Merge Ideas (Parent-Child)

Important Note: This feature is currently in beta, and can be enabled by opting in under the 'System Setup' beta tab. Please test first with non-critical data, report any issues to support, and post enhancement requests to IdeaSpace.

Everything You Need to Know about Merging Ideas!

The relaunched "Merge Ideas" feature allows admins to establish a parent-child relationship between similar or duplicate ideas. All original ideas remain intact and accessible, with parent ideas maintaining the ability for crowd interactions and evaluations, while children will be limited in those regards.

About the Merged Parent-Child Relationship

  • A parent idea may have any number of children
  • A child idea corresponds to a single parent
  • Initially on merging, children will have their step and status synced to the selected parent
  • Voting and comments will be blocked on children
  • Children will have their visibility sync'ed with parents
  • Children will not show in 'Steps' view
  • Children will not trigger action items

Getting Started:

First, make sure the parent-child merge beta feature is enabled in 'System Setup' under the beta tab.

To merge ideas:

  • Navigate to 'Steps' or 'List' view for your activity
  • Select at least two ideas to merge
  • Use the dropdown or right click menu to access 'Actions' and select 'Merge Ideas'


Merging Ideas

  • When choosing to merge ideas, a parent idea must be selected
    • Parent ideas will retain visibility everywhere throughout the platform; they will remain open to crowd engagement and trigger action items
    • Child ideas will be initially synced with parents, and will change step with them (see details below)
    • Child ideas will retain visibility in most areas, but crowd engagement will be disabled and action items will not be triggered
    • Tags from child ideas will be "rolled up" to the parent
  • Additional ideas can later be merged with existing parents by selecting a parent and any number of un-merged ideas


  • Individual ideas can be reviewed by clicking the idea code link to open them in a new window
  • By default, the oldest idea will be selected to be the parent
  • Click 'Merge Ideas' to complete the action; a confirmation will be shown at the top of the screen


Un-Merging Ideas

Merged ideas can be un-merged to break the parent-child relationship. Note: Any automatic changes steps or statuses will not be undone by un-merging. Children that are un-merged will have crowd interactions re-enabled, and will once again begin triggering action items. 

  • Navigate to 'Steps' or 'List' view for your activity
  • Highlight any number of merged ideas
    • Children can be individually un-merged from their parents
    • If a parent idea is selected to be un-merged, all children to that idea will be un-merged
  • Use the dropdown or right click menu to access 'Actions' and select 'Un-Merge Ideas'
  • If a parent idea is deleted, children will be un-merged


Managing Merged Ideas

  • Children are not displayed in 'Steps' view
  • Children are displayed in 'List' view and the 'Innovations Pillar'
    • Two new columns are available for sorting and data processing: 'Merged' and 'Merged With'
    • These columns will be included in exports from both areas
  • Additional ideas can be merged with an existing parent by selecting the ideas and invoking the 'Merge Ideas' command


End-user Interaction with Merged Ideas

  • There is a new pipeline email named 'Idea Merged' that can be used to send notifications to submitters when their ideas are merged


  • When viewing a child idea, end-users will be directed to the parent via the banner
    • Users will be unable to vote or comment on children
    • All pre-existing votes and comments will remain unaffected on the child idea


  • When viewing a parent idea, any merged children will be displayed as links in the 'Idea Details' widget; hover over the title for more details
    • Merged Ideas will be visible based on user permissions for those ideas
    • Votes for the Parent Idea will hold true; at this time it will not take into account votes on the child idea(s)


  • Children ideas will show in a user's submissions (e.g. on User Home and Profile)
  • Children ideas will be searchable
  • Children ideas will be shown in Idea Boards  
  • For the end user, points & statistics stay the same.  

Evaluator Interaction with Merged Ideas

  • Parent ideas will trigger action items and evaluations
  • Children will not trigger action items or evaluations 
  • Merged ideas will be displayed in the 'Details' tab on evaluations


Frequently Asked Questions

  • I don't see the "Merge" and "Un-merge" action commands?
    • Please review the notice at the top of this article, and make sure the beta option is enabled in 'System Setup'
  • Can I change the parent idea?
    • The parent cannot be changed, as such. A workaround would be to un-merge ideas from the existing parent, and then subsequently select those ideas to merge again. You will be prompted to select a parent at that time.
  • Will statuses stay synced from parents to children?
    • Statuses are initially synced when ideas are merged. However, subsequently changing status of parent idea will not change the status of child ideas.
  • Will step stay synced from parents to children?
    • Child ideas will be moved along with parents to other steps in the pipeline
    • Child ideas will not automatically be moved to different pipelines if parents are moved
  • What will appear in reports?
    • Both the parent and child ideas will still be included in Activity and Enterprise-level reports and dashboards
  • What will appear in search results?
    • Both parent and child ideas will be visible from search. If you wish to hide an idea, toggle the visibility to 'hidden'
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