Type of record:
  • Micro method
  • Creativity technique
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
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  11. 10


The Attribute Listing method is closely related to the Morphological Box.

In comparison, however, it has a somewhat narrower and more detailed scope. Attribute listing is a systematic attempt to identify all possible approaches for product and process improvements.

It is an ideal method if, for example, you want to extend the "life curve" of a product by equipping it with an interesting innovation without having to carry out a fundamental new development. The dominant principle of attribute listing is that of systematic variation. The difficulty of using Attribute Listing is less demanding than the Morphological Box. It is therefore more possible to work in groups and involve participants in the idea-finding process who are not considered to be experts on the issue. It makes sense if the problem solver prepares the first processing steps alone - that is, prepares the actual state (list of characteristics of the product or process to be further developed as well as the current design executions).

The participants in the brainstorming session can then work together to find possible variations for each feature. This can also be done very efficiently according to the rules of brainstorming. Here is the example with a fountain pen:

Characteristic (Attributes) / Current Solution / Possible Other Variant
Single parts / cartridge, spring, upper part, lower part, cap / integrated cartridge / upper and lower part / a part
Cross section / Round / Oval with longitudinal grooves
Diameter / constant / diameter change
Lock / click lock / thread lock, bayonet lock
Material / PVC / Aluminium, metallized, anodized
Colour display / By cap colour / Window for cartridge, sticker
Mounting / clip on the cap / metal clip, velcro strap

Attribute listing is suitable for finding ideas in the area of further development of products as well as processes and procedures.
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for low complex challenges
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for process innovations
  • Effective for product innovations
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • Effective for service innovations
  • Effective for technology innovations
  • P5 Idea Finding (ideation - idea generation - creative phase - incubation)
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