Discover new ideas

PPP Filter.

This tool helps to select the best ideas from a Jam workshop session or a crowdsourcing challenge. Each idea or proposal is scored against the 3Ps: Practical, Profitable and Pioneering.

"The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away."

Linus Pauling

This tool is used to filter ideas during a workshop or team meeting or to judge crowdsourced ideas or business propositions.

The tool’s key elements are the Practical, Profitable and Pioneering boxes. We allocate scores for each ‘P’ relative to other competing ideas or known successful innovations.

Sometimes we might be looking for pioneering ideas that don’t need to be practical yet. Or alternatively, ideas that must be profitable in the short term. This process can help assess whether the idea should be developed now as an incremental improvement or whether it has bigger potential for later.

If we’re judging business propositions we can add up to 3 further P’s, ‘Proposal, Plan or People’ to better evaluate the potential for a successful business partnership. 

Sample analysis (score out of 10 for each element)

Idea                Practical               Profitable               Pioneering               Total
Idea 1             2                             7                               9                                 18
Idea 2             4                             6                               5                                 15
Idea 3             9                             7                               4                                 20

Total               15                           20                            18                                 –


Idea 1 is interesting if we’re looking for a radical idea that offers a potentially profitable alternative

Idea 3 has the highest score and would be useful if we’re looking for an idea that is practical and offers the chance of reasonable commercial gain

Practical ideas are under-represented in this group


1. Practical
Do we have the knowledge, technology, resources and time to make this happen?

In an ideal world, the idea may be very effective. But we don’t live in an ideal world so how practical is this idea going to prove? Do we have the people, the money and the time to make it happen? Does it call for new unproven technology or untried techniques? It’s OK to score this low if you are aiming for radical innovation or to test a prototype.

2. Profitable
How much commercial potential does this idea have?

Profitable innovations make money by effectively meeting an unmet need at a reasonable cost. Will this idea improve on the status quo and will users be prepared to pay for it? If the idea is not a commercial product, will it be effective relative to the cost of creating it?

3. Pioneering
Ideas that are new and different stand a better chance of breaking through. How pioneering is this idea in context?

Pioneering ideas stand a better chance of attracting attention both inside and outside of our organisation. What is the evidence that the idea is genuinely new? If we are looking for smaller incremental innovations it’s fine to score an idea low for ‘Pioneering’ if we can explain why this is more likely to lead to a more practical and profitable innovation.



Take ideas from Idea Frame and put them through the PPP test.
Use Crowdsourcing Platform to specify a platform to source ideas. For instance, see 100%Open’s Discover Platform for examples.
See Challenge Designer to design crowdsourcing challenges.

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