Idea Embodiment (Concept Generation and Selection)

The chosen idea(s) need to be turned into something more concrete, i.e. there could be a number of different product concepts or architectures that all embody the same basic idea. Thus these concepts need to be generated and then evaluated and leading to one being chosen as the way forward.

Concept Generation

Once the idea for a new product has been accepted, then the process to turn it from just an idea into something real has to begin. When the idea was first suggested a concept for the design may have been in mind at that time. However that is probably not the only way the idea could be encapsulated and may not be the best, so it is usually a good idea to develop a few other ways of embodying the same idea.

These concepts do not need to be detailed; they will probably be fairly simple. The key is to have a number of them produced quickly and cheaply, so that they can be reviewed in a timely fashion.

To encourage variety you might tell different designers or design teams to each come up with their own concept.

Concept Selection

Once all the concepts are ready they need to be evaluated against the appropriate criteria for success. What these are depends on the type of product that it will be, but they should include whatever the customer’s key criteria for success are likely to be, not just internal criteria, such as cost.

Typical Concept Selection Methods:-

  • Scorecards
  • Pugh

Often a short list is made and then more detail is added before a final choice of concept is made. Sometimes it may be possible to come up with a hybrid concept using the best aspects of several of the original concepts.

We can help you with your innovation process by facilitating sessions with your staff to develop or improve your process, or assist with any stage of the process.

For more information, contact us.