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Optimizely Knowledge Base

Collaborate on ideas with Program Management

  • Add and score ideas to help with program-level prioritization
  • Collaborate on ideas by assigning tasks, attaching resources, and adding notes and comments
  • Follow an idea through the different stages of execution

In Optimizely Program Management, an idea captures all the requirements, workflow, collaboration, data, and analysis for an experiment or set of experiments in one place.

Ideas enable teams to work effectively through Optimizely. By tracking an idea, a whole team can collaborate across the process of developing and executing an experiment: from new idea in the backlog to complete experiment with recorded results.

Read on to learn how to add and collaborate on ideas.

Before you add and collaborate on ideas, you must set up a site and touchpoint

Add a new idea

Here's how to add a new idea, with instructions listed below:


  1. Navigate to your team > Ideas.

  2. From the Ideas dashboard, select Add idea.

  3. Select a touchpoint where this experiment will run. (Remember, this is for organizational purposes). Add an experiment name and hypothesis.

  4. Click Save.

Great! You've added a new idea to your Ideas dashboard. It's now visible to your teammates.


Your new idea will be listed in the Backlog and be categorized under the Requirements stage. To add assets, collaborate, prioritize, or add a tag, select the idea.

Score an idea 

Scoring is a simple way to prioritize ideas in your backlog. Multiple members on your team can score an idea. Scores are averaged evenly for the idea to create an overall score.

In program management, ideas are scored on four criteria:

  • Potential: What potential does this idea have to improve your primary metric?

  • Impact: If the experiment wins, what overall business impact will it make?

  • Level of Effort: What level of effort is needed to build this experiment?

  • Love: How well does this align with your personal preference, strategic importance, or current experimentation priorities?

Most teams use scores to inform their decisions about which experiments to run next. Having a backlog helps you maintain a healthy testing velocity and build a deep bench of creative, high-impact experiment ideas.

To score ideas:


  1. From the Team dashboard, select your team name to navigate to your team's Ideas dashboard.

  2. Click the circle to the left of the idea you want to score.

  3. Select an option from each dropdown menu to score the idea in each of the four criteria.

  4. Click Save.

Once teammates start adding scores, the circle on the Ideas dashboard will show the overall score for each idea.

Alternatively, navigate to the sidebar for the specific idea and select Score to adjust your scoring.


The scoring feature in Optimizely's Program Management comes with four pre-defined categories your team can use. If your organization already has its own scoring rubric for ideas and hypotheses in place, you can use custom scoring to configure Program Management to match it.

When you customize score categories and change scales, those changes are made at the team level, and will only be applied to that team's ideas.

Here's how to customize the categories you use to score ideas, with step-by-step instructions below: 


  1. In Program Management, select your team, click Team Settings, and select the Customization tab.

  2. In the Custom Score Categories dashboard, you'll see a list of categories that you can edit. To edit the name, description or scale of a category, click Edit.

    Currently, each team is limited to four scoring categories total.

  3. To change the category name or the description, simply begin typing in the appropriate field. For example, change the default "Potential" category to "Profitability." Your description can be up to 350 characters long. 

    Custom categories can only be defined at the team level. Additionally, you can only edit scoring categories if you are a project owner.

  4. Team members will use the scale to quantify how well they expect an experiment idea to perform in each category. To change the scale, click the Scale drop-down box and select one of the four customization options.

    It's currently not possible to set a custom scale for categories.

  5. Click Save to finish customizing or Cancel to discard your changes.

Change the status

An idea's status lets you know if your hypothesis is awaiting prioritization, or is actively being worked on. On the Ideas dashboard, teammates can view and filter ideas based on status, prioritize the backlog, and view what's active or archived.

Every idea has a status attached to it: 

  • Backlog: Grey dot, submitted but not yet prioritized

  • Active: Green light, actively being worked on by team

  • Archived: Black dot, completed and closed out

Users with Owner or Team Administrator permissions will manually update the status of each idea.

Here’s how to change idea status:


  1. From the Team dashboard, select your team name to navigate to your team's Ideas dashboard.

  2. Search or filter to find the idea that you'd like to update.

  3. Click theScreen Shot 2018-01-04 at 10.51.08 AM.png icon. In the dropdown, select the correct status.

Alternatively, navigate to the sidebar for the specific idea and click to select the status. In the dropdown menu, select the status.


Add details and tags

The Idea Details module allows you to flesh out the experiment idea with a goal, primary metrics, a detailed description, hypothesis, restrictions, and the devices to be included.

Administrators and Team Owners can also tag the idea to make it easily searchable. On the Ideas dashboard, you'll be able to filter by the tags you add here.

Under Ideas Details, add and remove tags in the text field.


Use Markdown formatting to add emphasis, lists, links, images, and more in Idea Details fields.

Change the stage 

Every idea has a stage assigned to it to provide teammates with visibility for where an idea is in terms of execution. Teammates with Team Administrator or Owner permissions can change the stage that an idea is assigned to. 

The stages: Requirements | Creative | Development | Setup & QA | Testing | Analysis | Complete

Here’s how to change an idea’s stage:

  1. From the Team dashboard, select your team name to navigate to your team's Ideas dashboard.

  2. Search or filter to find the idea you want to update.

  3. Under Stage, hover over the bubbles to view the stages and click to select the right one.

The Stage column will automatically update to list the new stage you selected.

Alternatively, navigate to the specific idea and select Idea Overview. Click to change the idea stage.


Assign tasks

Program management enables you to assign specific tasks to teammates and provide deadlines. Once a task is assigned, the teammate will receive an email notification that includes the request and due date.

  1. From the Teams dashboard, select your team name to navigate to your team's Ideas dashboard and click the idea you want to update.

  2. Under Tasks & Timeline, click the Assignee field to assign a stage to a particular teammate. 

Assignees can use Markdown formatting to add emphasis, lists, links, images, and more in the notes for each stage.

When a stage is complete, the team's Administrator or Owner can check the box for the stage. You'll then be prompted to confirm that you'd like to progress the idea to the next stage.


Add comments

Commenting is built in throughout program management so you can provide updates, ask for approvals, and collaborate with your team.

To read teammates’ comments on an idea and add your own:

  1. On the Ideas dashboard, click the idea’s name to open Idea Details.

  2. Click the dialog icon in the top right corner of the page.

Use Markdown formatting to add emphasis, lists, links, images, and more in your comments.

Add attachments

Attachments make it easier to collaborate. Add wireframes, images, code samples, and more to as your team turns an idea into a full experiment.

Add followers 

Followers of an idea receive email updates when they're tagged in a comment or assigned to a task. A teammate who is assigned an idea task, who comments on an idea, or who edits an idea is automatically added as a follower.

Teammates can add and remove themselves as followers from the sidebar for the specific idea.