Staying and or becoming an industry Leader is more challenging than ever. I believe that past reliance on traditional Research and Development (R&D) methods, engineering skills and marketing confidence are no longer enough. We have learned how to systematically and creatively measure, observe, monitor, track, and better understand the human element and their “dynamic” responses to manmade items, products and/or environments they are likely to be used in. Applying this knowledge in creating more successful product inventions is not “magic,” but it does require knowing how to facilitate disciplined imagination thru the creative process. Application of HFE can and should be a major driving force in any design problem-solving project.
Based on my 35+ years of real world business experience, and my educational expertise, I have identified ten main steps to finding innovation solutions to the majority R&D project journeys. Starting from correctly defining what is the problem/goals, their parameters, synthesizing the data, translating it into physical solutions, evaluating the concepts involved, and finally preparing for the commercialization of solution(s); the HFE based innovation process is almost fool proof.
My life sciences based approach to the creative process relies on systematically finding and then dissecting; what, how and why humans i.e. The desired users-consumers for a particular item, object, service or product may want to use a particular product vs. that of another alternative method of achieving a task or objective. This approach prioritizes a full understanding of life and or natural sciences over engineering and or information technology so that user outcomes are not left to “technological chance”.
Although this type of approach may not be the least expensive or expedient experts, and myself included, believe it is the best if not only way of maintaining integrity in the marketplace and holding on to a future leadership role in any given industry.
This process, when correctly implemented, can reduce the amount of desktop research, keep theorizing in check, and allow the project to move forward as quickly as possible. It also allows for those in the project to take side steps and maintain flexibility in the process.
It is suggested that you, or your business, arrange for a consultation on the above in order to discover the details on this unique design problem solving approach, and how it can be applied to your particular R&D need(s).
Terry B. Grall
Terry B. Grall, PhD.
The Human Factors-Ergonomics Based “Innovation Process”: TB Grall, PhD (4-4-11 Copyrighted Material)