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Creating an attribute dependency matrix

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

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

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 2292 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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