Our 7-Ways Idea Template to Avoid Tunnel Vision

How to go from a good idea to a great idea? Or what’s the difference between a good idea and a great idea? Good ideas come along all the time and help people solve minor problems. Great ideas appear a little less frequently and require a bit more work to execute. 

Your first idea isn’t probably your best one. However, many of us suffer from “design fixation”, where we fall in love with our first idea, simply because it was first. This is a problem because it stops you from looking for a better one. Time is the most precious resource people have, and finding great ideas can take several days, even months. Our Seven-Ways Idea sheet can take you from a good idea to a great idea.


Who is using this Template?

At Flexpipe, we definitely use this sheet for our projects. However, we are not the inventors of this concept. Many of the companies we work with were already using this as standard practice.

Let’s take the case of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Canada Aerospace (MHICA). They use the 7-Ways Idea sheet at the beginning of every Kaizen Moonshine Shop they do. The company knows that this technique reduces the risk of future problems within the design.

For more information:
Check out our article on the 10 steps for a successful project.

How does the template work?

The suggestion needs to be illustrated with at least seven solutions, and seven is a minimum, the more ideas you generate, the better solutions you can devise. Forcing employees to come with several ideas will:

  •    Push people to take more time and look at things from different angles.
  •    Force them to ask colleagues, develop teamwork, combine ideas, and bring a new perspective to the problem.
  •    Push ideas such as idea 5,6, and 7 to go beyond common sense and think outside the box.


Still not convinced?

You might think it’s a luxury to come with multiple ideas and that it’s going to take too much of your time and of the time of your team. However, our experience with this process has proved again and again that investing a little more time at the beginning of a project will save you time and money in the long run by:

  •    Revealing unknown obstacles and overcoming them before they occur.
  •    Limiting the number of corrections needed after the project is done.
  •    Making sure your allotted time is realistic and that you have the resources necessary to accomplish your goals before even starting the project.


What this process means for pipe and joint system users?

If you are using a industrial pipe racking system like Flexpipe, you know that possibilities are endless. This sheet will help you explore those ideas and build great structures that will lead to more productivity and less waste of your time and money.


Final thought on the 7-Ways-Idea process

Finally, we highly recommend that you download the template and that you implement it for your next project. Don’t forget that you should always limit the time allotted to this process to allow the project to see the light of day.

Download the Excel version of the 7-Ways Idea Template.


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