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Systematic Inventive Thinking
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- 1 Overview
- 2 More detailed explanation
- 2.1 Step 1: State the problem clearly
- 2.2 Step 2: Identify / define Ideal Solution Elements (ISE's).
- 2.3 Step 3: Construct an association matrix; write the ISE's on each axis
- 2.4 Step 4: Brainstorm and record associations for each paired ISE
- 2.5 Step 5: Bring it back to the original problem.
- 2.6 Step 6: Bring together the best ideas
The process starts with the problem definition. Once the problem is defined, then you identify and define the ideal solution elements (ISE), which are then used to construct a matrix. Connecting 2 or more of the Ideal Solution Elements, provides associations that are then transferred back to the problem to provide possible solutions.
More detailed explanation
Step 1: State the problem clearly
- use Backwards Forwards Planning or similar technique to clearly identify the problem
- use Brainstorming or BrainWriting to identify the most obvious ideas for solutions.
- An example could be "to provide the ideal hotel"
Step 2: Identify / define Ideal Solution Elements (ISE's).
- TILMAG is much more of a targeted process than many other creativity tools and it tries to use the ideal solution as a starting point. The team identifies the ISE, which is a function or attribute that the final solution must have.
- Create no more than 6 ISE's, these should be
- Described in a positive manner
- free of jargon
- specific to the problem
- brief, but precise (fewer than 6 words)
- linked to customer demands (if developing a new product / service)
- Examples could be "Feels like home" and "designed for the target market"
Step 3: Construct an association matrix; write the ISE's on each axis
- The matrix size will depend on the number of ISE's
- List all ISE's sequentially, on both axes.
- Cross out all cells for each ISE paired against itself or duplicate pair
- Option A
|ISE 1||ISE 2||ISE 3||ISE 4||ISE 5|
- Option B
|ISE 1||ISE 2||ISE 3||ISE 4|
Step 4: Brainstorm and record associations for each paired ISE
- For each cell not crossed out identify 2 or 3 associations between the paired combinations of any 2 ISE's.
- If an entire row or column is blank it usually means that the ISE is not an applicable ISE for the problem.
- Continue the process until all the cells not crossed out have been addressed by the team.
- Taking the examples from above "feels like home" and "designed for the target market" could lead to "Ann Summers Parties", "the british pub"
Step 5: Bring it back to the original problem.
- Using each association and its underlying principles link this back to the problem.
- Define the underlying principles of each association
Step 6: Bring together the best ideas
Bring together the best ideas from the original brainstorm (Step 1) and the TILMAG associations and principles (Steps 4&5)