Make your engineering wishes come true, with a powerful new innovation tool…

Which innovative secret do you wish you’d known and used, last year?

1. How to overcome technical problems, systems engineering requirement gaps, design constraints, critical failure modes, safety hazards, weight and producibility problems, etc., in less than an hour, by playing ‘the innovation game’, rather than waiting months or years for an epiphany. And, without wasting time brainstorming, mind mapping, guessing, thinking outside the box nor trial and error testing.

2. How to manage disruptive innovations that can disrupt your sales plan and damage your company. Or,

3. How to predict and characterize the next ‘innovation’ your customers will embrace, before your competitor does.

Let me grant your wish, with the greatest discovery of my working career…

I am Howard Cooper. I help systems engineers, system analysts, makers and innovators develop their products 3X faster and get 4X more market ‘hits’ rather than ‘misses’, by using MVIS, the MaxValue Innovation System.

I recently spent six years helping General Dynamics, a U.S. Defense & Aerospace company develop and facilitate use of FMEA tools and tools for their innovation center. I also helped product design and development teams innovatively solve their technical requirement gaps and other seemingly unsolvable system problems. I would do this by playing the one hour ‘Innovation Game’ with each engineering or development team that had a problem they had been describing for months or years as “unsolvable”. The last 22 such projects I helped, found solution to their problem. The improvements helped gain compliance and all 22 designs were adopted, put into production and are now saving the U.S. Army $158 million, over the legacy systems they were using.

But, too often what I here from systems engineering managers and project managers is, “Just help these guys get their artifacts turned in.” Nothing about adding value. “Just tell the engineers and the ‘ilities’ to explain why they don’t have any requirement gaps.” “Help them complete their FMEA and Safety Hazard Analysis but don’t show any “Reds”, because we need those artifacts for the upcoming engineering review.” “These are ‘deliverables’ under the contract. Get ‘em in.”

It seems management isn’t really interested in improving functionality, reliability, safety, or quality. They just want to hear, “We’re good enough.” “We’re in the Green.”

But, I kept looking for ways to improve the system and for ways do my job quicker and more efficiently, so I would have free weekends to spend with the family, go play on the boat, or go have paint-ball wars with the guys. Rather, my spare time was consumed trying to “deal with” these technical problems and requirement gaps, without really solving them’. “Just prepare these engineer’s story for the next checkpoint review!”

Do you know managers that can’t accept it when there are risks? They shop around for the answer that says there isn’t a risk. Yet, you know these risks and failures can often delay and in other ways double or triple the cost of a project. ‘Even torpedo the project. Do you know managers that dismiss making improvements with the excuse it will be; way too expensive, take up too much space or weight, or cause schedule slip? Do your eyes occasionally pop open at 3:00 AM and you find you are in a cold sweat, worrying about needed requirement changes, or requirement gaps they are not addressing?

I know that whole frustrating story, so well.

But, then in May of 2011, I discovered a Secret that changed all that!

I applied this new discovery in my very next working group session. We were talking about a reliability requirement gap we had reported as closed years ago, but now, critical failures were happening in the field. And, the engineers had been struggling with this problem for eight years. They had tried various corrective actions, but the problem kept occurring. This was a perfect chance to try my new discovery. I asked the group four questions. The questions guided us to properly describe the problem (took about 17 minutes). They were then able to identify, from a list I gave them, 3 or 4 principles that might solve the problem. They began talking powerful possibilities. Credible concepts and in the next 18 minutes they came up with two concepts that would totally solve their problem.

In our next one hour meeting we had time to do some Pugh analysis (trade study), comparing the advantages and disadvantages and costs of these two new design concepts. One concept offered a 4 to 1 part count reduction and a 4 to 1 assembly labor cost reduction over the legacy design and over the other new design. Their solution was adopted by the Customer, because it way surpassed the reliability requirement (easily closed the requirement gap). It was put into production and is now saves the U.S. Army $658,000 per year in reduced failures and logistical support costs. ‘Not bad for a couple of hours of initial effort.

So, I then built a tool! A tool the engineers could use to do the same thing, without me, without any books and without any special software. They were able to use the tool in any conference room or cubical to solve system technical problems, close requirement gaps; eliminate design constraints, critical failure modes, safety hazards and other system challenges! And, that kicked my career into high gear. Word got out about these one-hour innovative problem-to-solution sessions we were holding, playing the “Innovation Game” with this new tool, I now call the Innovator’s Key.

I continued studying innovation methodology and building ‘innovation tools’ Management began specifically requesting me to work on most new problem/solution projects. Use of these tools expanded, my pay went up. My annual bonus more than doubled and I was given company stock options that paid of big time, 187% return, just a few years later. Possibly the biggest benefit I saw, personally, was job security during years of Sequestration cut backs. My manager even told me, “Don’t worry about these layoffs. You are one of 3 key employees I really need.” At previous companies I thought “lay-off” might be my middle name. So, I kept using the new tools, but also watched as our department shrank steadily to less than 1/3rd its original size.

‘Want to know my secret discovery and see the Innovator’s Key (tool) I created? I’ll give them to you. Read on…

And Then What?

We began solving problems that had haunted us for years—and we were able to generate solutions in short, one-hour sessions! Thus, the “Innovation Game”. It was fun.

That’s when everything shifted, for me. Attitudes throughout the department and the company lifted as soon as they saw these short innovation sessions working. This was truly unlike everything they had seen before.

It set my career direction. I continued to study innovation methods and tools that can help engineers, system analysts and innovators. I found seven unique innovation methodologies, which have been discovered, used and written about since the 1960’s. Seven of these methods I now use together, integrated, to form what I call the MaxValue Innovation System (MVIS), seen below. It provides a framework to manage, generate and propel Innovation Centers as well as incremental engineering improvements during normal product development, from recalls and from FRACAS field failures. (But, of course earlier is much the better than later.)

It was during the last 4 years I worked there that I helped the 22 different engineering and product development teams, mentioned above. Each had their problem they had been describing for months or years as an “unsolvable system problem”. With the Innovation tools, they each solved their “unsolvable problem” playing the one hour “Innovation Game”. All 22 of these improved designs were adopted, put into production and saved the U.S. Army a total of $158 million, over the legacy systems they were using.

So, I became recognized as a fun to work with problem solver (a productive contributor). My salary increased, and then there were the stock options I mentioned earlier. But, I finally said, “Enough. I have to get out of here” (out of the big company). I need to start sharing this new MVIS and the tools with the world”. So, I retired early, in Sept of 2016 and my wife and I moved across the country to enjoy more of the grandkids. Enjoying so many historical sites along the way, I was reminded, again, what a great country this is! God bless America!

I now enjoy sleeping in, usually till 7:30 rather than 6:30 AM. And I enjoy doing what I like. I have developed further these innovation methods and tools. I enjoy being my own boss, again (well, there is still the wife). I love writing about and sharing these innovation methods, processes and tools, so we can help “Make America great again!”

So, let me grant your wish…

I can now help your team select the innovation tools to best and most quickly eliminate or mitigate your engineering challenges. Or, I can help you install your own MaxValue Innovation System (MVIS). MVIS is the innovation Vehicle (iVehicle) to carry you and your organization 25X faster along the raceway of innovative value creation and to develop new and improved products your Customer will adopt and embrace.


Derived from 12 books covering 7 different innovation methodologies and the biggest discovery of my career…

Master the 7 subsystems (seven innovation methodologies) of the MaxValue innovation System (MVIS) so you can generate and propel innovative solutions 25X faster to completion, into production and into operation:

1. Use Open innovation – the iVehicle (or MVIS) Fuel System – So you don’t have to reinvent the ‘wheel’, but without losing your big idea and your Intellectual Property.

2. Discover Structured Innovation – the iVehicle Engine – so you can predict and characterize the next innovation your customers will embraced, before your competitor does it.

3. Learn Vector Innovation – the iVehicle Drivetrain – So you can put together the right team mix with the proper process, depending on your problem type, to transform the good ideas (energy) coming from the ‘Engine’ into finished products ready for market, rather than letting great ideas get lost in the cracks, die in committee, or killed by company politics.

4. Install Diamond PM – the iVehicle Steering – So your projects and your company are steered toward innovation and value creation without going over budget nor missing milestones.

5. Minimize Edison’s Experimental Innovation – the iVehicle Wheels – Go twice the distance on only half the rubber (labor and validation test costs) by improving your ‘Suspension’ (Nicola Tesla modeling).

6. Apply Closed Innovation – the iVehicle Suspension – Nichola Tesla method for working alone and to trigger your Innovation Quotient (IQ). Protect your intellectual property. Minimize experimentation with visual, mathematical and DoE computer modeling.

7. Manage Disruptive Innovation – the iVehicle Brakes – for your safety and control – So you can successfully navigate around market disruptions, disruptive Innovations and new technology.

You can now master these 7 methods, become a truly effective innovator by learning from the 12-books, 10-authors and 7-methods. Apply these tools on your own technical problems, system requirement gaps and engineering challenges. Transform your success rate and your career by implementing the MVIS or iVehicle to create, manage and drive innovative solutions 25X faster, rather than bleeding ‘red ink’ while you watch 8-out-of-10 projects fail. (the 80/20 Rule) ‘Stay away from Edison’s R&D model of brainstorming and “experimenting on everything”.

How Can I Help?

Your team can, now, get onsite or online advice, training, workshops and project guidance. I will guide you and your engineers and product development specialists to become Certified as: Innovation Specialist, Innovation Engineer and/or Innovation Director. I look forward to being a valued asset to your using MVIS. MVIS serves as your systems engineering iVehicle, to generate, manage and propelling your Innovation Center or your entire systems engineering / product development team.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Applied Innovation Exchange, in San Francisco, reported there are 100 new Corporate Innovation Centers being built during 2018. But, after a 2-year study, by Capgemini Consulting Group, their 2015 report showed “84% of innovation centers set up since 2005 have failed! (the 80/20 Rule) Maybe the Innovator’s Key should have been their Key? And, MVIS is probably the way they should have managed. Is 80/20 a fixed, non-reversible rule, even if you have the right tools? Case-in-point: Of the last 22 innovative Projects I worked on, how many failed? – None. I can help integrate MVIS into your culture, into your system engineering process and into your organization’s DNA.

TAKE ACTION, Now…

Register now to attend a 90-minute live online Master Class “How to Innovate 25X Faster, to Add Value and Keep from Going Over Budget and Not Miss Milestones”. Attendees can get their own “Innovator’s Key” (Free), which helped save the U.S. Army $158 million, across 22 system upgrade projects. See how to play the one-hour problem-to-solution ‘innovation game’… and more. But, you’ll have to be available, online: Tuesday, Nov 6th,4:00 – 5:30 PM MST (Mountain Standard Time) (6:00-7:30 PM EST).

To Register for this 90 min. Master Class (limited to 20 attendees), call Howard, at: (801) 859-2073

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