Step 4: Combine and Improve the Concepts Having rated and ranked the concepts, the team should verify that the results make sense and then consider if there are ways to combine and improve certain concepts. Two issues to consider are: • Is there a generally good concept which is degraded by one bad feature? Can a minor modification improve the overall concept and yet preserve a distinction from the other concepts? • Are there two concepts which can be combined to preserve the "better than" qualities while annulling the "worse than" qualities? Combined and improved concepts are then added to the matrix, rated by the team, and ranked along with the original concepts. In our example, the team noticed that concepts D and F could be combined to remove several of the "worse than" ratings to yield a new concept, DF, to be considered in the next round. Concept G was also considered for revi- sion. The team decided that this concept was too bulky, so the excess storage space was removed while retaining the injection technique. These revised concepts are shown in Exhibit 7-6. Step 5: Select One or More Concepts Once the team members are satisfied with their understanding of each concept and its relative quality, they decide which concepts are to be selected for further refinement and analysis. Based upon previous steps, the team will likely develop a clear sense of which are the most promising concepts. The number of concepts selected for further review will be limited by team resources (personnel, money, and time). In our example, the team se - lected concepts A and E to be considered along with the revised concept G+ and the new concept DE Having determined the concepts for further analysis, the team must clarify which issues need to be investigated further before a final selection can be made.
Concept Selection 133 Concept G+: Dial Screw+ 'f'1'!JfPN IN'!-VYlN ~ ANI;> \ I r~N~ \ L ~5t?tZ- (171~ l l..?.>+:-1&' Wl.-I~ ~) U? 4jQr """'fI! IIJ~~ Concept OF: Lever Stop EXHIBIT 7-6 New and revised concepts for the syringe. During the selection process, the syringe team revised concept G and generated a new concept, DF, arising from the combination of concepts D and F. The team must also decide whether another round of concept screening will be per- formed or whether concept scoring will be applied next. If the screening matrix is not seen to provide sufficient resolution for the next step of evaluation and selection, then the concept-scoring stage with its weighted selection criteria and more detailed rating scheme would be used. Step 6: Reflect on the Results and the Process All of the team members should be comfortable with the outcome. If an individual is not in agreement with the decision of the team, then perhaps one or more important criteria are missing from the screening matrix, or perhaps a particular rating is in error, or at least is not clear. An explicit consideration of whether the results make sense to everyone re- duces the likelihood of making a mistake and increases the likelihood that the entire team will be solidly committed to the subsequent development activities.
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