In a milestone challenge, there are targets (milestones) that ideas must achieve. You can add different types of milestones to build a process or workflow to suit your challenge.

Milestones can allow ideas to progress automatically, or you can create milestones that require manual approval.

In a milestone challenge, each idea will progress at its own pace, depending on when it meets the requirements for each milestone.

Milestone challenges are ideal for creating a 'pipeline' of ongoing idea generation. Ideas can be continually submitted, and systematically evaluated and developed.

In this article:

  • Activating milestones in a challenge

  • Editing milestone options

  • Editing messages to users

  • Editing the milestone journey


Activating milestones in a challenge

To activate milestones in a challenge:

1. Go to Challenge Management in the Crowd management menu, and choose to either create or edit a challenge (nb you can't use milestones in a challenge with a funnel).

2. Go to the Milestone Challenge tab, tick the Activate milestone challenge box and click Save.

3. When the page reloads, click the Add button to create your first milestone.

When you click on Add, the milestone editor will open. The first field of the editor asks you to choose the type of milestone that you would like to add.

There are 3 Milestone types:

Vote target

An idea must receive a certain number of votes, or a specific score to reach this milestone. If an idea meets the vote requirements, it progresses automatically.

You can use thumbs up voting or scorecard rating for vote target milestones. In either case, you can choose to allow all users to vote, or you can restrict the voting to specific users of your choice.

Refine

The idea author must provide additional information/answer additional questions for their idea to reach this type of milestone.

When the questions are answered, the idea automatically proceeds.

Approval

The idea must be approved by a moderator to reach an approval milestone (ie it is a manual approval process).

In addition to the challenge moderators, you can choose additional users to approve ideas at these milestones.

When you select the type of milestone that you want to add, you will see the options for that milestone type.

Good to know

Before you start setting up your milestone challenge, try planning it out on paper first: how many milestones will you need? What do you want to happen at each stage?

Editing milestone options

Each type of milestones has options that are specific to that type. This section covers everything that you need to know to set the options for each type of milestone: vote target, approval and refinement.

Vote target milestones

When you add a vote target milestone, you first need to set the type of voting that you want for the target.

With thumbs up, ideas have to receive a certain number of votes to proceed. With Scorecard voting, ideas must receive a minimum average rating, given to the idea by a minimum number of users. In short, thumbs up is a quick 'like' and scorecard rating provides a more sophisticated assessment of the idea.

After selecting the type of voting, you can then choose who can vote on ideas as they approach the milestone. By default, all users that have access to the challenge can vote on the ideas. If you want to allow only selected users to vote on ideas:

1. Hover your mouse over the Everyone group in the Users who can vote box. When you do you will see a red cross, click on the cross to remove the Everyone group.

2. Use the search box to find the users or user groups that you want to vote on ideas.

3. Click on the name of the user or group to add them to the list of users who can vote on ideas for this milestone.

The final option that must be set for vote target milestones is the score target. This is the score that ideas must receive in order to reach the milestone.

If you select thumbs up, the number that you add in the Vote target field is the number of votes that the idea must get to proceed. If you have more than one Vote target milestone, the target number should be cumulative eg if you had a 10 vote milestone, and later in the process you want ideas to get 5 more votes to reach your new milestone, you would need enter 15 in the Milestone target field.

When you choose score card rating, you must add an Average score card target, this is the average score that ideas must receive in order to proceed. The average is calculated across all criteria and votes. When you use scorecards in milestones, you must also enter a minimum number of ratings required to calculate that average.

In the example above, the average score target is 8 and the minimum number of ratings needed is 10. That means that after 10 users have rated the idea, if it has an average score of 8 or more, it will reach the vote target milestone.

When you use scorecard voting, you will also need to add a scorecard to the milestone. The scorecard is the criteria against which users will rate the ideas. To learn more about scorecards, have a look at our guide to creating scorecards.

Approval milestones

When you edit an approval milestone, you are able to choose additional moderators to approve ideas that are approaching that milestone. Any users that you add as moderators will be able to approve ideas to allow them to reach milestone.

If you already have challenge moderators (if you have already set them up in the Access area of challenge management) then any users that you add at the milestone level will be able to moderate/approve ideas in addition to any that you already have.

In an approval milestone, you also have the option to customise the email that is sent to moderators when an idea requires approval. To add your own message to the email, scroll to the section of the page that says When approaching this milestone, here you will find the box that lets you add a message to the email that is sent to moderators when an idea needs approving at this milestone.

Refinement milestones

If you have selected a ‘Refinement’ Milestone, you will notice that at the bottom of the milestone editor you can add additional fields for your users to complete in order to progress their idea.

For instructions on how to add questions to the idea submission form (the refinement questions) please see our guide to editing the idea submission form.


Editing messages to users

In addition to the options that are specific to each milestone type, there are some fields that are common across all types. These fields allow you include information about milestones, and what ideas need to do to reach their target.

Field

Description

Enter a tooltip description

This is the text that will appear when users hover their mouse over the milestone, it should be a short description of the milestone.

Message for authors

This is the text that the idea author will see above their idea to let them know what needs to happen to reach this milestone. For example, if the milestone is a voting milestone, you could write ‘Your idea needs to get 10 votes to reach this milestone’.

Message for users

This is similar to the message for the idea author, but it will be shown to the other users in the challenge. For example, if the milestone is a refinement milestone you could write ‘This idea is waiting for the author to add additional information’

Email customisation

When ideas reach a milestone, the author of that idea is sent an email. This space allows you to customise the text that appears in this email e.g. “Congratulations, your idea has received 10 votes and has completed the voting milestone! Head back to the community to see what happens next.

With a vote target milestone, you also have the option to send an email to users who will vote on the idea; this option is only available if you have a selected number of users voting (ie not 'Everyone').

If you select this option, an email will be sent to voters to let them know that an idea is approaching the milestone. Use the text box underneath the text box to customise this email with your own message.

Milestone completion message

Add a message that will appear once an idea has reach the final milestone in your process. This message will appear on the idea page and can a messaage unique to users or idea authors depending on who is viewing the idea.


Editing the milestone journey

The milestone journey is the string of milestones through which ideas must progress, you can edit this journey by customising the labels in between the milestones and by removing milestones.

A milestone journey

An example of a milestone journey. Ideas progress along the path as they reach the different milestones.

Customising the journey labels

In between the milestones, users can see a text label that summarise what is happening at that point in the timeline (eg 'Gathering votes', 'Under review'). You can edit these labels to customise your milestone journey.

To edit the journey text labels:

1. Click on the text of the label that you want to edit.

2. Type your new label in the text box, it's best to keep this text to 2-3 words at most.

3. Click anywhere else on the page to close the text box.

Removing milestones

Attention

You can only delete the last milestone in a challenge, you can't delete a milestone in the middle of the process, or rearrange milestones.

To remove a milestone from your challenge:

1. Click on the last milestone in the journey.

2. The Milestone editor will open, scroll to the bottom of the editor box where you will find the Save, Close and Delete buttons.

3. Click Delete, this will open a box that asks you to confirm that you want to delete the Milestone.

4. If you are sure that you want to delete your milestone, select the two tick boxes and click I am aware of the risk. Delete the milestone.

This process will delete the last milestone in your challenge, you can repeat the steps above to delete subsequent milestones.

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