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The Innovation Process
Activity 4.3 B

Narrow down concepts

The exercises in this activity will help you assess the concepts you have developed and narrow them down so that you can start developing initial prototypes.

Once you have developed a few concepts you will probably end up with some that are very different and others that share a number of similarities. At this point you will need to narrow down the number of concepts so that you can start developing initial prototypes. We provide a number of tools and methods in this activity to help you assess the concepts you have developed.


If you were to develop your concept further, what could go wrong? A ‘Pre-Mortem’ exercise can be used to think of the many ways your concept might fail, for example, by creating real harm for users, by damaging the reputation of your organisation, or by being completely impractical in reality. This is an engaging way to weigh up the potential risks and harms of your concepts.


The COCD Box method, so called as it was developed by the Centre for Development of Creative Thinking, can be used to establish the originality and feasibility of your concepts, enabling you to recognise which concepts should be abandoned, which might be good but not right to pursue at the moment, and finally which you should pursue.

Design Criteria

In the Recognition stage you developed a set of design criteria to guide the development of your solution. This remains a vital record of the specifications that a successful innovation will likely need to fulfil. Use your design criteria to assess your concepts. If your concepts do not look like they will fulfil important criteria, you need to consider rejecting them as the basis for an appropriate solution.