Brainstorming - Finally

| 1 Comment

assignment 4
I reviewed my problem statements from last week.

Problem Statement 1:
Helena, an older homeowner in the Marcy-Holmes area, needs to walk her dogs in the winter while all of them remain safe and uninjured, because all of them require exercise to maintain balance in their physical and mental health.

Problem Statement 2:
Susan, a 19 yr old freshman at the Univ. of MN from Augusta, ME, needs an exercise companion during the winter months because she misses her dog from home and she feels more secure running at night with a dog at her side.

Feedback had suggested that one (or both) of them was either leading, or too specific. From my review I generated these two HMW statements:

How Might We...
1) How might we enhance winter activities with our dogs?
2) How might we provide additional interaction between our dogs and others in winter?

I invited 4 friends to join me for a brainstorming session on Friday evening. Sadly, Friday afternoon arrived and two cancelled. After multiple communications, we reschedule for Monday afternoon. I also invited another friend to that session, making a total of 5 invitees. All were briefed regarding the topic (Dogs and Winter) and asked to come with a few ideas.

4 p.m... Two people arrived. ☹ They were known creative: my sister, a musician and Candy, long time friend and fabric artist.

I introduced the topic, Dogs in the Winter, and explained the rules and process we would be following.


  • Goal: generate as many ideas as possible

  • No limitations on ideas

  • No criticism or discussion of ideas

  • Each idea needed a drawing and a title

  • Each idea to be announced to the group and placed on the wall.

  • Try to stay on topic

  • Use ideas already up as inspiration

For a warm up activity, we collectively wrote parody lyrics to holiday songs using dogs, or our dogs, as the subject. Each of us was to select a song and start a verse. When the initiator became stumped, one of the others had to jump in with a rhyme or segue. We had three rounds, and a lot of fun. "Up on the Rooftop" will never be the same again. (I tried to record it, but was not successful.)

We started on the first HMW statement: How might we enhance winter activities with our dogs?

What followed seemed to me like 20 minutes of refereeing an All Star Wrestling match. We did generate ideas, but I was reintroduced to the issues inherent in managing activity participants with moderate to severe ADHD. Yikes! I spent a lot of time requesting that stories recanting past experiences with dogs be saved for later. We did generate 30 ideas.

The response to the second HMW statement (How might we provide additional interaction between our dogs and others in winter?) was slower. Both of my participants repeated said, "We can use the same ideas we did before." I tried rolestorming (per class) with suggestions that they adopt the role of the dog, an elderly owner, and a working student. Only 14 ideas were generated for this HMW statement.

Our combined IPM for both segments was 0.37.

All ideas (44) were sorted (using the "silent treatment" as in class) into five categories: Activities (that could just be undertaken); Create (places/sites that would require build-out); Exist (products that already exist); Organize (ideas that require organization of multiple participants); Product (ideas that would lead to new, or modified, products on the market). Some ideas could fit in multiple categories, or would require follow-up in a second category.

Using multi-vote, 10 ideas were chosen. In response to enhancing winter with our pets:

1. Progressive Dog Parties

ProgDogPty.jpg

2. Easy-on dog boots

DogBott.jpg

3. Headlight for dog chest

DogHeadlight.jpg

4. Solar dog coat

SolarDogCoat.jpg

5. Dog treadmill access

Treadmill.jpg

In response to providing additional interaction:

1. Dog watermark

WaterPark.jpg

2. Outdoor toy library

DogToyOD.jpg

3. Lend-Leash program

LendLeash.jpg

4. Indoor toy library

DogToyID.jpg

5. Adopt-a-dog (Groups)

AdoptADog.jpg

1 Comment

Julie, I'll check back later in the week to comment on the brainstorming.

I am interested in your research. We have two dogs as well, though they are smaller. Here are some issues my dogs (brother and sister puggles from the Animal Humane Society).

They are small dogs, and Minnesota winters can make walking tough for them if they need to plow through the snow. At times when the top of the snow crusts, the girl (20lb) can run on top of the snow but the boy (30lb.) falls through up to his chest. With short coats and little bodies they can't be out in the cold long. Another problem is when ice gets between their toes.

They are middle-aged to older (9 years old) and the cold is tough in Minnesota. How might you help dogs with joint pain?

The like to root around in the snow, but don't like to go out too long for walks when it is cold. The boy in particular likes to snuffle around in and eat snow.

They both like to climb up on the ice hills made by the snowplow.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by ivers469 published on November 18, 2013 2:22 PM.

Interviews/Problem Statements was the previous entry in this blog.

Final Product Pitch is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.