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On the Effectiveness of Systematized Substance-Field Analysis for Idea Generation

Case Study

On the Effectiveness of Systematized Substance-Field Analysis for Idea Generation

October 2014

This paper analyses the outcomes of a case study on application of the systematized Substance-Field Analysis (Su-Field) [1] to a real problem at Philips. A solution for a technical problem in a business area which had been thoroughly protected by intellectual property from many different competitors was required. The goal of the project was to develop a wide range of ideas to cover as many feasible options as possible. Su-Field Analysis was used during the ideation stage after thorough situation appraisal, Function Analysis and patent search. A project team that consisted of 13 Philips employees from different backgrounds participated in a one-day Su-Field idea generation session that followed a set of extensive six weeks project activities. The Su-Field idea generation session resulted in 11 new concepts that, in turn, were transformed into seven patent applications. The team members were surveyed on their Su-Field experiences. Survey results supported two hypotheses on the effectiveness of the procedure of systematized Su-Field as the means for a manual search of a user’s knowledge repository. Su-Field had also been found effective in facilitating group creativity. Download this case study.

Author/s (date): 
Christoph Dobrusskin Anne Belski Iouri Belski
Company/University: 
Philips, RMIT
Subject: 
Idea generation, Substance-Field Analysis
Country: 
Netherlands