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					Lecture Oct 19, 2006

Creativity- Can it be Engineered?


Present at all stages of the Process e.g., Consider Process front end Identifying Customer Needs Establishing Target Specs Analysis of Competitive products

Concept generation
Concept selection Spec Refinement Economic Analysis Project Planning Here we do the concept generation as part of a seamless process after contextual information has been generated.

What is our problem level?

Where to look for Breakthroughs
Developed World
• Rapidly evolving underlying or enabling technology (Computers, Biotech) • Clearly recognizable problem with current products (e.g. air bags, traffic congestion, personal device profusion) • Bottleneck products (clothes dryers) • Bottleneck parts (e.g. batteries)

Developing World
• Niche areas in developing countries which have not gotten attention • Exploit diffusion lag of new technologies into developing countries • Breakthrough in Product Development Process? • Product which serve areas of rapid social/economic change (meet new needs) • Other


• How would you classify Micro-lending?


“The formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill” - Albert Einstein

Ask what problem you are trying to solve!


Trial and Error • What major industry still roughly depends on “Trial and Error?” • Is Trial and Error appropriate for Developing World Products?

Creativity- The Idea Generation Process


What drives your “A hah” Process
• • • • • • • Association? Necessity? Showers, commutes? Explaining the problem to others? Conversation? Random? Other

Can this be structured? Can you organize the generation of new ideas?
• Clarify the problem
– What are you trying to solve?

• Study
– – – – – Previous attempts What went wrong What went right published literature People who have been there/done that

• Benchmark related products
– Look for what they solve – What they don’t solve

• • • •

Brainstorm Explore systematically Choose most likely paths Keep track of paths not chosen

• Organize “virtually” • Led by a Facilitator
– – – –
– – – –

Introduce the need clearly No “bad ideas” no judgement Include even apparently infeasible ideas Go around table and generate the maximum number of new ideas Announce them Post them (on computer) Categorize them Pareto them


Generating solution concepts
• • • • Break into constituent problems Make analogies Wish and wonder to the extremities Related stimuli
– each generates his/her own and then shares

• Set quantitative targets for number of new ideas • Display ideas and observe on line


Pruning and Classification
• Prune the idea matrix of unpromising directions • Look for distinguishable approaches • Refinement of ideas of selected branches • Pareto (list in order of priority) through matrix


Voting and Decision Making
• Kepner Tregoe Matrix
Criteria Score (S)
out of 10 based on agreed criteria

(W) out of 10 based on relative importance

Product Ranking
P = (S)x(W)

1 2 3

Example voting and decision making
Kepner Tregoe Matrix for UV/Ozone systems Mary Ollenburger, Jess Reynolds, Hesper Rego, Gustavo Olm, Ross Losher


Score (S)
out of 5 based on agreed criteria

(W) out of 5 based on relative importance

Product Ranking
P= (S)x(W)

Cost Maintenance
Power Required

1.5 3 1

5 4 3

7.5 12 3

3 2 3

• Kepner Tregoe Matrix for Chemical Treatment

voting and decision making
Item Score (S)
out of 5 based on agreed criteria

(W) out of 5 based on relative importance

Product Ranking
P= (S)x(W)


Power Required

2 1 5

5 4 3

10 4 15

2 3 Tied - 1


• Kepner Tregoe Matrix for Slow Sand Filtration

voting and decision making
Item Score (S)
out of 5 based on agreed criteria

(W) out of 5 based on relative importance

Product Ranking
P= (S)x(W)


Power Required

5 4 5

5 4 3

25 16 15

1 1 Tied - 1


why slow sand filtration?
• • • • It is a low energy consuming process Maintenance is minimal Systems are easy to build and install Costs of building and running significantly lower than other purification methods

We choose slow sand filtration.

Alternative method
Decision Making by Voting to get the optimum choice
• For n people to choose the best of m alternatives
1 2 3 4 5 6 m Each selects their 1,2 and 3 choice Award 3 points for each first choice, 2 points for each second choice and 1 point for each third place. Sum scores for each alternative.


Brainstorming Exercise
• Tele-Vugraph machine
– What is the best method for presenting material for the purpose of communication from a distance in the most convenient way?

• • • •

A quiet way to remove leaves from the driveway A simple methodology for stabilizing a hillside A new way of generating clean energy for the home One of your projects


Brainstorming Exercise
• Remember
– No constraints – Little (preferably none) giggling, snorting, eyes rolling – Everybody contributes

• Process
– Everybody writes down ideas on paper – We go around the room and you read off your idea – Jeff records

• • • • • • • • •
• • • •

• •
• • •

Big Stroller Wheelbarrow Room-to-Room Pulley System Adult Wound Spring System, Child Activated 360-degree skateboard Hand operated tricycle Lying on Stomach, grab objects around you to move Child-Seat Much lighter than adult version, should not require strain on hands for braking 3-wheel footprint w/ castor Chair suspended by hot-air balloon Tray attached to vehicle to restrain/entertain the user Stretch cloth over rigid metal of wheelbarrow, provides comfortable “hammock-seat” Sell a bunch of 360-degree castors to attach to vehicles 3-wheel scooter, front wheel turnable, back two connected to a handcrank Modeled after a shopping cart’s child seat Side-car that could be attached to a bike Cart that trails behind a bike

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Motorized baby-walker Wheelbarrow that is accessible to a child Harness that makes them easier to carry, or system of “hitch-hiking” that allows coordinated rides Baby-Tank (Conveyer belt) – Fun for a child Motorized shopping carts Safety Helmet Grid of rails throughout house, allows user to pull themselves around Ski-pole propulsion Detachable Net allows for wheelbarrow to be used for two purposes Bright Colors School Considerations, include place on device for books, lunch, etc. Human-sized Hamster Ball (With Seat on a gimble) Storage Bin attached to device so that the person moving the end-user around can carry additional things Stretcher Hammock that could be carried by two people Toboggan System of zip-lines Crutches Easily Washable Dog-pulled cart Protection from elements Three-wheeled front stroller with detachable front wheel, could then be attached to a bicycle

1. Free vs. Fixed Mobility Path
1. 2. Parent: Free, Restricted? Child: Free Parent: Sitting up Child: Sitting up
Parent: Self is preferable, but outside may be necessary. Child: Specific Purpose with modular add-ons?

2. 3. 4. 5.

Sitting up vs. Lying down
1. 2.
1. 2. 1.

Self vs. Outside Propelled (or both?) Multi-Functional vs. Specific Purpose Stroller-Type
1. Pushed from behind, on wheels


Next Weeks lecture subject




HW The Creative Process
• Write the problem statement. Best you can do! • Brainstorm! Come up with >5 new concepts for your product
• 4 Ps but emphasize the first P (product)

• Pare the list down to the best using Kepner Tregoe or voting • Describe how you think the creative process worked in your team. (and/or didn’t work)

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