The NAF Technique

The NAF technique is an idea selection method that creates a new idea from all the previous ideas that is New, Appealing and Feasible. The purpose of this method is basically to score ideas and decide upon whether they are worth pursuing or implementing. In addition, NAF enables you to see the alternatives to increase the chances of success when developing or implementing an idea.

Organisation

  • Duration
    Short (up to 30 minutes)
  • Complexity:
    Simple
  • Group size:
    1 to 100 persons

Description Long

In the NAF technique, solutions are analyzed according to their their novelty, attractiveness and functional usefulness. This technique is designed to measure gut feelings concerning particular ideas and hence it is denepdent on participant's instincts and judgement. This method fosters an overall idea on the probability of success for any given creative thought. In order to select ideas, ranking and grades are given based upon opinion and evidence on a 1-10 scale for each attribute. In order to rank the ideas, this question shall be taken into consideration: Novelty - How novel is the idea? If it isn't novel for this situation, it probably isn't very creative Attractiveness - How attractive is this as a solution? Does it completely solve the problem? Or is it only a partial solution? Functionality - How feasibly is it to put this into practice? It may have been a really attractive solution to use a time machine, but is it really feasible? The following interpretations shall be taken into consideration after the voting process is complete: If an idea is not new, not appealing and not very feasible then it is more likely that the implementation will be poor. If an idea is extremely new, highly appealing but not very feasible, then it is worthwhile to take the idea further to see if the functionality can be improved by creative solutions. If an idea's average appeal is scored more than 5, it is worth exploring. It is possible that further exploration and knowledge about the problem and potential solutions can increase the appeal of the idea.

Illustration

Preparation

  1. Prepare blank cards and make them available to everyone.
  2. Designate a volunteer as a facilitator or take this role yourself.

Execution

  1. Each item should be scored of 1 to 10 for three items:
  2. The facilitator should read out each idea to the group.
  3. Ask the group to vote for New, Appeal and Feasibility. Give a score from 1(lowest) to 10(highest). This is totally subjective.
  4. Each participant must write all three scores on a single card and pass it to the facilitator.
  5. The facilitator collects the vote cards for each idea and put them next to the corresponding idea card.
  6. Continue until all ideas are considered and voted on.
  7. The facilitator should now go through ideas one at a time.
  8. For each idea, an average score should be calculated for New, Appeal and Feasibility. This should then be shared with the group and discussed.
  9. Analyse the data to see how much variation you get in each parameter, in particular in feasibility. Continue one idea at a time until all ideas are covered.
  10. Now get the group to have an overall discussion about all ideas explored and come up with a series of conclusions and actions.

Hints from experience

Once you have the mark out of 30 for each potential solution, you can easily rank them to then refine the top few. Each person should write his/her score for each category on a separate card which will act as a vote. The idea might not be new to the world, but if is totally new to you, give it a score of 10 and likewise, if it is not new at all, give it a score of 1.

References

Aaen, I. (2012). Idea generation. Retrieved from www.essence.dk/Joomla/index.php/views/process/types-of-information-on-this-view/single-idea-evaluation/80-essence/views

Kowaltowski, D. C., Bianchi, G., & De Paiva, V. T. (2010). Methods that may stimulate creativity and their use in architectural design education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 20(4), 453-476. Retrieved from, www.academia.edu/527010/Methods_that_may_stimulate_creativity_and_their_use_in_architectural_design_education

Mycoted.com,. (2007). Creativity and innovation, science and technology: Tools, techniques books, discussions. Retrieved 9 August 2015, from www.mycoted.com/NAF

Prince, G. (2012). The Practice of Creativity. Williamsville, VT: Echo Point Books & Media.

Rebernik, M., & Bradac, B. (2008). Idea evaluation methods and techniques. Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, University of Maribor, Slovenia.

Skillsconverged.com,. Decision Making: The NAF Technique. Retrieved 3 August 2015, from www.skillsconverged.com/FreeTrainingMaterials/tabid/258/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1034/Decision-Making-The-NAF-Technique.aspx

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