Innovation Practitioner Program (IPP) curriculum is designed to address the industry requirement of teaching and testing on systematic process of thinking.
The Innovation Practitioner Program focuses on both left and right brain techniques and the systematic process of inventive thinking that harmonizes their integrated potential.
Participants will be exposed to fantasy principles, core vocabulary used by successful innovators and the seven (7) core right brain skills that form the foundation of the systematic process of inventive thinking.
The IPP program is directed by an independent Technical Committee of ASQ India and Quality Assurance Institute (QAI).
The body of knowledge, principles and practices as defined by the Technical Committee are outlined in this section.
The tools and techniques covered in the body of knowledge have been obtained through extensive research of existing right brain and left brain bodies of knowledge such as Lateral thinking, TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving), Lean, Kepner Tregoe, Theory of constraints, Outcome driven Innovation, Systematic Inventive Thinking, and over thirty other techniques.
The Technical Committee will periodically update the body of knowledge to reflect changing industry practices.
The IPP Body of knowledge has been mapped to Bloom’s taxonomy to gage the proficiency levels of candidates.
Bloom’s taxonomy details the different proficiency levels of a learner in order of increasing proficiency as defined below.
1.Remember (Knowledge level): Recall or recognize terms, definitions, facts, ideas, materials, patterns, sequences, methods, principles, etc.
2.Understand (Comprehension level): Read and understand descriptions, communications, reports, tables, diagrams, directions, regulations etc.
3.Apply (Application level): Know when and how to use ideas, procedures, methods, formulas, principles, theories, etc.
4.Analyze (Analysis level): Break down information into its constituent parts and recognize their relationship to one another and how they are organized; identify sublevel factors or salient data from a complex scenario.
5.Evaluate (Evaluation level): Make judgments about the value of proposed ideas, solutions, etc. by comparing the proposal to specific criteria or standards.
6.Create (Synthesis level): Put parts or elements together in such a way as to reveal a pattern or structure not clearly there before, identify which data or information from a complex set are appropriate to examine further or from which supported conclusions can be drawn.
–Right brain thinking is the ability to unleash the creative potential of the brain without being encumbered by thoughts related to practicality, feasibility, technical detailing of solution.
–Good creative thinkers however, do not simply succumb to irrational or free thinking. Instead they develop what is called “credible fantasy” – a fantastic idea that is unheard of and yet sounds credible and intuitive within the context of the given situation.
–IPP candidates will be encouraged to use the right brain techniques to develop this ability of generating “credible fantasy”.
–The table provides a summary of the techniques and their mapping to Bloom’s taxonomy.
1.Types of Problems
–Not every situation requires innovative thinking. Practitioners must be able to identify situations that need out-of-the-box thinking from others that do not require such level of thinking to make the process more efficient and effective.
–Additionally, practitioners must be able to differentiate the different types of creative problems, e.g. improving a current setup versus measurement and detection problems.
–Fiction writers have over time consistently made use of principles of fantasy in their creations.
–Practitioners must understand and apply the eighteen (18) principles to generate bold ideas.
–Advanced level Practitioners can even apply these principles to real world situations to generate bold, yet workable solutions.
3.Method of Focal Objects (MFO)
–Method of Focal Objects is a creativity technique for generating new objects (products/processes/fantasy objects) through transfer of values of chosen characteristics from other randomly selected objects.
–It will help Practitioners explore alternative solutions/directions of improvement for the focal object.
4.Morphological Analysis (MA)
–Morphological Analysis (MA) brings a certain level of systematic approach to search for different variants of a selected object.
–MA has been used in the past by organizations such as NASA to break the psychological inertia of its engineers in coming out with different variants of engines.
MA technique can help an innovator explore different combinations of characteristics and their associated values to generate novel and bold ideas.
–When it comes to innovative thinking the real battle happens in the minds of the thinker.
–The mind lays out many psychological traps that prevent the innovator from generating bolder solutions or of exploring different directions.
–For example, the heat generated by a laptop can be used to warm hands during cold weather or the camera of a smartphone can be used as a mirror to apply lipstick in a car. These examples illustrate how the innovative mind is able to search for alternative solutions (camera) that serve the same function as the existing or known solution (mirror).
–Successful innovators have mastered a basic vocabulary that helps them cut through the psychological traps.
–The second area of learning within the IPP body of knowledge will be to develop the ability to use this language.
1.Object – Feature – Value:
- The understanding of Object-Feature-Value will help innovators measure value from a customer’s perspective, define a useful and harmful functions, articulate contradictions or conflicting demands, and identify the desired characteristics of the resources to implement novel ideas and make them an innovation.
- Every object or process has a core purpose or function for which it exists. And the manner in which the solution is designed to deliver the function, we might end up creating harmful side effects.
- Function is formally defined as the change in the value of a feature of a chosen object.
- Functions are of different types: useful functions/ harmful functions/ auxiliary functions.
- Understanding of language of functions will help in making use of other techniques such as Ideality thinking, Systems thinking.
3.Inventive opportunity categories
- All the inventive ideas generated till date or inventive ideas that will be generated in the future can be classified into one of the five (5) categories.
Understanding those categories will help in channelizing the efforts of improvement for an innovator in any situation.
The table provides a summary of the techniques and their mapping to Bloom’s taxonomy.
–Left brain techniques train the candidates on the systematic process of generating and implementing innovative ideas that are of value to the end customer.
–IPP candidates will learn the seven (7) core skills of innovators and the systematic process of stitching together those skills for innovative solutions.
–The image provides a summary description of these skills.
1.Customer value creation
–Innovation is the ability to generate useful and novel ideas that are accepted and adopted by the target customer.
–One of the first hurdles faced by innovators is the answer to the question: “Where to innovate?”
–Customer value creation skill is the systematic technique to identify the innovation opportunities.
2.Abstraction and Analogy thinking
–Innovators face many psychological hurdles that make their situation incorrectly appear as uniquely different from the situation faced by innovators from other domains. Technical jargons and imagery are some of those psychological biases that cloud the thinking to make the given situation look different from the situation faced by others.
–Abstraction is the ability to de-jargonize the given situation and express the essence in simple language so that the situation does not appear to be uniquely different from those faced by others.
–Analogy thinking is the ability to map the solutions used by other innovators to the given situation.
–Abstraction and Analogy thinking is the process of not reinventing the wheel when innovative ideas can be simply adapted from other domains facing similar situations.
–Every system tries to evolve into something better over time. Ideality formally defines what “becoming better” could mean for any product, service, process or object of interest.
–Ideality thinking is the ability to define the state of perfection for any product, service, process or situation based on the language of functions and establish the roadmap for improvement as it is the benchmark of what future should be.
–Envisioning the state of perfection helps the innovator identify the gap with respect to the current position and chart the roadmap of innovative solutions.
–Contradictions or paradoxes are conflicting demands placed on a system or process. Each of the conflicting choices available to an innovator is called a paradox as it has a benefit or useful outcome and a negative or undesirable outcome also.
–For example, owning a big car allows a person to move a big family around but it also creates secondary problems related to space required to park. On the other hand owning a small car takes care of the large space required to park but it creates a secondary problem of being unable to move a big family around.
–At the heart of the most powerful innovative ideas is the ability to generate win-win solutions to conflicting or contradictory requirements.
–Successful innovators have the ability to identify, articulate and resolve a contradiction using a systematic algorithm based on proven principles.
–Untrained minds go for suboptimal thinking such as compromise or tradeoff.
5.Express Failure Analysis
–Innovators have to train themselves to anticipate and handle different types of situations. One type of situation is called “failure analysis” where a failure of a design/solution is evident but what causes the failure is unknown.
–Express failure analysis is the ability to quickly identify the potential hypotheses that could be leading to the unfavorable situation.
–Innovators can make use of Express failure analysis in three situations of innovative thinking
1.When they are trying to find opportunities for creating value for the customer
2.When they are designing a new solution and want to anticipate and mitigate all possible failure scenarios
3.The current solution has failed and a different approach is required to diagnose the reason for the failure
–Advanced applications of this concept can be used to anticipate and prevent failures in current as well as future designs/solutions. This is especially useful in blending with other risk mitigation procedures.
–For an idea to see the light of the day an innovator needs the right kind of resource preferably cheap, abundant supply and easily accessible.
–Resource thinking is the foundation without which no innovative idea would see the light of the day.
–Successful innovators have the uncanny ability to systematically explore and identify resources that are typically not considered by others on account of various types of psychological biases. Resource thinking is the foundation without which no innovative idea would see the light of the day.
–Successful innovators have the uncanny ability to systematically explore and identify resources that are typically not considered by others on account of various types of psychological biases.
–Systems thinking is the ability to analyze the given systems to understand how it functions, the cause-and-effect relationships governing the system in the given situation, and the relationship of a given system within the context of other systems and sub-systems.
–Systems thinking enable the innovators to go to the core issues that need to be resolved in a given situation from a value creation perspective.
–It also helps them systematically identify the resources available to make their ideas a reality.
–Finally, it aligns any improvements with the inter-linkages between the system and its environment and the known patterns of technical system evolution to ensure the sustainability of the solutions.