Idea screening is an essential step during the generation of a new product. It is necessary to select one concept that will be the center of the project from the multitude from suggestions generated during the ideation stage. Understanding the optimal methods that can be used to do so is necessary to ensure that the project with the highest potential is selected for further development. The task is further complicated when the company has sufficient resources to pursue several ideas at once, as the criteria change accordingly. Ideas that would not be viable as the sole pursuit become more attractive as part of an extensive complex. This essay attempts to describe the process through examples and explanations.
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The first stage of the screening concerns the elimination of ideas that are not feasible. Concepts such as the creation of a technologically impossible product or high-risk, low-return projects belong to this category. According to C Concept Generation & Screening (n.d.), most of the ideas are eliminated at this intuitive stage, before elaboration begins on the remaining plans. After this development, selection with stricter criteria can begin, ones that will incorporate elements of analysis and predictive calculation. All of the options at this stage are expected to have value, and the company selects those with the highest potential. Choosing a single project can be seen as a matter of calculation and evaluation, and the concept that shows the best numbers is likely superior to the rest.
Customers are the primary group that determines the success or failure of an idea, and so they should be the ones conducting the screening in a perfect scenario. Pfeffermann and Gould (2017) provide the example of Starbucks, which asks customers for feedback directly on its website. Direct participation allows more direct and detailed responses that enable a more intricate comparison of specific ideas. Alternately, it is possible to engage customers using focus groups and employ an approach where random customers are exposed to a concept, and their reactions are gauged. The second approach has the benefit of minimizing interfering factors in the experiment and therefore potentially obtaining less biased results.
The need to select multiple projects complicates the situation due to the potential synergy between the different offerings. The ecosystem approach employed by many modern technological manufacturers, especially Apple, can serve as an example. Apple products are possibly too expensive for a consumer individually, but they work together seamlessly, creating a convenient user experience and encouraging people to get multiple items at once. Recognizing such opportunities for cooperation between different projects can be challenging, though the clustering approach offered by C Concept Generation & Screening (n.d.) may help. Identification of thematically similar ideas may assist in the formation of associations, letting one see possible links.
Idea screening is a complicated process that is essential to the creation of new projects. It is responsible for filtering the various concepts, many of which are non-viable or unrealistic, and delivering a plan of action for a successful product. Consumer feedback is a valuable part of the approach, especially in the current time, when it is readily available via the Internet. Nevertheless, the selection requires considerable expertise, particularly when it comes to choosing multiple projects at once. The potential synergies have to be taken into account, and the clustering approach can help in the achievement of that goal.
C Concept Generation & Screening, n.d., Web.
Pfeffermann, N, & Gould, J (eds.) 2017, Strategy and communication for innovation: integrative perspectives on innovation in the digital economy, Springer, Cham, Switzerland.
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