The Attribute Listing method is closely related to the Morphological Box.
However, it has a somewhat narrower and more detailed scope in comparison. Attribute listing is a systematic attempt to identify all possible approaches for product and process improvements.
It is an ideal method if, for example, you want to extend the “life curve” of a product by adding an interesting innovation to it without having to carry out a fundamental new development. The dominant principle of attribute listing is that of systematic variation. In terms of difficulty, the use of attribute listing is less demanding than the morphological box. It is therefore more feasible to work in groups and involve participants in the ideation process who are not considered to be outspoken experts on the problem. It makes sense for the task creator to prepare the first processing steps on his own – that is, to elaborate the current state (listing the features of the product or process to be further developed as well as the current design specifications).
Participants in the brainstorming session can then work together to find possible variations for each feature. This can also be done very efficiently according to the rules of brainstorming. Here is the example with a fountain pen:
Characteristic (attributes) / Current solution / Possible other variant
Individual parts / Cartridge, spring, upper part, lower part, cap / Integrated cartridge / upper and lower part / one part
Cross section / Round / Oval with longitudinal grooves
Diameter / constant / diameter change
Closure / Click Closure / Thread Closure, Bayonet Closure
Material / PVC / aluminum, metallized, anodize
Color indicator / By cap color / Window for cartridge, sticker
Holder / clip on the cap / metal clip, Velcro strap
Attribute listing is suitable for idea generation in the area of further development of products as well as processes and procedures.