Can I combine, adapt and mix methods to support different objectives?

Innovation methods included in this material are not an exhaustive list. While we present characteristics and details of individual methods, in reality they are typically used in combinations, adopted and modified to suit your unique problem and situations. 

Adapting Methods

Using the basic principles of various methods, you can devise a unique method of your own that suits your context better. Rebuild By Design provides a good example. Conventional challenge competitions relied on the model where participants took all the risk in investing their time and efforts to generate ideas to submit, while competition organizers had little control over the outcome. The new approach called ‘Staged Competition’ combines the element of Ethnography and Challenge Competition, allowing participants to collaborate first on the research phase together before dividing into teams to generate competing ideas. This not only mitigates the risk participants are taking, but also makes the outcome more user-centred and credible.


Method Mix Through Portfolio Process

In the actual portfolio process, innovation methods can be used in conjunction or in sequence. For example, you could run a Challenge Competition to generate a concrete understanding of the focus area by targeting a community with a particular topic. The submissions through the competition would then showcase ideas that represent the range of perspectives that residents have. The best ideas could then be taken back to the community to apply a Co-Creation approach for solutions, particularly with the users who submitted them.

Once more concrete solutions are developed, the program can take them to broader groups of potential beneficiaries in different communities, and along with experts, apply the Human-Centered Design method to refine the solutions and develop higher-fidelity prototypes that would be ready for implementation.