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Concepting

Overview 
The innovation process can have many starting points.  However, it is an iterative process.  So no matter how or on what step you started, you should make sure you cover all the steps and probably again and again as you make new discoveries.  This step is intended to make sure you consider as many ideas and concepts as reasonable.  It is intended to help you avoid tunnel vision where you may have focused in on an early favorite solution and missed out on other opportunities.  It is also meant to help you devise criteria and a selection process to methodically select the best solution.
 
 
Define and Identify the Problem
Sounds so simple, but this is probably the most important step. It is easy to incorrectly identify the surface/superficial problem but not dig down to the root problem you are trying to solve. You need to describe the problem clearly and develop a Problem Statement.
http://www.pitt.edu/~groups/probsolv.html

 
Analyze the Problem
All products are solving problems. An important way to determine the value of your product or invention is to rate the severity of the problem. Create your own criteria and rating system to determine if your idea is something people would be willing to purchase.
http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-to-rate-the-severity-of-usability-problems/
http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/01/23/how-to-build-a-framework-to-conceptualize-your-ideas-into-successful-innovations/

 
Identify Possible Solutions (Ideation)
There are several ideation methods which have been developed and utilized in the last 50 years. These methods have been used worldwide by both individuals and larger corporations. We recommend that you spend a little time reviewing and selecting a methodology to use. The structure of these methods will help you envision a wide array of possible solutions and avoid missing obvious solutions.
http://www.cva-acfp.org/en/documents/prob2lou.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIZ
http://www.ideationtriz.com/home.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Structured_Inventive_Thinking
  
 
Evaluating and Selecting the Best Solution
Okay you have a large number of equally good solutions.  This will help you evaluate them and select the best solution to meet your requirements and features in a product to solve your problem.
http://www.cva-acfp.org/en/documents/prob2lou.pdf
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/engineering-design-process/best-solution.shtml
http://www.tuition.com.hk/evaluate.htm
http://www.virtualsalt.com/creative.htm
http://faculty.up.edu/lulay/MEStudentPage/evaluatingalternatives.pdf

 
Develop an Action Plan
Plan your research and resources required to move forward.  As part of your plan, realize you will probably need to revisit this concepting process step.  A fundamental part of product development is reiteration after gaining new insights and information in the upcoming steps.