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Unleashing Engineering Creativity:  A Comprehensive Workshop

Aimed At

This course is for engineers, designers, business development specialists, and others charged with creating innovative products. 

Prerequisites

While there are no formal prerequisites, the course assumes a design, engineering development, or business development background.   

Course in a Nutshell

Unleashing Engineering Creativity explores the best techniques for stimulating thinking, creating new products, and solving design challenges.  

Many organizations and engineers rely on brainstorming, but this simplistic approach often fails to stimulate creativity in a meaningful way.  Unleashing Engineering Creativity goes far beyond brainstorming.

This course explores state-of-the-art creativity stimulation approaches and provides recommendations for overcoming self-imposed obstacles.  This is an intense 2-day program that will help your organization realize significant creativity improvements.  

Workshop materials include a comprehensive set of PowerPoint charts, case studies, engineering exercises, and our new book, Unleashing Engineering Creativity!

The Unleashing Engineering Creativity course includes lectures, interactive discussion, examples, and numerous group exercises to assure thorough comprehension and comfort levels with these exciting creativity enhancement approaches.   This is a learn by doing workshop, and your team will experience a creativity burst as a result.  The course is offered exclusively through our Eogogics partnership.

Customize It!

Whatever the nature of your system and industry, we will customize the course to meet your specific needs and concerns.  Here are some of the ways in which we can tailor the course to help you get more out of it:  

  • Add a “workshop day” to the course to allow the participants to work together to analyze creativity challenges specific to your organization.  The workshop day can be scheduled a few weeks after the course to allow time for applying the technologies presented in class under an experienced practitioner’s guidance.

  • Schedule post-class follow-up consultation for continuing creativity improvement. 

Learn How To

 

Creativity is a skill that can be taught!  In this course, you will learn how to:

  • Use the world’s best and most advanced techniques to synthesizing new product and process designs.

  • Create design synergy and excitement in your engineering organization.

  • Apply QFD, TRIZ, Biomimicry, Kano Model, and other exciting creativity stimulation techniques in your organization.

  • Position your products far ahead of your competitors.

  • Delight your customers with meaningful and exciting product attributes.  

Workshop Outline

Day 1: Introductory Concepts and Creativity Enhancement Techniques  

Introduction and Course Overview.  Defining creativity.  Creativity stages.  Taylor’s hierarchy of creativity.  Creativity obstacles, including fear of the unknown, fear of failure, reluctance to exert influence, frustration avoidance, resource myopia, participation reluctance, over-certainty, and structured thinking patterns.  

Brainstorming and Painstorming.  Brainstorming approaches.  Brainstorming rules.  Identifying areas of customer dissatisfaction.   Sources of customer product satisfaction information.  Examples. Group exercise.

Synectics.  Disciplined idea harvesting.  Documenting “I wish” comments.  Including customer participation.  Funneling ideas into manageable options.   Examples.  Group exercise.  

Functional Decomposition.  Identifying functional requirements.  Inputs and outputs.  Flowcharting.   Identify functional interactions and conflicts.  Quality Function Deployment.   Making trades.  Examples.  Group exercise.

BiomimicryDefinitions.   Seeking solutions by emulating nature.  Finding appropriate emulation targets.   Reducing cost and waste.  Examples.  Group exercise.  

Axiomatic Design.  The independence and information axioms.  Matrix methods.  Transforming customer needs into products.  Examples.  Group exercise.

Ethnography.  Definitions and approach explanation.  Gathering information by examining cultures.  Understanding design impacts on individuals and cultures.  Understanding the consumer experience.  Examples.  Group exercise.

TRIZ.    TRIZ background and development history.  The theory of inventive problem solving.   Using the TRIZ contradiction matrix and Altshuller's 40 design solutions.   Analogical thinking.  Examples.  Group exercise.  

Lateral Benchmarking.  Finding best practices.  Looking outside your industry for best practices.  Strategies for identifying lateral industries.  Not knowing what can’t be done.  Examples.  Group exercise.

Day 2:  Additional Approaches and Course Wrap-Up   

Quality Function Deployment.  The house of quality.  Identifying, requirements, needs and wants.  Prerequisites.  The whats, the hows, and the how muches.  Benchmarking.  The graphical approach.  Quantification.  Using Excel.  Examples.  Group exercise.  

Kano Model.  Product development and customer satisfaction.  The attractive, one-dimensional, must-be, indifferent, and reverse categories.  Relationship to quality function deployment.   Examples.   Group exercise.

Trimming. Identifying functions, developing approaches for alternative assignment, recipient functional assignment, function elimination, redesigning for improved functionality, and identifying new markets as a result of improved functionality.  Examples.  Group exercise.  

Nine Windows.  The nine windows grid.  Considering innovation from the perspectives of time (past, current, future) and space (super-system, system, sub-system).  Examples.  Group exercise.    

Concept Fans.  Discovering alternative solutions.  Graphical presentations.  Taking steps back to gain a broader perspective.  Similarities to mind mapping.  Examples.  Group exercise.  

Problem Focus.  Expressing the right problem.  Problem statement and restatement.  5 Whys. Present state – future state discussion.  Checklists.  Trigger words.  Situation analysis.  Examples.  Group exercise.  

Bisociation.  Blending elements from two fields previously considered unrelated.  The comparison, abstraction, categorization, analogies, and metaphors matrix.  Concept blending theories.  Examples.  Group exercise.

 

Course Wrap-Up.   Course review.   Questions and answers.   Plans for future actions.   Course critique.

How You Will Learn

A seasoned consulting manufacturing executive/instructor will present this course in an interactive lecture and workshop format.

Along with the lectures, we use exercises, puzzles, case studies, and interesting group activities to enrich the instruction and emphasize the essential points.

You will receive a printed Participant Handbook that includes all materials presented in class, which will help you remember and retain what you learned and apply it on your job.

You will learn key creativity enhancement concepts from theoretical, practical, and organizational perspectives.  

 

Our Expertise

We're widely published in the engineering creativity field!  In addition to our recently-published Unleashing Engineering Creativity book (available separately from Amazon), please read our recent creativity articles:

In Design News...

In Product Design...

It's a little known fact that we lose 98% of our creativity by the time we reach high school, and for engineers, the problem is even more severe.   By the time we finish engineering school, we've been conditioned how to think and how to comply with specifications.   Our creativity can be decimated in the process.   The Unleashing Engineering Creativity workshop will help your team recover their creative skills, and this exciting workshop will provide a healthy boost in your creative output!


We've been all over the world helping manufacturers improve.  Would you like to see a few photos from our travels here and abroad?  Very few are work related; most are just some of the great local sights we get to see

 

The above training can be customized to meet your requirements.

Need a guest speaker for an important luncheon or dinner meeting?  Please contact us.

Any questions?  Please call us at 909 204 9984 or contact us via email.

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