Improving the Fuzzy Front End of Product Development for Continuous Innovation Incorporating TRIZ
Donald Coates

Why have many legacy companies been unable to continuously innovate? A study of several famous companies that have stumbled in innovation reveals that it is not just one activity but a multitude of them that are not executed well. That is why "if it were easy everyone would be doing it". Innovation has been defined as invention brought to the market. The federal government has tried to measure innovation and found it very difficult. Work is ongoing to collect information on important factors for innovation but most measure factors that are results versus critical skills that drive innovation. A model for continuous innovation has been developed from a variety of sources, including the author's 40 years in the appliance industry. The model incorporates four key parts and arguably the most important part is problem solving and problem identification. This is where TRIZ plays a critical role since problems poorly solved or not solved lead to weak invention and innovation that can be easily trumped. The details of the model will be explained with associated forms that are useful for implementation.

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