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Ideation Toolkit
Updated: 6/1/2020 7:50 AM by Becky Benishek
Description
What are the biggest pains that cause problems, unmet needs, or wants? How do you find out if your proposal is more likely to fly, or to crash and burn? Want to "go wide" with your concepts and outcomes, but still keep your ideas viable and well-organized?

This carddeck is an Ideation Toolkit that contains links to cards and other resources exploring painstorming, biomimicry, bisociation, screening, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), the multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT), and more. Use this variety of systematic innovation tools and techniques to help your students more routinely recognize opportunities, generate a wide array of possible concepts, and select the most promising concept for further development!
Learning Objectives
  • Strategy & Problem Definition 
    • Painstorming helps identify problems worth solving. Students learn to observe the pains—frustrations and faults, anomalies and concerns—in products and processes, as well as extrapolate less-obvious challenges to encompass diverse needs. They’ll uncover and pursue the best opportunities for improvement while considering factors such as budget and timeline. 
    • Blue Ocean Strategy (from the book by Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne) is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players.
  • Ideation & Concept Generation
    • The Concept Fan technique, created by Edward de Bono, instructs students to approach ideation from a broad view of concepts and approaches that meet the directive, while generating alternatives to grow the list of ideas. 
    • Biomimicry leads students to study the natural world to spark ideas for more efficient and sustainable products and services. Identify and uncover opportunities ripe for innovative solutions! 
    • Bisociation moves us beyond mere association. Students will learn to make connections between an ideation topic and a random stimulus to blend these seemingly unrelated concepts into new patterns and products.
  • Idea Management & Implementation 
    • Screening (Will It Fly?) is an approach derived from research on successful venture capital investors and useful to entrepreneurs. It's intended to measure the worthiness of a business proposal and identify strengths and weaknesses BEFORE extensive resources are expended.
    • Six Thinking Hats was created by Edward de Bono to help people change the way they think about problems, examining them from different viewpoints. Leverage the Six Thinking Hats to help you explore your ideas from all angles - one angle (hat) at a time. 
    • Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is a decision matrix where you define criteria, prioritize criteria, assign weights to the criteria, perform a pairwise comparison, organize data into a chart, rate each design against the criteria, and calculate scores for each design option.
    • Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) is a straightforward method for making decisions when the design alternatives have multiple criteria that describe different aspects of their value for others.
Instructor Tips
Each card or resource contains supplemental tips to introduce and facilitate these concepts. 
Curiosity
  • Demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world
  • Explore a contrarian view of accepted solution
Connections
  • Integrate information from many sources to gain insight
  • Assess and manage risk
Creating Value
  • Identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value
  • Persist through and learn from failure
Design
  • Develop New Technologies
  • Analyze Solutions
Opportunity
  • Identify Opportunity
Impact
  • Communicate Solution in Economic Terms
  • Communicate Societal Benefits
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Architectural Engineering
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Business, Economics, & Law
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Engineering Education
  • Engineering Management
  • Engineering Science/Physics
  • Engineering Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Engineering
  • Health Sciences & Medical
  • Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgical & Materials Engineering
  • Mining Engineering
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Optics
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Physics
  • Technical Communications
Kim Bigelow, University of Dayton
Ken Bloemer, University of Dayton
Jonathan Weaver, Villanova University
Edmond Dougherty, Villanova University
Amy Trowbridge, Arizona State University
Edward de Bono, "Six Thinking Hats," "The Concept Fan."
Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, "Blue Ocean Strategy."
Jeffrey Herrmann, University of Maryland College Park
Folders
Description
--Link 1 leads to a card that includes a Painstorming folder. Kim Bigelow and Ken Bloemer (University of Dayton) produced a short Painstorming video to introduce this opportunity recognition process. Included are design prompts, in class activities and homework assignments. These materials are provided as individual documents or combined in the ALL PDFs file.

--Link 2 leads to a card that includes a Painstorming activity. Jonathan Weaver and Edmond Dougherty (Villanova University) provide a workshop on Opportunity Recognition through Painstorming.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Bigelow & Bloemer Card Other 2/17/2020 -
Weaver & Dougherty Card Other 2/17/2020 -
Description
How can we create value through a differentiated product or business model?

Instead of competing with other companies, the purpose of this strategy is to make the competition irrelevant. The goal is to be alone in the "blue ocean." Therefore, students focus on new customer markets instead of existing ones.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Blue Ocean Strategy (site) Other 2/17/2020 -
Description
Jonathan Weaver and Edmond Dougherty (Villanova University) use Edward de Bono’s Concept Fan as a technique for students to organize broad concepts and approaches while ensuring they’ve considered the full conceptual design space.

Click the link and look for the "Concept Fan" activity.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Concept Fan Other 2/17/2020 -
Description
Kim Bigelow and Ken Bloemer (University of Dayton) produced this short Biomimicry video as an introductory idea generation (ideation) technique where the natural world is studied to spark ideas for more efficient and sustainable products and services.

Click the link and scroll to the "Biomimicry" folder.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Biomimicry Other 2/17/2020 -
Description
Kim Bigelow and Ken Bloemer (University of Dayton) produced this short Bisociation video as an introductory idea generation (ideation) technique where connections are made between the ideation topic (e.g., ideas for an improved stethoscope) and a random stimulus (e.g., a smartphone).

Click the link and scroll to the "Bisociation" folder.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Bisociation Other 2/17/2020 -
Description
Jonathan Weaver and Edmond Dougherty (Villanova University) use the "Will It Fly Scorecard" to provide a good framework for decision making in the context of business viability. It is a systematic method to assess the viability of a proposal.

Click the link and look for the "Screening" activity.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Screening Other 2/17/2020 -
Description
Have you examined your idea from all points of view?

You can often reach a successful solution or outcome from a rational, positive viewpoint, but it can also pay to consider a problem from other angles. For example, you can look at it from an emotional, intuitive, creative or risk management viewpoint. Not considering these perspectives could lead you to underestimate people's resistance to your plans, fail to make creative leaps, or ignore the need for essential contingency plans.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Six Thinking Hats Journal / Article 2/17/2020 -
Description
How would you justify your choice?

Amy Trowbridge (Arizona State University) uses a local landmark to introduce students to the Engineering Design Process along with an ambiguous problem statement. Student teams work through all steps of the design process to create a conceptual solution.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Analytic Hierarchy Process Other 2/17/2020 -
Description
Jeffrey Herrmann (University of Maryland College Park) has found that engineering students find MAUT easier to adopt and use correctly than AHP. Explore MAUT's straightforward methods for decision-making when the design alternatives have multiple criteria that describe different aspects of their value for others. These criteria may include performance, cost, time-to-market, societal benefits, and environmental impact.
Title Type Ext Date Size
Multi-Attribute Utility Theory Other 6/1/2020 -