Our Methods


big methods

BIG Picture™

Structure your innovation process

Innovation management means doing innovation activities in the context of a well thought out strategy and giving them a structure that is well matched to the business and its environment. It is the opposite of working on projects in an unstructured or chaotic manner.

The process model BIG Picture™, which was developed by Dr. Lercher, is a framework for building an innovation process that is pragmatically adapted to the particular needs and circumstances of the company and, most importantly, that fully integrates the strategic side of innovation.

BIG Picture™ does this by structuring the innovation process according to the five fundamental phases of identifying innovation gaps, defining strategy, generating ideas, developing the innovation and launching the innovation on the market. Each of these phases is worked out in detail with the company and adapted to the needs of the specific case.


BIG Pictures of the future©

BIG Methoden BIG Picture of the Future

Provocative Future Scenarios for Generating Innovation

Companies often need stark pictures of the future to break out of the rut they are in and arrive at really new outside-the-box ideas. We generate BIG Pictures of the Future© beginning with comprehensive research on the competition and trend analysis and then, in a creative process, transforming the results into provocative and polarizing future scenarios. These scenarios and their visualizations are then used to stimulate thinking and discussion leading to new innovation ideas.

To begin with, outside studies and the current most advanced developments in the field are analysed, firstly in order to start from the technological state of the art and secondly in order to discover the flows of resources and raw materials through networks of companies and institutions. The abstract trends derived from this analysis are then held up against developments in the needs and behaviours of customers and users. To make this process stimulating and also confrontational, we focus especially on extreme, ‘asymmetric’ behaviours. Finding lead users and pioneers, and interpreting their behaviour are particularly important factors for success. The different interpretations are summarized and illustrated, and core parameters are extracted.
For the practical work with scenarios we then use the anticipated needs and behaviours to develop potential technical systems of the company.

The results are strategically useful sketches of future life phases of your customers with ideas for relevant new product and service innovations.

BIG Business©

BIG Methoden BIG Business

Working Out a Business Model

A business model essentially consists of the three areas value proposition, value creation architecture and profit model.

The BIG Business© enables us to take the existing business model of a company, create a full model of it, analyse it and put it through a course of testing to see where innovations could be of benefit. The method is much more comprehensive than others (e.g. Business Model Canvas).

BIG Business© focuses first on the inner core, DNA and identity of the company, its customers and their needs, in order to reach an understanding of the company’s values and those of its customers. Building on this, the next step defines the outer core of the business model, which covers all aspects of the business and compares it with the competitors and a so-called ‘nightmare competitor’. The results of this comprehensive analysis of the business model then form the basis for concrete moves to reorient or completely restructure the business model.

BIG Evolution©

BIG Evolution

Trends as an Input for Innovation

The method BIG Evolution tec© is an easy-to-understand method for assessing the current state of development of a product, an assembly or a component. The basis of the analysis are 35 known trends in the development of technological products. These trends are distilled out of around 2 million technological solutions of the past 50 years (preferentially, patents with a high innovation level were used to derive the trends).
The result is an ‘innovation radar picture’ which shows where the as yet unexploited innovation potentials lie and in this way defines search fields for further developments.

This representation of the possible next steps, combined with a large number of examples from other sectors, is an excellent aid to idea generation. In our experience, about 200-300 ideas result, which are then methodically evaluated and bundled to form new product concepts.

The method BIG Evolution Business© is an adapted form of the tool. In this case the method leads to relevant business trends which show up possible patterns for the future development of the business in many sectors. This method is easy to use and has huge potential for discovering new services and products and new openings for existing businesses.

BIG Needs©

BIG Methoden BIG Picture Needs

Understanding Customers, Deriving Innovations and Strategies

Many companies regularly think about the needs of their customers but tend to do this rather superficially. This often leads to incremental innovations that are limited to ‘more of the same’.

In order to develop significantly new innovations and also business models, it is important to put deeper insights into customer needs at the centre of the innovation and business activities.

The method BIG Needs© makes it possible to identify deep needs of the customers and to integrate these into the company’s strategic orientation. By observing and accompanying customers in so-called ‘safaris’, as well as in qualitative interviews, teams gather impressions and clues and later, in workshops with all the teams together, these are combined to describe specific deep customer needs and innovation ideas. This process then enables a strategic reorientation of the company.

BIG Driver©

BIG Driver Beispiel

Identify and Make Use of External Market Factors

The world is changing faster and faster. Are your company’s business model and strategies able to cope?

Our BIG Driver© method is designed to make a thorough analysis of this question accessible to mid-sized technology enterprises in one compact, timesaving and economical package. It combines a deep and thorough environment analysis with an assessment of the company strategy and the current business model.

The method creates a representation of the many factors affecting the business as a network and highlights chains of relevant factors and trends that allow us to identify so-called core business drivers. Knowing these, it is then possible to define what would be relevant changes in the environment, identify opportunities for innovation, take measures to monitor the situation and review strategies and business models.

The BIG Driver© process brings a breath of fresh air when strategy work has fallen into too much of a routine and is specially designed for leaders of medium-sized technology enterprises.

BIG Function©

BIG Methoden BIG Function

Linking the Product Range to Future Customer Expectations

Companies often have to decide which product functions should be further developed, which patents should be kept and where they should concentrate their limited R&D budgets.

The BIG Function© method helps with all these decisions. It creates a clear picture of the links between the functions of a product and the current and future customer needs, and then compares these aspects with the coverage and strength of the company’s intellectual property. The method analyses the product functions, and carries out a software-based survey of employees and customers on the strengths and weaknesses of products, patents and customer needs. It then assembles the results into graphically visualized portfolios that enable rational analysis and strong strategic recommendations:

Which future functions are covered by the product and the company’s own IP?
Are they protected strongly enough?
Where is there a need for new development work on the product?
In what areas does the company need to build up IP?
What kinds of patents can be allowed to expire?

All of these things help to make the product development and the company fit for the future.

BIG Design©

Evolutionsstufen eines Innovationssystems BIG Business Innovation GmbH

Steps in Evolution of an Innovation System

The long-term ability of a company to innovate depends on its fitness in six different areas: culture, strategy, competences, processes, resources and structure. Only if all of these aspects of the company are developed properly in relation to one another can a lasting increase in the innovation output of the company be achieved. The method BIG Design© is a comprehensive innovation assessment that reviews the state of development in all of these fields and reveals potentials for development towards better innovation performance.

Companies often make the mistake of focussing their innovation efforts only in some areas and neglecting other things that are important. In the end this means that the hoped-for increase in innovation is not achieved. For example, if the management only work on changing structures and processes, it may turn out that the corporate culture is a limiting factor. Equally, only trying to change the culture without dedicating any resources to innovation is bound to fail. BIG Design© considers all these aspects of a company as equally important and offers the chance to develop and implement targeted activities on the basis of the overall analysis.