Below is a list of frequently asked questions. You may review our response by clicking on each question.


What is the purpose of THAT'S A GREAT IDEA?

  • THAT'S A GREAT IDEA is an initiative hosted on the Vice-President (Administration) website. It is an effort in keeping with Forward With Integrity to enhance community engagement, accountability and flexibility. The program provides an easy method for individuals of McMaster's community to submit their ideas for the continuous improvement of Administration.

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Who is eligible to participate in THAT'S A GREAT IDEA?

  • THAT'S A GREAT IDEA is available to all, be it faculty, staff, students or other members of McMaster's community who have ideas for the continuous improvement of Administration.

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What types of ideas are eligible for implementation?

  • All ideas received through the Great Idea website will be recognized. In keeping with the University's mission and strategic priorities and objectives, ideas should pertain to new opportunities or process enhancements that:

    • Solve a problem being experienced;
    • Create capacity in our resource stretched environment;
    • Enhance quality of service in what we do;
    • Increase efficiency and/or effectiveness in our practices.

    If you are unsure of whether or not your idea has been previously submitted, you can refer to the Ideas section of the THAT'S A GREAT IDEA website to see information on ideas submitted.

    Ideas that pertain to existing projects will be forwarded to the appropriate leader(s) for further consideration.

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What does “ Idea Status" mean?

  • “Idea Status,” is the phase of completion of an idea.  Status categories are ‘Considered’, ‘In Progress’, ‘Existing or Complete’, ‘Declined’.

    Idea status’ and corresponding definitions are listed below:

    • Considered: Submission is being reviewed and validated for next steps.
    • In Progress: Submission has been validated and is being evaluated for possible implementation.
    • Existing or Complete: Submission has been implemented successfully, or identified to be or is part of a current or planned initiative/project.
    • Declined: Idea does not fit criteria and is not currently feasible.

    Note: Definitions of status' can also be viewed by hovering over the identified status under idea “bubbles” on the ideas home page (See TGI Website Guided Tour – Section 4B: Search Tool – “Ideas” Page - Minimized Ideas)

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I am aware of the functional area/department that my idea pertains to. Is it possible to submit my idea directly to the functional area/department's management (i.e. Mosaic)?

  • Ideas can be emailed directly to relevant managers. For example, ideas that pertain to McMaster's new ERP project (ie. Mosaic) can be emailed to mosaic@mcmaster.ca.

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How do I go about submitting an idea?

  • Submission forms can be filled out and submitted online here. For those who would prefer submitting a hard-copy version, the submission form can be accessed at the following link, printed off, completed and submitted to the THAT'S A GREAT IDEA program manager, in the mailbox outside of Gilmour Hall, B107.

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Can ideas be jointly submitted?

  • Yes, on the online submission form, there is a section where you can attach additional information -  "Tell us more".   If this is a collaborative idea, the submitter can attach a document containing the names of others involved, as well as their contact information. For hard-copy submissions, additional collaborators and their contact information can be appended to the filled out form. The completed package can be submitted to the THAT'S A GREAT IDEA program manager, using the mailbox outside of Gilmour Hall, B107.

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Can I submit multiple ideas?

  • Individuals may submit multiple ideas. It is, however, requested that submitters of multiple ideas submit one idea per submission form to facilitate ease of idea triage and communication amongst administrative leaders.

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Can I make an anonymous idea submittal?

  • For the purposes of contributor recognition and communication, all ideas must be accompanied by the name and contact information of contributor(s).

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What do I do if I want to include diagrams and/or append additional information to my idea submission?

  • If submitting an idea online, diagrams and any other additional information can be attached using the "Tell us more" option below the idea description section.  If submitting an idea in hard copy, additional diagrams and any other information can be appended to the document.  Any further information can be shared upon contaction THAT'S A GREAT IDEA Program Manager at greatidea@mcmaster.ca.

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I just submitted an idea to the TGI program, when I review the idea bank, why doesn’t my idea show on the site?

  • Before a submitted idea is published on the TGI website, it is reviewed by a member of the TGI Team for eligibility.  Once this is complete, the idea is assigned to a category If the idea is not appropriate or does not fit the criteria, it will remain as “Unpublished” and a TGI representative will notify the submitter as to why. 

    Note. As the author of the idea, you are able to review your submission before it is published on the site for others to see.

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Does the TGI program provide funding?

  • The simple answer is no.  The TGI program is a University-wide suggestion program that provides an easy method for the University community to share their ideas on enhancing Administration's programs and processes.  Every idea will be recognized and considered for implementation, however this does not necessarily mean that they will be implemented.  The TGI program manager facilitates the idea process by managing the receipt of the ideas, coordinating the communication process and supporting and documenting the decision made by the appropriate leader on the next steps following their assessment, but does not provide the funding necessary to implement the project.

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Are all ideas going to be implemented?

  • All ideas will be recognized. Ideas received will be reviewed for originality and program/area they apply to. Leader(s) receiving the ideas will evaluate them using the University's established analysis and implementation feasibility criteria. Implementation timeframes for successful ideas will be determined by the assigned leader(s).

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How will I know if my idea is going to be implemented?

  • Two-way communication will be maintained with the program management office and individuals who submit an idea. If Idea updates are made, submitters will be notfied of their progress.

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Who will review my idea?

  • Upon receiving your idea, the program manager of THAT'S A GREAT IDEA will forward it to the appropriate leader(s) for evaluation. The leader(s) are selected based upon the topic and/or area that your idea pertains to. If the idea is related to a project planned or underway, it will be forwarded to the appropriate project manager and you will be notified.

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What is the idea review process?

  • The idea review process refers to the steps taken to advance an idea for submission through to “completed”.

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What if my idea is not considered for implementation?

  • You will receive communication as soon as decisions are made about the submitted idea.

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How long will it take to process and/or implement my idea?

  • Ideas will be processed and forwarded as they are received. Upon idea triage, you will be communicated with and your idea will be forwarded to the appropriate leader within the University. As decisions are made pertaining to the idea, you will be communicated with. Ideas will differ in terms of breadth and resources required, so time required to make decisions and/or implement ideas will also differ. Nonetheless, all submitters will be aware of where their idea stands, be it in the process of the program or stages of implementation.

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How involved will I be in the implementation of my idea?

  • Your idea submission may be followed up with additional questions from the THAT'S A GREAT IDEA program manager requesting further information about your submission. In regards to implementation, however, the leader(s) of the appropriate area may also communicate with submitters.

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I'm a manager, how can I participate in THAT'S A GREAT IDEA?

  • As a manager, you can assist in the success of THAT'S A GREAT IDEA by communicating the program details and features to your employees. A Manager's Toolkit has been developed, providing you with program details, a PowerPoint presentation and an FAQ document, to support you in building staff awareness of the program. Information sessions are being held for administrators. If preferred, an information session can be booked for employee groups by contacting greatidea@mcmaster.ca.

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