested over 100 times! The similar ideas AI has been incredibly helpful making the whole process much more efficient. Now colleagues can see if their idea has previously been submitted in a few seconds, which helps reduce the manual admin and also highlights key suggestion themes. "

AIl Sideways 6 AI powered features leverage Microsoft Azure AI Services which means our customer data is kept on Azure and will not be shared with any third-party companies. This helps avoid any adoption hurdles and ensures our customer data is kept safe and secure at all times. 


As we navigate the AI landscape, it's crucial to approach implementation strategically, with a keen focus on high-impact use cases, user-centric design, and reliability. By adopting a thoughtful and purposeful approach, we hope to stand out in a crowded market by offering innovative AI solutions that truly make a difference to our users and the health of idea programmes. 

Learn more about our product or book a free demo today to find out how you can leverage AI-powered technology to take our idea management initiative to the next level. 


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