Having IDEAs can pay off

  • Published
  • By Shirley Carrizo
  • 82nd Force Support Squadron
You never know how or when inspiration will strike. It often comes as ideas to solve pressing problems or simply as ways to do things quicker, cheaper, safer or more efficiently.

The Air Force wants to know about your ideas and reward you for them.

The Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program is about finding an easier, more efficient way to improve a unit's process at a minimum cost to the government that will also save tax payer dollars.

A good idea, whether it's new or the inventive use of a past method, can save lives, tax dollars, resources and improve the quality of life for our community.

The IDEA Program offers a way for everyone to contribute ideas in a global Air Force forum. This program is controlled by the Air Force Manpower Agency and allows for submission, evaluation and cash awards for usable ideas on a Web-based submission system.

Having worked closely with the IDEA program, I've come across many ideas that aren't accepted because they are vague, incomplete or based on opinion. Avoid these pitfalls.

When wording a submission, keep in mind your idea needs to be specific, simple, clear and accurate to the reader who will be evaluating the idea.

Gather your data. A common reason ideas are incomplete is due to the lack of preparation by the submitter.

Be prepared to provide detailed description of your idea, state a workable solution and incorporate expected benefits whether tangible or intangible.

Although your local manpower and organization can help you, ultimately the burden is on the submitter to prove their case. Do the legwork and gather all your facts and figures. Don't rely on the evaluator of your ideas to do it for you.

Lastly, don't confuse an opinion with an idea.

Opinions without solutions don't equate to an idea and will cause your submission to be rejected. Keep your ideas focused on facts, figures and solutions while avoiding emotion.

The IDEA program is a powerful tool to reduce costs, foster continuous improvement, and increase efficiency, productivity and safety. Any person, team or group, assigend to an Air Force unit may submit ideas.

You can access the IDEA program data system from any Air Force desktop computer to submit your idea at https://ipds.randolph.af.mil.

For more information on the Air Force IDEA Program, please contact your IDEA representative.