How to get started


Crowdsourcing is a method to solve a challenge and can be used in many different situations. Usually, crowdsourcing starts by identifying a challenge that needs to be solved. It can be a challenge that the company has failed to solved internally and needs external inputs to find a solution to or a challenge where you need new ideas and solutions.

 7 trin

A common way to use crowdsourcing is by hosting a crowdsourcing challenge.

A challenge is a crowdsourcing process where the problem you have identified in your organization is shared with a large group of online problem solvers. That way anyone who desires to can come up with a suggested solution to your problem. The best proposals are rewarded, and you can use the solution in your organization.

Below we have listed 7 steps that will guide you through your crowdsourcing challenge.

1. Challenge

What kind of challenge is your company trying to solve?

2. Research

What is the background for the challenge?

3. Design

What are important elements in your challenge?

4. Platform

What platform is right for your challenge?

5. Communication

How do you find the right crowd for your challenge?

6. Evaluation

How do you identify the best solution proposals?

7. Reporting

What did you learn and how do you best move on?

1. Challenge

Begin by considering what type of solution you need for your problem. Do you need a specific solution? Or do you need ideas, proposals and inspiration?

The type of solution you need will influence how your challenge should be designed.

2. Research

The research phase is an important outset for any challenge. This is where you describe what underlies the challenge and who the audience is. There are four main points you should consider in the research phase:


Purpose and milestones

Contains the strategic purpose and the milestones for the challenge


Needs analysis

Contains the background for the challenge and the need for a solution

Stakeholder analysis

Which stakeholders can help you evolve your challenge?

Target group analysis

Who is your audience?

3. Design

When you have defined your challenge and done the research, the next step is to create a good challenge brief.

A challenge brief is a high-level description of your crowdsourcing campaign and should amongst others include:

1. Title: A catchy campaign title

2. Question: What problem do you need solved?

3. Challenge background: Why is it interesting?

4. Challenge guidelines: What should you do as a participant?

5. Evaluation criteria: How are the ideas / solutions evaluated?

6. Evaluering: Who will evaluate the ideas?

7. Prize: What can participants win? One or more winners?

8. IP-rights: Who own the rights to the solutions?

9. Timeline/process: What does the timeline for the process look like?

10. Other terms: Are there certain things, you need to take into account?

4. Platform

Når du skal vælge en platform til din challenge er det en god idé at lave et grundigt research arbejde. Der er masser af platforme derude og ikke alle kan det samme. Du kan få et hurtigt overblik over nogle af de mest brugte platforme her.

Sørg derfor for først at klarligge hvilke behov du har og tag derefter kontakt til flere forskellige platforme for at afgøre, hvilken der passer bedst til din challenge og din pengepung.

Platforms with existing crowds:

Crowdsourcing of innovation
  • Innocentive
  • NineSigma
  • Yet2Com
Public crowdsourcing
  • Galaxy Zoo
Crowdsourcing of creativity
  • eYeka
  • Tongal
  • 99designs
Other types of platforms
  • OpenIdeo
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Ushahidi
  • Topcoder
  • My Starbucks Idea

Platforms/software you can use to get a crowd:

Idea management software
  • Chaordix
  • Citizenlab
  • Crowdicity
  • Hyve
  • Ideanote
  • Imaginatik
  • Nosco
  • Spigit
  • Wazuko

5. Communication

How do you find the right crowd for your challenge?

  1. Identify the audience for your challengeWho is your target audience?
  2. Identify stakeholders/partners: Who can help you convey your message?
  3. Prepare your campaign: How will you communicate your campaign?

It is a good idea to make a communication strategy and plan to identify and engage your target audience and make them interested. The communication plan describes how the communication strategy translates into specific actions and initiatives.

A good communication strategy is concrete and covers who says what to whom, where it is said, how often and with what effect. The plan describes how and with what frequency the messages are communicated to the relevant audiences (e.g. newsletters, social media, events, etc.)

6. Evaluation

How do you find the winner of your challenge?

When the challenge is over, it is time to evaluate the ideas and solution proposals you have received and select a winner of your challenge.

It is important that you have described how the winner(s) will be selected in your challenge design to make the evaluation process as transparent for the participants as possible,

You can select your winner(s) in several ways. Here are some of the most common.

Your call

Your company selects and decides who the winner of the challenge is.


You can set up a jury that selects a winner. A jury can be internal but can also consist of external experts.



You can let the crowd decide who the winner should be, but notice that you will have no influence on which ideas are chosen.


You can also mix the different solutions into a model that fits your challenge and company.

7. Reporting

Reporting is primarily for internal use. It is a report that describes the challenge and the learnings from the process. It is a strong tool for yourself, your management and your colleagues that you can use when planning the next crowdsourcing challenge.

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