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Innovation Program (IP) 2006 August Talk #3: Idea Generation Methods by Dr Chew Soon Hoe Department of Civil Engineering 28 August 2006, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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So far, u have learn 1.The feel of Necessity Irritation – the starting of Innovation – the starting of Innovation 2. Mind Maps ( www.mind-map.com ) provide an overview of the problem and possible solution able to see the whole picture and enable critical evaluation and identifying the real problem provide an overview of the problem and possible solution able to see the whole picture and enable critical evaluation and identifying the real problem cause and effect, fish-born diagram, why-why chart etc.. cause and effect, fish-born diagram, why-why chart etc.. The next step… Now.. How to generate more ideas, How to analyse/redefine your problem you want to solve.. and how to come up some interesting solution etc..

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So, today, I am going to talk about two aspects: 1. How to get more ideas -- Brainstorming 2. More systematically re-defining problem and possible solution -- Problem Analysis

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Brain-storming It is a group approach to creative thinking. It was developed by Alex Osborn, 1938 in his advertising business and came into wide-spread use in the 1950’s as a group idea generation method. Best no of people: 3 to 10.

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Brain-storming 4 Rules of Brainstorming 1.Generate as many idea/possible solution as possible – quantity counts. 2.Wild ideas are welcome – be as creative as you can be 3.‘Hitchiking” is encouraged – build on the idea of others. 4.No criticism is allowed - defer judgment until later stage.

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Brain-storming Dr Osborn’s nine Thought-Starter Questions 1.Substitute? Who else instead? What else instead? Other place? Other time? Other ingredient? Other material? Other process? Other power source? etc SCAMPER! 8. Rearrange? Other layout? Other sequence? Other schedule 9. Reverse? Opposite? Turn it backward? Turn it up-side down? Inside-out? Mirror-reversed? 2. Combine? How about a blend, alloy, combined units? Combined function? Combined appeal? 3. Adapt? What else is like this? Any old idea work like this? 4. Magnify? What to add? Greater frequency? Stronger material? Larger? Higher? 5. Modify? Change meaning? Colour? Motion mode? Odor? Taste, form? Shape or texture? 6. Put to other uses? New way of using the object as is? Other uses of purposes? 7. Eliminate? What to substract? Less needed parts?

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Brain-storming Planning and leading the brainstorming session 1.Preparation – No of people: 3 to 6 people in a team (Invite some friends) Place – a new and not usual place Duration – 30 minutes to 2 hours Material -- white board, big piece of paper or.. 2. Procedure: Brief the project objective Review the rules Get it started 3. At the end – Write down the key findings that you want to work on further

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Problem Analysis 1. Ideal Final Result 2. Functional Analysis and Trimming 3. Finding the “Zones” of the Problem 4. System Operator “Re-define” the Problem to be Solved The formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. Albert Einstein This class will focus only on Item 2 and Item 3

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2. Functional Analysis Questions What does this system do ? What does each element of the system do ? What does each element act on ? Is it Useful ? Harmful ? Necessary ? Adequate ? Inadequate ?

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Start with Existing Knowledge of Functions Why ? What ? How ? Familiar Tools Functional Cost Analysis Value Analysis Failure Mode Effects Analysis Fault Tree Analysis Bill of Materials

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Functional Analysis Start with your knowledge of the functions of the system, and the elements of the system. Draw a diagram of the functions A C D E Beneficial (blue) (red) Harmful B Inadequate A, C, D : elements in the system B : outside E : result

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A Table Organizes Functional Analysis & Trimming Project : ______________ Goal : ______________ Name : ______________ Date : ______________ Functional Analysis and Trimming Worksheet Function StatementIs it necessary? Harmful? Etc. Trimming Questions ADoes this toBCould “B”do it for itself?Could some other element do it? If the function is harmful, look for ways to eliminate the entire function. If it is harmful but necessary, you have identified a contradiction. If it is useful but complicated or expensive, apply the trimming questions. Worksheets (on the diskette, or at Tab 3) can be used at the system, subsystem, and/or component level. Trimming solutions can be applied to the current system, modified system, or a new system.

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Can the system work without this function? (“Unnecessary”in the table) Can the object “B” perform the function itself ? Can any other part of the system perform the function? Could a resource perform the function? Ask the 3 Trimming Questions Can you eliminate the problem by implementing a “trimming”solutions?

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Who What When 3. Find the “Zones of Conflict” of the Problem Why Where How ???? “5W’s and an “H” is a standard quality improvement tool.

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3. 5 W’ s & H: Find the “Zones” of the Problem Who has the problem? What resources are available? When does the problem occur? All the Time? Under certain circumstances? Where does the problem occur? Why does the problem occur? “ Ask why 5 times”– W. Edwards Deming How does the problem occur?

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Innovative Solutions Use the Resources in the System Material Resources System elements Inexpensive materials Modified materials Waste Raw materials Time Resources Parallel Operations Pre/post work Information Resources Field Resources Energy in system Energy in environment Space Resources Empty space Another dimension Nesting Function Resources Harmful functions Primary & secondary effects

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So, you are on your own now.... And I want to see 1. Brainstorming results 2. Functional analysis of your problem next week!

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