The debugging of ideas is a process used to distinguish between good ideas and those that are not. It is used mainly in the area of companies and businesses to avoid investing a large amount of capital in a product that is not going to be profitable. However, it can be extrapolated to many other areas.
Tools have been developed over the years that make the brainstorming process simple. The most important are screening, systematic approach, and cost-benefit analysis. Each of these three tools can be used in different contexts; choosing one will depend on the interests of each company.
However, when developing a new product or proposing a new action plan, it is essential that one of the three methods is carried out to avoid great losses of money and time.
Idea debugging techniques
Although there are many techniques that can be used to refine ideas, the best known and most used are screening, systematic approach and cost-benefit analysis. Below we will briefly see what each of these consists of.
Sifting is a tool that consists of classifying a series of ideas that you want to check. These are classified taking into account the attractiveness they present for the company and the creativity with which they are designed.
Depending on these characteristics and the needs that the company has to cover, those ideas that worst meet the requirements previously described will be discarded. Therefore, it is a very useful tool to choose the best one from a group of ideas quickly and efficiently.
However, sieving presents some characteristic problems, with which it is necessary to be careful when applying the tool:
This failure occurs when, when classifying the ideas to be tested, one that could have been good and useful is discarded prematurely in favor of others that are not so suitable for the needs of the company.
The opposite problem to the previous one occurs when an idea is chosen as superior that in reality will not meet the needs of the company. In practice, both types of errors usually occur at the same time.
The systematic approach is another of the most used tools for the brainstorming process. It consists of a logical process with a series of predetermined steps used to choose the most appropriate action plan and the most useful ideas in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
To carry out a systematic approach process it is necessary to follow the following steps:
Identification of the problem
To begin debugging ideas, it is necessary to thoroughly explore what you want to achieve, what has been done so far and the current situation. Without this step, it is impossible to come up with good alternatives.
Determine possible ideas
Once you have decided what you want to achieve, you have to consider the options you have to achieve it. At this point it is not necessary that the ideas are perfect: it is more important to have a good number of them than their viability.
Select an alternative
Among all the ideas collected in the previous point, the one that is believed to work best is chosen. The criteria for doing so can be many, ranging from economical to aesthetically attractive, depending on the needs of the company.
Putting the chosen idea into practice
Once an action plan has been chosen, it needs to be fully carried out and implemented.
Examine the results achieved
When the first results have been obtained, the next step is to use them as feedback , so that more can be learned about whether the chosen idea was the right one or whether, on the contrary, the process must be started again.
Review and change in plan
Unless the desired results have been achieved the first time, it will be necessary to review the different parts of the plan and choose a new idea or a different way to implement the current one.
Cost benefit analysis
Unlike the previous tools, this one is used primarily to examine the feasibility of a single idea rather than to choose between several. Therefore, it is perfectly complementary to both screening and the systematic approach.
The cost-benefit analysis approach refers to considering whether the expected results when applying the idea will be higher than the costs of carrying it out.
It is usually done in relation to economic costs, but other factors such as time spent or the need for training of company staff can also be taken into account.
Importance of debugging ideas
Purging ideas is a fundamental process both for a company and when setting our own goals.
If it is not done correctly, you run the risk of investing a great deal of time and money in an action plan that does not lead us to what we want.
Therefore, before starting to implement any idea that may involve a very high cost, it is necessary to use one of the three techniques seen above to study if it really is the best we have or if, on the contrary, we can change it for another one. interesting.
Sample questions in brainstorming
Some of the most common questions that we can ask ourselves in a brainstorming process are the following:
– Is there really an unmet need in the market that will be covered with the new product you want to launch?
– Can you get a sufficient volume of sales with the new idea to justify carrying it out?
– Is this new idea going to be an improvement over previous company projects?
– Does the company have the necessary means to promote and market its new product in the correct way?
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