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Lab #3: Week of September 22: From an opportunity area to product concepts

objective, preparation, what's due, activities, other notes

Main Lab Objective

Now that the 3-ideas presentation is over, each section will focus on preparation for the upcoming sketch model review. Your section should work towards identifying two promising concept direction or variations within the team's assigned idea area.

You should also look ahead to lab #4 since the sketch model review is on Thursday evening next week!

Preparation before Lab #3
Make sure that you understand the goals of the sketch model review.

Review the feedback received from the 3-ideas presentation and compile it into a distilled form that will allow you to effectively review and discuss issues raised, being careful to not overlook potentially valuable suggestions. Since all written feedback from instructors will have been received by noon on Tuesday, red team will need to do this right before lab.

Having the feedback distilled onto a page or two and printed for use in the lab can help the discussion. Compiled feedback for every team is also linked on the 3-ideas results page by Tuesday evening after the review.

Each lab section member should develop at least two concept variations within the team's assigned idea area. While the timing is tight for the Tuesday teams, it is really important to get the exploration process restarted before your team meeting. Prepare the concept variations on individual sheets of paper so that they can be pinned up, as was done in the brainstorming assignment, but the ideas should be more complete, focused, and researched (at least similar to the 3-ideas posters). Make sure that you have done enough research to be confident that the ideas have a degree of novelty and competitive advantage, and that there is a real, tangible need motivating the concepts.

For teams meeting on Wednesday or later, organize your section into appropriate task forces and begin gathering additional information relevant to the idea area selected for your team. This might include benchmarking, customer needs, market data, and observation. Be prepared to present a short summary to the team at the beginning of your lab. Tuesday teams will probably need to do this as part of their lab time.

The system integrators should prepare an agenda for the lab and make sure that the name cards are setup on the table before the start of lab. If you think that you will need AV equipment set this up before your scheduled lab period.

What's due
Your physical design notebook is reviewed during lab. Digital notebook submissions are due no later than 10 PM Thursday.

Your 3-ideas phase project timesheet is to be completed by midnight Tuesday. This is done by checking off the "submit this timesheet" sub-task in the 3-ideas timesheet task.

Recommended lab #3 activities

As a complete team (both sections together)
It is recommended that you begin with the two sections together and reflect upon your effort in the 3-ideas presentation, its outcome, and the team's idea area. This should be a brief discussion.

Teams meeting on Wednesday or Thursday should each task force that was assigned to gather additional information (see lab preparation above) take roughly 5 minutes to summarize their findings. It will be beneficial for the two sections to hear each other's background research. Teams meeting on Tuesday will probably not have had time to prepare this.

Close the meeting room divider and continue the lab with the two sections working separately.

As individual sections
Give your design notebook to your instructor so he/she can review it during lab.

Begin with the standard meeting startup.

Pin up the concept variants that you developed when you prepared for this lab. Discuss each other's ideas. If you feel that the variants from the pinup are not adequate, spend additional time brainstorming as a group.

Establish relevant selection criteria and pick two concept variants for further development, using a method such as a Pugh chart.

Divide your section into task forces to work on the two concept variations in preparation for the sketch model review, which is next week. You will need to further develop the idea, prepare informative sketch models, conduct simple tests, and refine customer needs, benchmarking, and market data. Ideas need to be researched so that you have clear needs connected with real users, and so that you understand what competitive products may exist. You may also want to refer to the online sketch modeling resources.

Use the remaining time to work. Remember to pickup your design notebook before you leave the lab.

Other notes:
The RPF training session at 3:00 PM, Friday the 26th. All financial officers are required to attend.

There is also a communications session next week—Monday September 29, 7-8:30 PM for system integrators, who are required to participate.

There is a required information officer session with the course librarians net week on Monday September 29, 7-8:30 PM.