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1. 1) Sales call reports 2)Findings from customer or technical service departments 3) Tips from resellers

2. Internal Records

3. Finding

4. Solving

5. Step One Determine the appropriate product or activity category for exploration. This has already been done if the product innovation charter has a use, user, or product category dimension in the focus statement.

6. Step Two: Identify a group of heavy product users or activity participants within that category. Heavy users are apt to have a better understanding of the problems, and they represent the bulk of the sales potential in most markets. A variation is to study non users to see if a solvable problem is keeping them out of the market.

7. Problem Analysis

8. Problem Analysis Procedure There are several variations in problem analysis. But one commonly used procedure is reverse brainstorming. In this procedure, participants generate a list of key problems with the product currently in use, then group and prioritize these such that product development can focus on addressing the most important problems

9. Step Four: Sort and rank the problems according to their severity or importance. It uses (1) e extent of the problem, and (2) the frequency of its occurrence. This bothersomeness index is then adjusted by users’ awareness of currently available solutions to the problem. This step identifi es problems that are important to the user and for which the user sees no current solutions.

10. Step Three: Gather from these heavy users or participants a set of problems associated with the category. Study the entire system of product use or activity. This is the inventory phase mentioned earlier, but far more is involved than just asking respondents to list their problems. A good method of doing this is asking respondents to rate (1) the benefi ts they want from a set of products and (2) the benefi ts they are getting . The differences indicate problems. Complaints are common and often taken as requests for new products. But they are apt to be just the result of omniscient proximity , meaning that users face a minor problem frequently, so it is the fi rst one mentioned. Some fi rms have had success observing consumers or business fi rms actually using products in a given category; for example, observing skiers as they shoot down a hill or offi ce workers handling a mailing operation.

11. Team representatives from these two functions should canvass their colleagues, seeking out every piece of evidence on problems

12. Direct Inputs from Technical and Marketing Departments

13. Scenario Analysis

14. a) Imagine a new scenario b) Study the scenario for posible problems or needs you can find c) Evalute those posible scenarios and focus on the most important ones

15. Group Creativity

16. New products people use individual problem-solving effort, but many think that group creativity is more effective. Some scientists protest loudly that this is not true, that the synergism of groups is way overplayed. Generally, individuals can handle really new ideas and fi nd radical solutions to problems better than groups can. Some feel that one reason small fi rms are more innovative than large fi rms is that they do not often use group creativity.

17. Brainstorming

18. Thomas Kelley of the design fi rm IDEO laid out several rules for making brainstorming sessions more effective. These include: mind the rules (go for a large quantity of ideas, defer judgment, no snickering allowed); number the ideas (can you hit 100 ideas per hour?)

19. Electronic Brainstorming and Computer Assisted Creativity Techniques

20. Electronic brainstorming, a form of brainstorming assisted by group support systems (or GSS ) software, is said to overcome these limitations of traditional brainstorming, as it allows participants to all answer at once, and also to answer anonymously. A GSS-assisted brainstorming session may take place in a room set up with a network of computer terminals. Participants sit at the terminals and respond to questions provided by the moderator, who runs the GSS software. The GSS software gathers the participants’ responses and projects them onto a large screen at the front of the room or on the participants’ monitors. Seeing the responses stimulates even more ideas and encourages follow-up discussion.

21. Online Communities

22. An online community can be defi ned as any group that interacts using a communications medium such as online social networking. Numerous fi rms, including P&G, Kraft, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, use online communities as a key part of their voice of the customer efforts and, indeed, throughout their new products process. Familiar online communities such as Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn are open to everyone and widely popular. But there are alternatives, some of which are much less well known.

23. Disciplines Panel

24. Several of today’s leading new products consulting fi rms believe creativity groups should actually work on a problem, not just talk about it, particularly in situations calling for signifi cant innovation.