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Overview of Blueprinting e-Learning

In 2012, we created this series of 31 e-learning modules—each 15-to-30 minutes—with DuPont as our lead client. We’ve continually updated it so that today it remains the most advanced course on B2B front-end of innovation.

Learners can only absorb so much in a workshop, so we send them weekly post-workshop reminders to take their next e-module. This reinforces and deepens their learning… especially as they apply it to a real project under the guidance of an AIM Coach. Want industry-leading customer insight pros on your teams? This is a big part of making it happen.

Check out these six e-learning video excerpts… and a comprehensive summary of all e-learning modules below.

E-learning sample excerpts


Discovery Interviews (4:17)
Watch a video of the Discovery interview pioneered by AIM, learn the 5 parts of these qualitative interviews, and see our suggested interview timeline


Preference Interviews (4:31)
View a Preference interview and learn how AIM’s Market Satisfaction Gaps are calculated… so you can develop the right product.


Customer Tours (4:27)
Learn the 3 goals for customer tours, watch a customer tour video, and hear about AIM’s novel AMUSE tour methodology.


Trigger Methods (3:55)
See how AIM’s trigger maps help customers break out of mental ruts… and watch a video example of the “Benefits Map” being used.


Value Calculators (4:46)
Explore AIM’s methodology for effective pricing of new products, including its value calculator template and CARE model.


Secondary Market Research (4:05)
View our “shopping list” for secondary research, and take a peek at the rich market research resources AIM’s training provides.


Summary of 31 e-learning modules


Module 1: Blueprinting Overview

8 Front-end principles • Why “Blueprinting” • 7 Steps of New Product Bluerpinting • Connection to stage-and-gate process • When to use Blueprinting • Products vs. services • Intro to Blueprinter software • Training timeline

e-Learning Module 2: The Fuzzy Front End

Module 2: The Fuzzy Front End

Key drivers of NPD success • Proof that front-end spending is cost-effective • Obstacles to good front-end work • Inverting your NPD process • Pursuing customer outcomes before supplier solutions • 3 Options for handling exciting supplier technology

e-Learning Module 3: The B2B Advantage

Module 3: The B2B Advantage

4 Differences between B2B and B2C customers • Exploring knowledge, interest, objectivity & concentration • B2B Profiles • Using AIM’s B2B Index • How to “pre-sell” your product • 8 B2B-specific practices in Blueprinting • BlueTool: B2B Index (B2B MarketView)

e-Learning Module 4: Blueprinter Software

Module 4: Blueprinter® Software

How to access the software • Taking full advantage of this cloud-based software • Home page • How to navigate • Market research • Discovery interviews • Preference interviews • Side-by-side testing • Product objectives • Technical brainstorming • Business case

e-Learning Module 5: Secondary Market Research

Module 5: Secondary Market Research

Types of research tools • Primary vs. secondary research • Research shopping list  Research flow chart • Internet research sources • Multi-client study sources • Industry expert sources • Blueprinter Research Sheets • BlueTool: Market Research Tips Sheet

e-Learning Module 6: Market Segmentation

Module 6: Market Segmentation

Characteristics of B2B markets • Segment portfolios • Process-product matrix • 3 Segmentation examples • 7 Project scoping guidelines • Blueprinter market screening tools • 3 Focusing tools • Breadth of scope • Geographic segmentation

e-Learning Module 7: High Impact New Products

Module 7: High-Impact New Products

Research on high-impact products • 4 Levels of new product impact • Adams’ Risk Paradox • Commodity death spiral • Specialty-commodity tension • How to reduce risk • 6 Conditions for new product success • Avoiding 4 failure modes

e-Learning Module 8: Creating Capturing Value

Module 8: Creating & Capturing Value

Value creation vs. capture • 3 Pricing approaches • Impacting B2B products vs. processes • Value calculators • AIM’s value calculator template • Penetration vs. skimming • How to move demand curves with AIM’s CARE model • BlueTool: Value Calculator Examples

e-Learning Module 9: High Performance Teams

Module 9: High-Performance Teams

KAI inventory • Paradox of structure • Problems A & B • Managing team diversity • Internal team discipline • Team development • Team capabilities map • Informed disagreement • Rules of engagement • External team connections

e-Learning Module 10: Interviewing Fundamentals

Module 10: Interviewing Fundamentals

Weak questions • Who should conduct interviews • Who to interview • Value chain • Interviewing groups vs. individuals • How many interviews • Interview structure • Digital projection • Global cultural differences • Pitfalls to avoid • Using Blueprinter

e-Learning Module 11: Listening Skills

Module 11: Listening Skills

The listening quiz •  10 listening roadblocks • Video of roadblocks • Becoming a great listener • 2 Parts to listening • AIM’s PEAR method • Posture, expression, activity & response • Video examples of PEAR • BlueTool: Listening Quiz; Listening Practice

e-Learning Module 12 : Probing Skills

Module 12: Probing Skills

8 Low-lumen questions to avoid • High-lumen examples • The masters of discovery • Good probing video example • AIM’s customer outcome grid • Weak vs. strong probing videos • Customer-directed probing • Art of Turtling • BlueTool: Probing Practice

e-Learning Module 13: Interview Logistics

Module 13: Interview Logistics

8-Step interview timeline • Phone setup script • Using AIM’s Agenda Template • Secrecy agreements • 3 Interviewing roles • Packing list • Pre-visit briefing • Conference room setup • Videos of different settings • BlueTool: Quick-Start Card; Agenda Template

e-Learning Module 14: Customer Tours

Module 14: Customer Tours

3 Goals of customer tours • 4-Point checklist for gaining context • Video examples of tour prep & practices • 7 Lean wastes • AIM’s AMUSE tour methodology • AMUSE example • Estimating value creation • BlueTool: AMUSE Checklist; Customer Tour Log

e-Learning Module 15: Discovery Interviews

Module 15: Discovery Interviews

5 Parts to Discovery interviews • Time allocation during interviews • Opening • Current State • Problems • Ideal State • Triggered Ideas • Top Picks • Closing • 7 Video examples of interviews • Using Blueprinter software • Adding other agenda items

e-Learning Module 16: Capturing Customer Outcomes

Module 16: Capturing Customer Outcomes

Practice identifying outcomes, solutions & background • Outcome-solution chain • Methodology for uncovering outcomes • Practice with video examples • Outcome statements simplified  Recording outcomes • Must-haves

e-Learning Module 17: Trigger Methods

Module 17: Trigger Methods

The paradigm trap • How triggers generate fresh ideas • When to use triggers • AIM’s triggers: Benefits Map, Trends Map & Outcomes Map • Video examples of triggered interviews • Identifying customers’ mental ruts • The ‘What if” method

e-Learning Module 18: Debriefing after Interviews

Module 18: Debriefing after Interviews

Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve • Mechanics of debriefing • Debriefing checklist • Clean-up, conclusions & course of action • Video examples of debriefing • Using Blueprinter Flow Charter • 10 Ways to follow-up • BlueTool: Debriefing Checklist

e-Learning Module 19: Discovery Simulation A

Module 19: Discovery Simulation A

Simulations based on Acme Resins • Learner identifies good & bad practices in 7 video examples: Opening, Current State, Problems, Ideal State, Triggered Ideas, Top Picks, Closing • Good and bad practices assignment

e-Learning Module 20: Remote Interviews

Module 20: Remote Interviews

Types of remote interviews • 7 Considerations for remote vs. face-to-face interviewing • Hosting services • Set-up • Attendee access • Audio & video • Webcon features • 12 Tips for successful web-cons • Video examples • 6 Bonuses of remote interviewing

e-Learning Module 21: Discovery Simulation B

Module 21: Discovery Simulation B

Simulations based on Acme Tools  • Video examples of key sections of interview • Learner records good & bad practices • Learner observes video example and practices moderator role • Learner observes video example and practices note-taker role

e-Learning Module 22: Discovery Simulation C

Module 22: Discovery Simulation C

Simulations based on Acme IT Services • Video example for identifying good & bad practices • Video example for moderator practice • Video example for note-taker practice • Video examples for recording outcome statements during Ideal State and Top Picks

e-Learning Module 23: Preference Interviews A

Module 23: Preference Interviews A

Selecting top outcomes • Using Blueprinter’s data mining feature • 5 Parts of Preference interviews • Anchoring customers’ numerical responses • 5 Video examples of Preference interviews • BlueTool: Preference Agenda Template

e-Learning Module 24: Preference Interviews B

Module 24: Preference Interviews B

Preference interviews & surveys • 5 Video examples of good & bad practices • Importance vs. Satisfaction • Market Satisfaction Gap • Using Blueprinter to weight responses • Analyzing sub-segments • Analyzing points in value chain

e-Learning Module 25: Side-by-Side Testing

Module 25: Side-by-Side Testing

6 Requirements for side-by-side testing • 5 Factors in designing test methods • 3 Levels of what to test • 3 Levels of how to test • 6 Rules for managing data • Ascending/descending data • Binary data • Special cases • Using Blueprinter AutoCalc

e-Learning Module 26: Side-by-Side-Testing Simulation

Module 26: Side-by-Side Testing Simulation

Simulations based on Acme Thickener • Simulation background information • Selecting competitive products to test • Direct measure • Panel comparison • Expert prediction • Learner develops test methods

e-Learning Module 27: Product Objectives

Module 27: Product Objectives

4 Tips for analyzing data • 8 Blueprinter charts for analyzing data and creating product designs • 25 Planning considerations • Multi-generation roadmap • BlueTool: Strategies for Setting Product Objectives

e-Learning Module 28: Product Objectives Simulation

Module 28: Product Objectives Simulation

3 Unique simulations based on Acme Thickener • IMP-SAT bar chart • IMP-SAT bubble chart • Market Satisfaction Gap chart • Customer Value contour map • Outside-In column chart • Side-by-Side Competitor line chart

e-Learning Module 29: Technical Brainstorming

Module 29: Technical Brainstorming

Technology- vs. product-development • Key inputs for brainstorming • 4 Brainstorming steps • Video examples of brainstorming steps • Reversing hidden assumptions • 6 Steps for prioritizing ideas • Blueprinter Sorting Matrix • How to use TRIZ • Open innovation

e-Learning Module 30: Business Case

Module 30: Business Case

5 Steps to a strong business case • Avoiding 4 “fact errors” • Investing like a VC • Using Blueprinter to capture input • Creating a 12-point business case with Blueprinter • Decision-making based on real options theory • Beyond the business case

e-Learning Module 31: Business Case Simulation

Module 31: Business Case Simulation

Project scope • Strategic fit • Market attractiveness • Customer overview • Competitive landscape • Value proposition • New product design • Technical plan • Project plan • Risks • Financial Plan • Approval • BlueTool: Business Case Scorecard