The third matrix: We have hit a wall after the 2nd matrix because we have decided to keep all of those concepts. We remember your suggestion in class of how to proceed for the third matrix by comparing each column, but cannot remember exactly what to do. Can you please remind of us of how to proceed in this situation? Also, do we need to do a concept classification tree and concept combination table?

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1. If you have decided to combine all of the concepts in a concept screening matrix, then you had better take this combination forward to an additional iteration in which you compare the combined concept with the concepts that compose it. It is quite possible that the combined concept is not as good as some subset of it, because the combined concept will often be more difficult for the team to design in the time available, more expensive to implement, more difficult to maintain, and possibly more difficult to use.

2. Step 4 of Concept Generation is “Explore Systematically.” As a result of external and internal search activities, the team will have collected many concept fragments–solutions to the subproblems. Systematic exploration is aimed at navigating the space of possibilities by organizing and synthesizing these solution fragments. (p. 110, U&E)

If solution fragments are interdependent–e.g., the choice of the best fragment to address the “awareness” function depends upon the fragment chosen to address the “means of donation” function–then the concept classification tree and concept combination table can be very helpful in winnowing the huge number of solution fragment combinations to a manageable and promising few combinations. If the solution fragments are independent, then the team can perform a systematic exploration by moving directly to concept screening, with a n sets of concept fragment screening matrices–one set for each of the n functions in the team’s problem decomposition. The overall concept selected winds up being the combination of the winning solution fragments.

In any case, you are required to “explore systematically”. But I do not require that you use either concept classification trees or concept combination tables to do it. I leave that up to you.

Maybe we didn’t phrase our original question correctly, but we are already to the last screening matrix (because our concepts are independent of each other). We understand that we need to compare the final concepts in this matrix but don’t know how to do it without a reference group. If we had to compare all possible concepts (for each of our subproblems) with each other, then we would have an exponential amount of matrices. Because this is going take a lot of time, we wanted to make sure that is how we are supposed to it before we actually start on it. Thanks for your help.

1. If you have decided to combine all of the concepts in a concept screening matrix, then you had better take this combination forward to an additional iteration in which you compare the combined concept with the concepts that compose it. It is quite possible that the combined concept is not as good as some subset of it, because the combined concept will often be more difficult for the team to design in the time available, more expensive to implement, more difficult to maintain, and possibly more difficult to use.

2. Step 4 of Concept Generation is “Explore Systematically.” As a result of external and internal search activities, the team will have collected many concept fragments–solutions to the subproblems. Systematic exploration is aimed at navigating the space of possibilities by organizing and synthesizing these solution fragments. (p. 110, U&E)

If solution fragments are interdependent–e.g., the choice of the best fragment to address the “awareness” function depends upon the fragment chosen to address the “means of donation” function–then the concept classification tree and concept combination table can be very helpful in winnowing the huge number of solution fragment combinations to a manageable and promising few combinations. If the solution fragments are independent, then the team can perform a systematic exploration by moving directly to concept screening, with a n sets of concept fragment screening matrices–one set for each of the n functions in the team’s problem decomposition. The overall concept selected winds up being the combination of the winning solution fragments.

In any case, you are required to “explore systematically”. But I do not require that you use either concept classification trees or concept combination tables to do it. I leave that up to you.

Maybe we didn’t phrase our original question correctly, but we are already to the last screening matrix (because our concepts are independent of each other). We understand that we need to compare the final concepts in this matrix but don’t know how to do it without a reference group. If we had to compare all possible concepts (for each of our subproblems) with each other, then we would have an exponential amount of matrices. Because this is going take a lot of time, we wanted to make sure that is how we are supposed to it before we actually start on it. Thanks for your help.