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A Taxonomy of Innovation

InnovationMethodsFast-changing markets demand rapid development of new products and processes. Thousands of tools and methods are available to help innovators discover what users want and how to deliver on their expectations. The challenge is to figure out which ones to use when. Luma Institute has created a framework to help you choose the best tool for each step of the innovation process, based on the people you’ re designing for and the complexity of the systems in which you operate.

Luma distilled the portfolio down to 36 of the most effective tools for innovation’”the majority of them in common use’”organized in three categories: looking, understanding, and making. Each category contains three subcategories, and each subcategory contains four innovation tools. This hierarchical model makes it much easier to identify the tools you need and then put them to use.

How to use

It works best to combine multiple techniques. Bill Lucas, Luma’ s cofounder and director of curriculum, recommends using at least one tool from at least two categories during each round of innovation. For example, the sequence below will generate many new ideas and then help your team narrow its focus to develop only the most promising ones.


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