Tools and Templates

Meeting Tool

A team meeting should be handled as a process by itself. The templates in this document will help the student to appropriately manage the resources involved in the meeting and all the other inputs and desired output that the meeting leader needs to plan for.

Brain Writing 6-3-5 Template

This tool encourages equal opportunity ideation between all participants, regardless of their standing within the team or organzations.  Use when the group is in danger of domination by certain participants, or when team members may hold back because of the group makeup.

Heuristic Redefinition

This form will help you create a picture of your system and its parts to focus ideation.  Use this when your Job-to-be-Done (JTBD) is not well defined, or is broad rather than targeted in nature and you need more specificity to take meaningful innovation action.

Stakeholder Management

Get the key influencers involved and on your side.  Use this tool to identify and understand key stakeholders and their level of support or resistance.  This information can then help you design the communication and stakeholder management plans you will need to make your project successful.

Innovation Financial Management

Constantly improve your assumption-to-knowledge ratio.  At the beginning of a project use this form to evaluate the feasibility of your innovation before putting too much time, money and resources into it.  As you move through the implementation continue to visit this form to make sure your assumptions are still accurate and the project is still viable.

Creative Challenge

What is the "sacred cow" in your organization?  Use this tool to question the current solution for a particular focus area.  Do this by investigating the necessity, validity and uniqueness of the current solution or approach.  Ask questions such as "Can we eliminate some element of the current approach?",  "What are the reasons for the current approach?", "Are there alternatives to the current approach?". You can follow-up Functional Analysis with Creative Challenge to improve insufficient functions or eliminate undesirable ones.

Heuristic Ideation Technique (HIT) Matrix

Compare existing solutions to spark new breakthroughs.  Used to compare the characteristics of two seemingly unrelated products or services to develop new ideas.

SCAMPER Worksheet

Ask eight important questions to develop more potential ideas for your opportunity.  Use this tool when when you have an idea or set of ideas that need to be  made even stronger.  It is especially helpful in a mature market with many competing solutions.

Imaginary Brainstorming

Sometimes to come up with the breakthrough idea you must get silly for the sake of creativity.  Use this tool when you are struggling to develop innovative ideas around a particular area.

Idea Sorting and Refinement

Idea sorting and refinement is a simple and effective way to make your ideas more practical and viable, as well as more appealing to those who are funding the innovation project (your stakeholders).

Performance Perception Expectations

Identify what customers want in your solution.  Use this tool to understand and articulate the performance and perception expectations from the customer's point of view.

Morphological Matrix

Generate solution concepts by combining design alternatives.  Use this tool to combine design options at the sub function level to help you come up with new solutions.  You can use this after you have used the Function Structure technique.  If you are using the Axiomatic Design technique you can use this to translate functional requirements into design parameters.


Pair ideal solution elements to create new design concepts. Use this tool to transform the innovation's main features into unique design concepts.  It is best to use this tool at the subsystem level or when you are comparing fewer than seven features.

Pugh Matrix

Evaluate all your design concepts to create the invincible solution.   Use this tool when you need to evaluate ideas against a set of criteria related to solution-neutral outcome expectations or when you need to evaluate design concepts against solution-specific performance and perception expectations.

Provocation and Movement

Blocked in your idea generation?  Use this to to step around the roadblocks in your thinking.  This tool forces your team to question the status quo, shock yourself and your team into a new reality.  The perfect "What If" tool.

Design Scorecard

Develop a dashboard to track your design and its underlying processes. Use this tool to predict the final quality of a design and recognize gaps so it can be improved before it is implemented.  Use this tool in conjunction with Design FMEA , Measurement System Analysis and Robust Design for more robust analysis.

Design Failure Modes Effects Analysis

Anticipate what can go wrong with your solution before it does. Use this tool to anticipate possible failures or problems with your new solutions before they occur and have a plan for what to do in response.

Prototyping Worksheet

Build a fully functioning model of your new product to test and perfect it. This tool is typically used by product or component manufacturers who need to prove a new design concept, or when the design is particularly complex or expensive to produce.  This tool can also be used to test and anticipate customer reactions to your innovations.

Piloting Plan

Build a fully functioning model of your new service to test and perfect it. Use this tool to demonstrate to stakeholders and customer how your innovation addresses both provider and customer expectations as well as using the feedback to hone your offering to increase its value quotient and come closer to achieving the ideal innovation.

Measurement Systems Analysis Planning Worksheet

Identify the key inputs and outputs of your process.  Use this tool when you need a shared understanding of how your process currently works (Select and Clarify), how you plan to produce and deliver your innovation to customers (Clarify and Organize) and how your process works in it's final stage (Run and Evaluate).

Conjoint Analysis

Compare solution attributes to cull out customer preferences. Use this technique to determine the best combination of attributes to include in your product or service design based on the tradeoffs customers are willing to make.

Cause and Effect Matrix

Identify the key input-output relationships in need of attention. Use this tool to determine which critical process inputs have the most impact on your process output.  You can use this tool after the Cause & Effect Diagram has been completed to determine which of the inputs (X) are causing the greatest issues.

Control Plan Worksheet

Ensure that your new solution becomes commercialized as planned.  Use this tool to ensure that your innovation will produce or deliver according to your careful design regardless of location, personnel, environment or are variables that you won't be able to control.   Development of the Control Plan can be assisted by the Process Map / Value Stream map, Design FMEA and Measurement System Analysis.

Job to be Done

This form helps you determine the human need you are trying to fulfill.  Use it to understand why customers buy products, services and solutions, answering the question: what is the customer's true need?  Do they need to buy a 1/4" drill bit or a 1/4" hole?

Outcome Expectations

Figure out how to give customers more of what they desire.  This is directly tied to Job-to-be-done (JTBD), to determine what the value is to customers.

Nine Windows

Look at your opportunity through nine different lenses.  What is the current state, what was it in the past, what will it become in the future?  This tool helps you decide how and at what level to apply your innovation.

Job Scoping

Use this to to broaden or narrow your innovation focus to ensure that the innovation opportunity is effectively targeted at an actionable level.

Project Charter

Keep your innovation team focused and on track using this worksheet.   Use this tool to define your project so that all team members and stakeholders understand what the project is and is not to help you manage the risks associated with innovation.

Cause and Effect Diagram

Investigate the root causes of performance problems.  Use this tool to brainstorm and categorize the variables that might be causing poor performance in your new process, product service or solution.  Use Process Capability to determine if you are having any performance issues or defect problems that need to be solved.


Identify the key inputs and outputs of your process.  Use this tool when you need a shared understanding of how your process currently works (Select and Clarify), how you plan to produce and deliver your innovation to customers (Clarify and Organize) and how your process works in it's final stage (Run and Evaluate).

Function Analysis

Function analysis is a process for assessing and improving system value - with a focus on retaining or increasing all useful functions, mitigating or eliminating all harmful functions, and improving inadequate functions.

Structured Abstraction

Structured Abstraction is used to resolve a technical contradiction - two variables that are in conflict with each other.

Functional Requirements

Functional requirements, and the degree to which they are satisfied, form the basis of customer satisfaction with your products and services.

Opportunity Prioritization

The opportunity prioritization grid allows you to visualize the relative importance and satisfaction of outcome expectations.