Everything You Need to Know about 'Merging Ideas'!


Important Note: This feature is only applicable to previous 'WebStorm Admin' back-end and is not available in 'Pipeline Management' at this time.  

Everything You Need to Know about 'Merging Ideas'!

 

As a Brightidea administrator, he/she has the option to merge (or combine) existing ideas that are very similar.  This can be done right within WebStorm Admin!

Getting Started:

  • First, the administrator must navigate to the WebStorm Admin area for the specific WebStorm:
  • Highlight at least two ideas to merge (the administrator can select more than one) within WebStorm Admin
  • Right mouse click or select "Actions" in top navigation to select "Merge Ideas"
 
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  • When the admin merges ideas, they have to select a "Parent" idea.  
  • Remember, the 'Parent' idea is the idea that the administrator is choosing to keep "alive" within Brightidea.  
  • The 'Child' idea will still exist but the Parent / Master idea will be used to continue on in the innovation program via Switchboard, etc.

                                          

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  • Once the admin selects the idea you wish to be a Parent, select 'Merge Ideas'
  • Once that is selected, the admin will get a confirmation pop-up at the top of their screen in WebStorm Admin in green.

Post Idea Merge - What is visible to the end user?

  • Now that two ideas have been merged, the idea submitter of the child idea (and any idea subscribers and/or babysitter) will receive an email notification noting their idea has been merged into another. 
  • The end user will see any merged ideas in the parent idea in their WebStorm idea list:

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  • The 'Child' idea will have a URL to the parent idea, and will not allow the user to vote or comment on that child idea. 
  • Commenting and voting will be disabled on all child ideas going forward after the merge.  
  • All pre-existing votes will still hold true on the child idea.
  • Both ideas still exist for users.  
    • When merging ideas, the admin can select the "master" idea. On the "master" idea page, the merged idea will be reflected:   
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  • If the user attempts to vote on the child idea, it will prompt the user with a message:

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  • For the end user, statistics stay the same.  
  • Votes for the Parent Idea will hold true, it will not take into account votes on the child idea(s).
  • The child idea will be removed from the "Community Stats" widgets, as well as the View Ideas page for both administrators and end users.
  • Administrators and/or end users cannot vote on child ideas
                              

Post Idea Merge - What is visible to the administrator?

  • For the administrator, when ideas are merged - the master idea and child ideas are present in the WebStorm Admin grid.  
    • The link to the merged Idea in the WebStorm Admin ideas grid will be gray
    • Please also note new column's for 'Merged' and 'Merged With' to note the Parent and Child idea(s)
    • In the WebStorm Admin grid, when merged ideas are selected with a group of ideas, the "Merge Ideas" option will be grayed out as these ideas have already been merged.

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What happens to the idea votes/score?

  • Under WebStorm Admin --> Setup --> General --> Options > Idea Merge option, there are two options that are available in regards to how the child idea's votes are handled:

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'Add Child Idea Votes / Chips to Master Idea' Option

  • When "Add child idea votes/chips to master idea" is selected and two (or more) ideas are merged, the total vote count for merged parent will be aggregated.

Example:

IDEA A (parent) has 3 total votes (+4, -1)

IDEA B (child) has -2 total votes (+2, -4)

IDEA A (merged) has 1 total vote

                    Votes for child ideas will remain unchanged

'Keep Idea Votes / Chips Separate' Option

  • When two ideas are merged, the votes for parent and child idea will remain unchanged.

Important Things to Note!

  • Unmerge
    • Administrators cannot "un-merge" an idea - all merging is final.
    • However, if the parent idea is deleted,  the merged child idea(s) will become un-merged and appear as normal independent ideas.
  • Changing 'Parent Idea'
    • Administrators cannot change the parent idea as well. 
  • Status Changing
    • Changing status of parent idea will not change the status of child ideas.
  • Reporting
  • Searching
    • The child idea will be able to be accessed from search, the master idea, the submitter's profile, or any email links for both administrators and end users.
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Comments

  • Avatar
    Sean Tori - Program Admin

    What's the benefit or reason for merging?  I thought merging was for identical ideas, however, children are still visible and have no link on them to the parent.  Also, the parent doesn't consume the points of the child - so when would one MERGE when it seems all merging does is the same as HIDING and idea - prevents votes and comments on child.  

  • Avatar
    Anthony Madama

    Please note - there is a known issue with commenting on child ideas - this will be taken care of soon!  

    We are still also accommodating Enterprise/WebStorm widgets and Dashboard to reflect merged ideas accurately - thank you!

    Best,

    Anthony

  • Avatar
    Lisa Fannin

    It appears it is not possible to change the status of the child idea once it has been merged.  It that correct?

  • Avatar
    Anthony Madama

    Hi Lisa - Correct, the child idea becomes "frozen" - where you can't really change any main attributes of the child idea.

    Hope that helps!

    Best,

    Anthony

  • Avatar
    Sean Tori - Program Admin

    I wish the child status reflected the same as the parent - or maybe a new MERGED status so that we can filter these out of reports and easily identify them.  It's hard to deal with merged children on reports!

  • Avatar
    Anthony Madama

    Great feedback, Sean!  Please submit to IdeaSpace if you haven't done so already - I will definitely share with our Product team regardless...

    Best,

    Anthony

  • Avatar
    Lisa Fannin

    I must agree with Sean Tori then; what is the value of merging if the idea isn't "consumed" by the parent, nor can it be controlled any longer.   It seems that it should be one way or another.  I would vote for an entire integration, so that all rating and comments are merged (but not duplicated) and it is no longer listed as a separate controllable item in SwitchBoard. 

  • Avatar
    Anthony Madama

    Hi Lisa -

    Valid point - but I think the main point is to keep all users' ideas somewhat existing in the system.  With that said, that doesn't mean that this feature cannot be enhanced or optimized.  Also keep in mind "merging" ideas is a feature that is still fairly new.  Our Product team is now in the midst of doing some research to accommodate both the maintenance for the administrator as well as making sure all ideas are accounted for.  If there is a dire need, I can contact your Account Manager to discuss a potential enhancement - thank you again!

    Best,

    Anthony

  • Avatar
    Sean Tori - Program Admin

    Thanks Lisa for the feedback.  Totally agree!  I put this in Idea Space maybe a year ago but not sure if it went anywhere. 

     

    Of note - the merged/reconciled score is correctly reflected on the parent in the back end (webstorm admin) but not when end users are viewing the parent in Webstorm.  This was something I had put in Idea Space as well (to show the merged score on the parent to end users)!

  • Avatar
    MENTOR_Beth

    We use this Beta feature.  I like the thought of the 'child' idea having a status of "Merged" so they can be filtered out easily.

  • Avatar
    Anthony Madama

    Great idea Beth!  Please put that into IdeaSpace if you haven't done so already!

    Best,

    Anthony

  • Avatar
    Michelle Fairbanks

    great KBA :) also.. maybe worth adding a note about how to easiest locate the ideas you want to merge, i.e. search for the 2 Idea tracking #s in the search bar.. it will pull up just those two 

  • Avatar
    Anthony Madama

    Good call Michelle - great tip to share for our administrators - using the search to their advantage is key to filter our results prior to merging!

  • Avatar
    MENTOR_Beth

    I love the merged data being in WS Admin fields...

    Beth

  • Avatar
    Smith, Caroline

    Is there a way to pull the Merged and Merged With fields from the API?  I'm not seeing it in the xml returned for the idea, and I'm not sure which method it would fall under.

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Ron

    Hello Caroline,

    Unfortunately, there is no API that pulls merged idea data at this time.

    Thank you,

    Ron Orlovetskiy

    Brightidea Support

  • Avatar
    Sonia Gheller - Networker

    It would be very useful to be allowed to unmerge an idea!! We have a process whereby when changing a status or merge an idea we enter an Admin comment to let the idea submitter how thier idea is progressing.  Recently 2 ideas were merged to a master idea before comments and status change were made. Also in the case of Admin error, it would be essential to un-merge an idea.

  • Avatar
    saul.andrade

    FYI - I was able to unmerge ideas by going the child ideas and clicking on unmerge.  Guessing this functionality was recently added?

  • Avatar
    Ron

    Hi Saul,

    That would be a beta feature in the software that we enable on a case by case basis (enabled in your system). Otherwise, that functionality is not on by default as of yet.

    Best,

    Brightidea Support

  • Avatar
    Kerry O'Connor

    I see that this article was written 4 years ago - is it still 100% accurate with the Fall 2014 release? Just wanted to check before investing in the merge...

  • Avatar
    Roc Chen

    Not sure if it's still functioning, couldn't find it on my webstorm admin back-end.

  • Avatar
    Daniel

    Hi Roc,

    Merging ideas is not available in the new WebStorm Admin back-end. You can, however, link ideas in Pipeline Management.

    Best,
    Daniel He
    Brightidea Support

  • Avatar
    mbrown

    @Roc, we are working on adding this feature back in, planned to be available in early April.

  • Avatar
    Kuhan Milroy

    Any update on whether the merge feature has been added back in to the webstorm admin back-end? (It's early April :) )

  • Avatar
    Roc Chen

    Hi @mbrown

    I'm just wondering if we already got this feature back? That'd be very helpful for our new challenge.

    Thank you.
    Roc

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