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Attribute dependency in action

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

Video: Attribute dependency in action

So let's apply the attribute dependency technique to a common household appliance, a refrigerator. The first step is to create your matrix. You list the internal attributes of the product or service. You also list the external variables around the product or service, those things within the closed world that vary about how and why the product is used. Be sure to include both time and price somewhere in your list. You place these attributes in your matrix. Internal and external along the left side and internal attributes across the top.

Attribute dependency in action

So let's apply the attribute dependency technique to a common household appliance, a refrigerator. The first step is to create your matrix. You list the internal attributes of the product or service. You also list the external variables around the product or service, those things within the closed world that vary about how and why the product is used. Be sure to include both time and price somewhere in your list. You place these attributes in your matrix. Internal and external along the left side and internal attributes across the top.

Next you X out those cells of the matrix that are redundant or have only one variable. You're ready to go. Let's try a few of these. Let's start with two internal variables. How about cell C8? You have the variables shape and number of doors. The first question you ask yourself is this. Is there a dependency now in how refrigerators operate between its shape and the number of doors? In other words, as the shape of the refrigerator changes, the number of doors change.

I can't think of any refrigerators that have that property. So we artificially imagine one. Our virtual product becomes a refrigerator that has different shapes to accommodate different door configurations. Hmmm. Now why would that be useful? Today's refrigerators come in that familiar tall, boxy shape. This concept makes me wonder why refrigerators couldn't be custom shaped to make better use of your kitchen space. After all, a refrigerator takes up a lot of space the way they are designed today.

And why are the doors always on the front? Why couldn't refrigerators be top loading, for example? Why not have a kitchen counter top that has a series of small doors that open up to a refrigerated space below? It might make it a lot more convenient to load groceries, as well as to get things out. It might make it easier to clean. You could organize your food storage around the kitchen rather than all in one place. Notice how we let the two attributes give us a starting point for ideating, but then we quickly extended the idea to see different concepts that deliver new benefits or that deliver old, familiar benefits in a new way.

That is the beauty of the SIT method. It structures your thinking up to a point, to allow you to explore concepts inside the box, in a tightly constrained way. Let's try another one. This time with an internal and external variable. Look at cell F13. The attributes are function of the shelves and family food preferences. Now I don't know of any dependency that exists today between those attributes, so our virtual product becomes this.

As the family's food preferences change, the functions of the shelves change. It seems odd of course and that's what we're always hoping for, a combination that we were not likely to have thought of on our own. So with this combination, the shelves will now do something related to how the family will store or consume food. Sounds interesting. What would be the potential benefit? And how would it work? What if the shelves could keep track of how much food is in the refrigerator? Perhaps when you're in the grocery store, you could find out just how much food is left of certain items so you would know what to buy.

Your refrigerator communicates this through your smart phone. Perhaps the refrigerator stores the family's favorite recipes and it let's you know what else is needed to prepare dinner that night. The refrigerator becomes a family meal planner. It knows what's inside and it knows what the family likes. It could do a lot more to help you carry the load of feeding a family. And that is one of the great things about the attribute dependency technique. It tends to yield new products and features that seem almost smart.

They change or adapt in relation to something else that has changed with the consumer, almost as if they knew what was going on. The consumer gets a lot more convenience and other benefits from these types of smart products.

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This video is part of

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 2519 viewers

Drew Boyd
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      19s
  2. 21m 37s
    1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
      3m 21s
    2. The principle of function follows form
      4m 8s
    3. The closed-world principle
      4m 16s
    4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
      3m 51s
    5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
      3m 11s
    6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
      2m 50s
  3. 11m 55s
    1. Functional fixedeness
      2m 26s
    2. The subtraction technique
      2m 59s
    3. Subtraction in action
      4m 8s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 22s
  4. 10m 35s
    1. Structural fixedness
      2m 32s
    2. The division technique
      2m 43s
    3. Division in action
      3m 3s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 17s
  5. 16m 25s
    1. The multiplication technique
      4m 24s
    2. Multiplication in action
      4m 39s
    3. Zooming in and zooming out
      4m 51s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 31s
  6. 15m 45s
    1. The task-unification technique
      4m 19s
    2. Task unification in action
      4m 14s
    3. Using task unification for business issues
      4m 27s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 45s
  7. 17m 49s
    1. The attribute dependency technique
      3m 32s
    2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
      3m 37s
    3. Types of dependencies
      4m 12s
    4. Attribute dependency in action
      4m 31s
    5. Addressing common challenges
      1m 57s
  8. 27m 7s
    1. Running ideation workshops
      4m 13s
    2. Which technique to use
      3m 26s
    3. Creating new services and processes
      3m 17s
    4. Creating digital innovations
      5m 12s
    5. Involving customers
      5m 49s
    6. Evaluating ideas
      5m 10s
  9. 14m 48s
    1. Mastering innovative thinking
      3m 42s
    2. Building a pilot program
      3m 56s
    3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
      4m 3s
    4. Next steps
      3m 7s
  10. 52m 41s
    1. About Drew
      2m 9s
    2. What is innovation?
      51s
    3. What got Drew started in innovation?
      2m 15s
    4. On innovation as a skill
      1m 53s
    5. On innovation as part of your business
      1m 58s
    6. On resistance to innovation
      3m 31s
    7. On innovation's tainted image
      2m 34s
    8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
      2m 31s
    9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
      3m 6s
    10. On favorite innovation experiences
      3m 51s
    11. On innovation vs. strategy
      3m 36s
    12. On working with innovation consultants
      3m 20s
    13. On trends in innovation
      3m 26s
    14. On innovation as competition
      2m 32s
    15. On innovative companies
      2m 43s
    16. On generating vs. executing ideas
      3m 2s
    17. Can you overdo innovation?
      2m 1s
    18. How do you start innovating?
      3m 44s
    19. On the most innovative products
      3m 38s

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