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Last Homework assignment Complete the FSD. Due Today. Put on website and email a copy to me. Work on the Concept Generation portion of the CG&S Document for your Project. Email me with ~5 concept fragments for your actual project. We will discuss these in class on Tuesday.

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Last Homework assignment

Complete the FSD. Due Today. Put on website and email a copy to me.

Work on the Concept Generation portion of the CG&S Document for your Project.

Email me with ~5 concept fragments for your actual project. We will discuss these in class on Tuesday.

Read Chapter 7, Concept Selection in Ulrich and Eppinger

ECEn 490

Team Pythagoreans: 01/27/09

Jonathon Taylor

Daniel Richins

Jim Meaders

Ryan West

ECEn 490

Lecture 7 concept selection
Lecture 7 Concept Selection


Decision Making 101

ECEn 490










Perform Economic Analysis

Benchmark Competitive Products

Build and Test Models and Prototypes

Concept Development Phase

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5







Testing and

















Select a



Concept Development

Exhibit 2 Chapter 3 Ulrich & Eppinger

ECEn 490

Iterative process of screening and scoring

Filter and decide

Concept generation

Concept screening

Concept scoring

Concept testing

Expand our thinking

Iterative Process of Screening and Scoring

ECEn 490

  • Every team uses some method of decision making. Common methods include:

    • External decision; let someone else decide, customer, client, etc.

    • Product Champion; an influential team member chooses the concept.

    • Intuition; subjective criteria are used to decide. It just feels better.

    • Multi-voting; team members vote for their favorite.

    • Pros and Cons; team list strengths and weaknesses and choose based on opinions.

    • Prototype and test; team builds several units and decision is based on results.

    • Decision matrices; team rates each concept against defined selection criteria.

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  • Benefits of using decision matrices methods include:

    • A customer focused approach; concepts are evaluated against customer-oriented criteria.

    • More competitive designs; concepts are benchmarked against best-in-class designs.

    • Reduced development time; using a structured approach develops a common vision and language for the design team.

    • Better group decision making; the decision is more likely to be based on objective criteria.

    • Documentation of the decision process; the method provides its own documentation.

ECEn 490

Caution methods include:

  • Concept Scoring and Screening matrices are only used on those few (less than 5) design problems that will make a significant difference in the outcome of your project.

  • You don’t need the formality of concept scoring and screening for obvious design choices or those that are dictated by the preferred solution.

ECEn 490

The Two Stages of Concept Selection methods include:

Concept Screening: give relative score against a known benchmark design.

fast, approximate evaluation that produces several viable concepts.

Best used when quantitative comparisons are difficult.

Usually requires some sort of reference concept for relative evaluation.

Concept Scoring: weighted ranking of measurement criteria.

Used when only a few alternatives are being considered.

Required quantitative comparisons of concepts.

Can still be quite subjective due to choices of weights and ranks.

ECEn 490

In both cases we use the Six Steps of Concept Selection methods include:

1. Prepare the selection matrix—choose the selection criteria.

2. Rate the concepts.

3. Rank the concepts.

4. Combine and improve concepts.

5. Select one or more concepts.

6. Reflect on the results and the process.

Evaluate against a reference

Give the concept a # score

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Method 1--Concept Screening methods include:

Product Concepts






Selection Criteria

Criteria 1

Criteria 2

Criteria 3


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Concept Screening methods include:

Concept Ratings








Criteria 1

Criteria 2

Criteria 3


A= reference

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Step 1--Preparing the Selection Matrix. methods include:

The choice of the selection matrix is key to the success of both Screening and Scoring.

Selection criteria should be independent.

Selection criteria should be chosen to differentiate among the concepts.

The criteria should be of the same relative worth.

Don’t get too many criteria.

Use industry comparisons if available.

ECEn 490

  • Concept Screening matrix methods include:

    • Start with the selection criteria.

    • Where are you going to get the selection criteria?

    • These are the key attributes or features of the product as determined in the FSD.

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Concept Screening for the solution

Step 2--Rating Concepts

Use a relative score, +, 0, - or colored dots

rate against a reference

Step 3--Rank the Concepts

sum up the scores

rank the concepts by scores, highest to lowest.

Step 4--Combine and Improve the Concepts

Look at the results and see if there are ways to combine concepts

is there one bad feature that is degrading a good concept?

ECEn 490

In-Class Exercise for the solution

  • Your team is working for “Innovative Directions”

  • You have been given the assignment to work with BYU on a special project.

  • Your team has been assigned this task:

  • “Design and build an economical solution which will make it easy for those unfamiliar with the BYU campus to find their way around.”

ECEn 490

Innovative Directions for the solution Concept Generation

  • What would be some of the possible solutions for providing campus directions?

  • Physical map

  • Downloadable map

  • New signs on campus

  • New building signs

  • Color coded strips on the sidewalks

ECEn 490

Innovative Directions for the solution Concept Screening example

  • What would some good screening criteria for choosing the best alternative for the Innovative Directions example?

  • Criteria

  • Cost of the solution

  • Ease of use

  • Portability

  • Accuracy of data

  • Cost of development

  • Availability of solution

  • What would be a good benchmark concept?

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Concept Screening for the solution


Color coded stripes

on walks

New signs on campus

New building signs

Downloadable Map

Physical Map


Ease of


Availability of




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Concept Screening continued for the solution

Step 5--Select One or More Concepts

Look for patterns and groupings of concepts.

Look for natural breakpoints among concepts.

Step 6--Reflect on the Results

try to get consensus among the team on the results.

Ask if the criteria reflects the critical customer needs.

ECEn 490

Method 2--Concept Scoring for the solution

Step 1--Preparing the selection matrix.

In addition to the requirements for screening:

each criteria must be assigned a weight in relationship to its importance.

A good way of assigning weights is to allocate 100 percentage points across all criteria.

Or, importance values can be assigned, 1-9.

There are empirical methods of assigning weights, but more often they are determined by team consent.

ECEn 490

Concept Scoring Matrix for the solution














Concept A

Concept B

Concept C

Concept D



Criteria 1

Criteria 2

Criteria 3













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Concept scoring, continued for the solution

Step 2--Rate the Concepts

assign a numerical value to each concept with respect to the criteria.

Use a wide scale to help differentiate among concepts. I.e. 1,3,9

Step 3--Rank the Concepts

ranking is done by multiplying the concept scores by the criteria weights.

Add up all the scores for each concept.

List the concepts by descending order.

ECEn 490

ECEn 490 for the solution

Concept Scoring continued for the solution

Step 4--Combining and improving is similar to concept screening.

Step 5--Select one or more concepts

choose the highest ranking concepts

look for individuals scores where one criteria was significant to the total.

Decide whether the scoring was quantitative enough to make a decision.

Step 6--Reflect on the Results

this is again similar to screening, does the answer make sense.

ECEn 490

  • In class exercise for the solution

    • Develop a scoring matrix for the criteria that you developed in Exercise #1.

    • Give relative weights to the criteria and design a scoring definition for the ranking.

    • How does this help with the evaluation of the criteria?

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In class exercise for the solution

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Potential problems for the solution

Concept criteria are not independent

a set of criteria reflects a common need, resulting in too heavy a weighting.

For example, if you had three criteria relating to quality, and only one relating to cost, the sum of the quality scores would be spread over three criteria, while cost is concentrated in one criteria.

Criteria are too subjective. How do you deal with subjective criteria?

Cost must always be included in some form, because of the importance to the customer.

ECEn 490

Summary for the solution

All teams use some form of selection, often it is implicit and unstructured.

Structured concept selection provides a level of objective measurement that can help differentiate between competing solutions.

Concept screening is useful for eliminating alternatives when you have a large number to consider.

Concept scoring is used to refine the selection when you have only a few choices.

Screening and scoring are not exact sciences.

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Homework for the solution

Complete the Concept Generation and Scoring Document. Due at design review next week.

Be sure to cover all 5 of areas of the decision Matrix to insure that the reader will understand your thought process, and especially the assumptions that you are using. (see the document description on the ECEn 490 business website.)

ECEn 490

  • Critical parts of the body of the CG&S document. You need a written section with Scoring for each of the following;

  • Description of the alternatives considered

  • Discussion of the decision criteria; why were they chosen? why they are important? These should come directly from the customer needs/FSD.

  • The thought process that resulted in the weighting factors. This should be heavily driven by the FSD prioritized needs. Include the values.

  • An analysis of the process of scoring. Why did you choose the various scores? Include the scores!

  • Review your results.

ECEn 490