Change Implementation Techniques for Forming Transitional Team, Creating Alignment, Maximizing Connectedness and Creativity

Technique 6.22 Subtraction

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Normally people add new features to existing products, ie incremental improvements. Activating a pattern of subtraction, or reduction, takes the opposite approach, ie remove current features, especially those that initially seemed desirable or even indispensable.

Having removed some current feature, the opportunity arises to replace it with something better.

It is best to concentrate on the immediate environment in which the product is used. For example, visualize a kitchen chair without legs. The chair resting directly on the floor has limited marketing possibilities. The aim would be to replace the legs of the chair with something in the product's environment that would elevate the seat to the correct height. One novel possibility would be to have a kitchen table to which the chair could be attached.

Usually subtraction is used with highly complex products and/or cost control. Look for features that may no longer be necessary or may detract from the product's appeal for customers who may prefer simplicity to high performance, or who wish to eliminate costly components.

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