Systematic Innovation: Workshop Course Outline

Below is a comprehensive list of potential topics covered in our Systematic Innovation workshop.  We often customize this course agenda to fit our client’s project or training objectives. The following represents a rough outline for our typical 2 and 3-Day Systematic Innovation Workshop. The main difference between the 2 and 3 day Workshop is the level of detail discussed and the amount of “breakout sessions” that are integrated. This agenda may be adjusted to fit your needs and broken up into “modular sessions” that can be taught over a period of time.



SECTION 0: Introductions / Course Objectives

  • Welcome, Workshop Objectives, Introductions, Ground Rules, etc.
  • The “What’s, Why’s, Where, and When’s of Systematic Innovation
  • Unique Selling Propositions (USP’s)
  • The 4 Growth Strategies
  • High Level Description of the 8-step Innovation Process
    • Identify, Document, and Prioritize Customer / Market Needs
    • Situation Analysis
    • Select the appropriate Systematic Innovation Tool(s) for the situation
    • Generate Ideas and Concepts
    • Evaluate Concepts
    • Detailed Design & Verification
    • Communicate Value to Customer
    • Standardize on the Best Practices
  • Importance of Innovation in today’s environment
  • Intro to the CAGE Model
  • 8 Barriers to Innovation
  • Very brief Intro to TRIZ (More in Section 4)


SECTION/STEP 1: Explore & “Ignore” the Customer

  • VOC Definition
  • The Kano Model
  • Peeling the VOC Onion
  • Global Categories of Customer Requirements
  • A 6 step process for VOC
    • Purpose & Scope of Research
    • Identify Customers & Sources of Data
    • Design the Research Event
    • Conduct the Research (Sample Q’s, Do’s and Don’ts)
    • Sort & Organize the data (VAST, Affinity, Tree Diagrams)
    • Document & Take Action (VOC Opportunity Matrix, QFD/HOQ)
  • The Kano Survey (Optional)


SECTION/STEP 2: Situation Analysis

  • 4 Reasons to consider Situation Analysis/Function Modeling
  • What is Functional Thinking?
  • Function Modeling Techniques
    • Function Analysis (Brainstormed)
    • FAST (Function Analysis Systems Technique)
    • SAO Function Modeling
    • Cause & Effect “Situation Modeling” (recommended)
  • Examples


SECTION/STEP 3: Select the appropriate Systematic Innovation Tools

  • How to use the SI Tool Selection Matrix
  • Versatility of the tools
  • Extra Information on the tools


SECTION/STEP 4: Tools and Techniques for Idea Generation and Problem Solving

This section is the heart of this workshop where 90% of the time is spent.  It contains the detail on over 30 technological and psychological methods for innovation, ideation, problem solving, and concept generation.  There are over 200 pages in this section alone explaining specific “how-to’s” and examples of each of the “techniques” listed below with interactive class exercises to practice them.

Note: List includes ALL tools included in the workshop. Tools with ** are used in steps 1-3 of the 8-step Innovation Process. Tools with ^^ are from the TRIZ methodology.


  1. Analytic Hierarchy Process **
  2. Biomimicry
  3. Blue Ocean Strategy (intro)
  4. Brain-Writing 6-3-5
  5. CAGE Model **
  6. Can’t fix it, Feature it!
  7. Classic Brainstorming
  8. Customer Modifications
  9. 3 DeBono Techniques
  10. Early Adapters / Lead Users
  11. Effects Knowledgebase of Science ^^
  12. Ethnographic Methods **
  13. Feature Transfer
  14. Function Analysis/Modeling ^^
  15. Having the “Right” People
  16. The Holistic Cube ^^
  17. Ideality and the Ideal System ^^
  18. 40 Inventive Principles ^^
  19. Kano Model **
  20. Knowledge Mining
  21. Lateral Benchmarking
  22. Morphological Tables
  23. The MSE Effect
  24. PainStorming
  25. Pagoda Effect
  26. Patent Analysis
  27. Patterns of System Evolution – 19+ ^^
  28. Pugh Concept Selection
  29. Resources ^^
  30. Scope Expansion
  31. Scientific Effects
  32. Separation Principles ^^
  33. SI Tool Selection Matrix **
  34. Situation Analysis
  35. Super Lateral Benchmarking
  36. TILMAG
  37. Trend Analysis
  38. Trimming Technique
  39. Time Savings
  40. TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) ^^
  41. Unexpected Uses
  42. VAST Process **
  43. VOC Methods **
  44. VOC Opportunity Matrix **


SECTION/STEP 5: Concept Evaluation, Synthesis, and Selection

Learn methods to perform an objective analysis of existing alternatives to select or synthesize a best concept.  Pugh Concept Evaluation and other methods explained.


SECTION/STEP 6: Detailed Design

This is a critical step AFTER the “front end” of product development.  Most organizations have adequate tools and expertise to support it.  Many of the tools described in step 4 (Idea Generation & Problem Solving) can also be used when doing the detailed design, especially when technical problems are encountered.


SECTION/STEP 7: Communicate Value

  • Learn methods to communicate value and sell ideas internally and externally.
  • 7 elements to sell ideas.
  • Evaluate toolset
  • Lessons learned
  • Areas for process improvement
  • Integration into current PDP
  • etc.


SECTION/STEP 8: Standardize on Lessons Learned

The last step is retaining and integrating the key lessons learned in all 8 steps is essential to maintaining the gains on future projects.  In this step we reflect, communicate, and standardize on the best practices and tools used in each step of the project.

SECTION 9: Keys to Success

  • Create an atmosphere and environment for success
  • Involve the right people
  • Pick the right projects
  • maintain momentum
  • Selling your ideas (internally & Externally)
  • Other key elements
  • Leadership responsibilities
  • Metrics for Innovation


SECTION 10: Appendix


Evaluations, Next Steps, Wrap-up and Adjourn

Optional Topics (Available upon request in advance only)

Demonstration of state-of-the-art innovation software – Demo, explanation, case study, and possible “hands on” interactive activities using software. See how a leading software for Innovation helps to automate the Innovation Process. These software tools have their roots in TRIZ, Value Engineering, Patent Analysis, and Advanced Semantic Analysis and Knowledge Mining using Linguistic Algorithms.

  • Project Chartering
    • Mission Statement, Target market Segment, Customer Identification, Competition, Project Scope, Goals, Constraints, Concept Judgment criteria, Plan of Attack, Team Selection.
  • If time permits, or is designed into the Course Agenda, attendees may break up into teams to work on real projects.
  • Innovation Software may be temporarily loaded to individuals’ workstations for group projects if requested in advance.
  • Group presentations of progress.
  • Advanced Innovation Topics (Contact us for details)