Incentive system and method for an intranet based Question and Answer forum.
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-24
The IP.com Prior Art Database
The basis of this idea is basically a points based Question and Answer (Q&A) forum, but with a key difference in that it separates the allocation of points to a question away from the employee (who is asking the question) and assigns it to the employee's manager. This mechanism means the question is relevant and important at a team level, and is therefore worthwhile for someone else from within the organisation to look at answering of solving the problem at hand. This makes the basic Q&A forum much more useful within a large organisation. Currently Q&A forums simply just don't have a mechanism for prioritising really important requests from relatively trivial requests. This is obvious when searching internal and external forums for the solution.
Incentive system and method for an intranet based Question and Answer forum .
A number of question and answer type internet systems already exist. This system extends those systems readily available by providing additional methods for regulating the asking and also a method for motivating the answering of questions via a computer network. The number and complexity of questions asked is controlled by a question regulation method, and the number and quality of answers provided is controlled by an answer evaluation method.
The key difference between this idea and what we describe here is the adding of additional methods to separate the allocation of points to a question away from the employee asking the question and assigning it to the employees' manager. This key mechanism means the question is relevant and important to the team, and it is therefore worthwhile for someone else from within the organisation to look at the question.
Here is a sample run through of how this idea would work:
Every manager could be allocated a set budget of points annually (or alternatively as a once off) for the internal Q&A Forum. Managers can be easily identified via an internal LDAP. This should develop an internal market or exchange of points. Because the Q&A forum is internal it also means that employees can post more sensitive questions than could be posted on external Q&A forums should the details of the issue be of a commercial or highly technical nature. Managers could optionally assign, for example, the team architect as their assignee for assigning points to questions posted.
Employees can post important team based questions to the forum and get their manager to assign some of their team points to the question, i.e. only the team's manager can assign points to a question posted to the forum. This will prevent unimportant or trivial questions being asked. This is one of the keys to this invention publication, the assignment of points is separated away from the person who posts the question and the manager is relied upon to make a judgement call on the importance of this question to the team's performance. The points are a scarce resource. Questions with points represent a true team level issue and by its nature it should be difficult to solve. This way management maintain control over usage of the team's posting of questions. An additional embodiment of this invention is that senior managers and executives can also be recognised from the LDAP and could potentially be assigned appropriately more points for, say, departmental and brand level problems.
Without any points there would not be much of an incentive for anyone to resolve the problem. It should mean that teams try to resolve the question themselves before referring to the forum. In addition, current forums always suffer from having loads of trivial type questions - this forum would not suffer from that, so filtering would not be as much of a worry.
Depending on the importance of the answ...