# Creating an attribute dependency matrix

## Video: Creating an attribute dependency matrix

The attribute dependency technique is a bit more complicated than the other techniques. To make it easier to use I recommend creating a two-dimensional matrix like the one here. A spreadsheet program like Excel makes this easy. To create a matrix you start by listing the internal and external attributes of the product or service. Let's use our example of a refrigerator to practice this. The internal attributes of a refrigerator would include its capacity, shape, weight, color, the function of the shelves, type of compartments, number of doors, its temperature inside and its brand.

## Creating an attribute dependency matrix

The attribute dependency technique is a bit more complicated than the other techniques. To make it easier to use I recommend creating a two-dimensional matrix like the one here. A spreadsheet program like Excel makes this easy. To create a matrix you start by listing the internal and external attributes of the product or service. Let's use our example of a refrigerator to practice this. The internal attributes of a refrigerator would include its capacity, shape, weight, color, the function of the shelves, type of compartments, number of doors, its temperature inside and its brand.

The external attributes would be types of food and beverages inside, amounts of food and beverages, family eating preferences and location in the kitchen. As a rule of thumb I suggest you always include the attribute of time in your list of external attributes. Time could mean several things. For example we could set time to mean time of day. It could also be elapsed time. You may want it to mean season of the year.

It's totally up to you. Another rule of thumb is to include price on your attribute list. Having price somewhere in your matrix will help you see new opportunities to vary the price of your product or service because of some new, innovative feature. Write all of these attributes in the far left hand column. Then write just the internal attributes across the top row. That's because we're not going to create pairings between two external attributes. We can't control those types of correlations so there's no point in having them on your matrix.

Now here's a tip on how to make your matrix a bit more manageable. Notice how in certain cells the matrix creates a pairing between an attribute and itself? Look at B2 for example: Capacity, and capacity. It doesn't make sense to create correlations with just one attribute, so we can put an X in that cell. In fact, we can X out each cell along this diagonal line from cell B2 all the way down to cell J10.

When you X out these cells, notice something about the top right part of the matrix. Each of these cells is a duplicate pairing of the ones in the lower left portion, we don't need to consider them. We can put X's in these as well. These steps will make your matrix easier to use. Here is a properly constructed matrix. Each cell of your matrix creates a unique pairing between two attributes. For example, cell A5 creates a pairing between capacity and number of shelves.

Each cell represents a potential virtual product. You are now ready to apply attribute dependency. You may recall earlier we discussed two types of fixedness:functional and structural. Now you have a third type and it's called relational fixedness. This is where people have a difficult time imagining two attributes in a system having some relationship or connection. Attribute dependency helps you break relational fixedness and see exciting, new innovations that you may never have thought of before.

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#### This video is part of

58 video lessons · 2488 viewers

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1. ### Introduction

1m 41s
1. Welcome
1m 22s
2. Using the exercise files
19s
2. ### 1. Understanding How Innovation Occurs

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. ### 2. Using the Subtraction Technique

11m 55s
1. Functional fixedeness
2m 26s
2. The subtraction technique
2m 59s
3. Subtraction in action
4m 8s
2m 22s
4. ### 3. Using the Division Technique

10m 35s
1. Structural fixedness
2m 32s
2. The division technique
2m 43s
3. Division in action
3m 3s
2m 17s
5. ### 4. Using the Multiplication Technique

16m 25s
1. The multiplication technique
4m 24s
2. Multiplication in action
4m 39s
3. Zooming in and zooming out
4m 51s
2m 31s

15m 45s
4m 19s
4m 14s
4m 27s
2m 45s
7. ### 6. Using the Attribute Dependency Technique

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
1m 57s
8. ### 7. Innovating at Work

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. ### 8. Mastering Innovation

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. ### Bonus: Interview with Drew Boyd

52m 41s
2m 9s
2. What is innovation?
51s
3. What got Drew started in innovation?
2m 15s
4. On innovation as a skill
1m 53s
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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