New Concept Development Model (NCD-model)

The NCD-model provides a common language and terminology necessary to optimize the "Front End of Innovation".  The NCD-model consists of three key parts (Cited from Koen et al, 2002):

  1. The engine or bull's-eye portion is the leadership, culture, and business strategy of the organization that drives the five key elements that are controllable by the corporation.
  2. The inner spoke area defines the five controllable activity elements(opportunity identification, opportunity analysis, idea generation and enrichment, idea selection, and concept definition) of the FFE.
  3. The influencing factors consist of organizational capabilities, the outside world (distribution channels, law, government policy, customers, competitors, and political and economic climate), and the enabling sciences (internal and external) that may be involved. These factors affect the entire innovation process through to commercialization and are relatively uncontrollable by the corporation.



We define an idea to be "the most embryonic form of a new product or service". It often consists of a high level view of the envisioned solution needed to solve the problem identified by the opportunity.   What is it?

  • Birth, development and maturation of the opportunity into new ideas
  • Translates the opportunity into specific ideas
  • An evolutionary process where ideas are built upon, torn down, combined, reshaped, modified and upgraded
  • May be formal (i.e. idea banks, brainstorming, etc.) or informal (i.e. an experiment goes awry, unusual request from customer, etc.)
  • Most Effective Processes

  What are the Most Effective Processes for Idea Generation and Enrichment?

  • Methods for Identifying Unarticulated Customer Needs
    • Ethnography approaches
    • Lead User Methodology
    • Early involvement of customer champion
    • Discovering the Archetype of your customer
  • Business-Technology Interspersing
  • Identifying new Technology Solutions
    • Increasing linkages both internal and external (Technology Flow)
    • Partnering
  • An organizational culture that encourages employees to spend "free time" testing and validating theirs own and others' ideas
  • A variety of incentives to stimulate ideas
  • A web-enabled idea bank with easy access to product or service improvements, including linkages to customers and suppliers
  • A formal role for someone to coordinate ideas from generation through assessment
  • A mechanism to handle ideas outside (or across) the scope of established business units
  • A limited number of simple, measurable goals (or metrics) to track idea generation and enrichment
  • Frequent job rotation to encourage knowledge sharing and extensive networking
  • Mechanisms for communicating core competencies, core compatibilities and shared technologies broadly throughout the corporation
  • Inclusion of people with different cognitive styles on the idea enrichment team


What is it?

  • Selection of ideas for allocation of resources
  • Selection by individual from self-generated options or a formalized portfolio methodology

What are the most Effective Processes for idea selection?

  • Portfolio methodologies based on multiple factors (not just financial justification) of:
    • Technical Success Probabilit
    • Commercial Success Probability
    • Reward
    • Strategic Fit
    • Strategic Leverage
    • Use of Anchored Scales
  • Screening methodologies are not used on "breakthrough" projects
    • Holy Grail"
    • Obvious
  • Formal Idea Selection Process with prompt feedback to the idea submitters
    • Enhance methodology by using electronic performance support systems
    • Web enable the process
  • Use of "Options Theory" to evaluate projects


We define a concept "to have a well defined form including both a written and visual description, which includes its primary features and customer benefits combined with a broad understanding of the technology needed."

What is it?

  • Development of a Business Case
  • Assessment of Technology and Market Risks.
  • Determination of Detailed Product Specifications (may only apply to incremental products)
  • Possibility of an Overlap with the NPD Process
  • Technology Stage Gate (TSG)
    • Utilized for Managing Technical Uncertainty
    • Depending on Company's Methodology and the Level of Technical Complexity, TSG May be Entirely within the NCD, Overlapping the NPD, or the Link Between the Two.

What are the Most Effective Processes for Concept Definition?

  • Goal Deliberation Approaches
  • Careful Defining of the Project Goals and Outcomes
  • Criteria for the Corporation which Describes what an "Attractive" (financials, market growth, market size, etc) Should Look Like
  • Rapid Evaluation of High Potential Innovations
  • RIGOROUS Use of the TSG for High Risk Projects
  • Early Involvement of the Customer in Real Product Tests
  • Even Before Product is "Completed", Staff-up High Potential Projects while Still in Front End of Innovation
  • Technology Flow Tools Speeds-up Development
  • Partnering Outside the areas of Core Competence
  • Focusing (in contrast to spreading too thin)
  • Alternative Approaches
  • Product Champions are needed to move Products Across Valley of Death if Adequate Bootlegged Funds are Available
  • Product Champions Often Champion the Wrong Project
  • Business Executive Champion is Needed for Almost all Projects


We define an opportunity to be "a business or technology need that a company or individual realizes by design or default that they might want to purse to capture competitive advantage, respond to a threat, solve a problem or ameliorate a difficulty."

What is it?

  • Activities and methods that a company uses to identify opportunities to pursue
  • Can be a breakthrough opportunity,a problem or a customer need
  • Will lead to a new offering, new process,new service, new product platform, new market thrust or new product
  • Facilitated or unfascilitated pathways

What are the Most Effective Processes for Opportunity Identification?

  • Projects typically get started with a trigger (High innovative rents?)
    • New Competitor Movement
    • Fire in Plant
  • CEO initiatives
    • innovation initiative
    • fire in plant
    • lower revenue
    • holy grails
    • strategic intent
    • proposal requests
    • Issue: How to create more opportunities for triggers
  • Envisioning the future
    • Customer Trend Analysis
    • Competitive Intelligence Analysis
    • Market Research
    • Scenario Planning
    • Road maps enable this process


What is it?

  • Accessing the opportunity to confirm that it is worth pursuing
  • Understanding unmet customer needs
  • Competitive intelligence and trend analysis would be used extensively
  • Business capability and competency would be assessed
  • Business and scientific sponsorship would be evaluated
  • Despite effort, significant technology and market uncertainty will often remain

Most Effective Processes for Opportunity Analysis

  • Envisioning the future
    • Customer Trend Analysis
  • Competitive Intelligence Analysis
  • Market Research
  • Scenario Planning

-In Opportunity Analysis one mostly uses the same tools as in Opportunity Identification, but the effort is expanded in considerable more detail
-Assignment of a full time specific multi-function team of 3-5 people for large "breakthrough" projects
-Create a charter for the team which "points" them in the right direction