One way you can use the Task Unification Technique is to make an internal component take on the function of an external component in a Closed World. In effect, the internal component “steals” the external component’s function.
Who would use a cashless ATM (Automated Teller Machine)? It seems like a ridiculous idea, because that's the whole point of using an ATM - getting cash.
That will all change with the RTM (Retail-Teller-Machine). It works just like an ATM. Instead of dispensing cash, the RTM prints a secure ticket that is exchanged for cash. RTMs are located inside any store and provide a full range of Banking services.
Think about how often you push buttons during the normal course of a day; at home, in our car, and elsewhere - elevators, crosswalks, and so on.
Did you ever stop to wonder how many of those buttons you push don't actually work? It's called a placebo button - it seems to have functionality, but actually has no effect when pressed.
It's hard for me not to play favorites when it comes to the five creativity techniques of the SIT method. After all, they're just like children - each is unique with their own potential and personality. But when it comes to versatility, the one that may do it the best is Task Unification. It tends to produce ideas that are both clever and resourceful, often harnessing resources in the immediate vicinity of the problem in a unique. These ideas tend to make you slap your forehead and say, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?"
When describing the SIT method, I sometimes say it’s like using the voice of the product. That’s because SIT is based on patterns that are embedded into the products and services you see around you. If products could talk to you, they would describe the five patterns of SIT. But there’s another important voice in business innovation: the voice of the customer. After all, that’s why you do innovation - to create new value, directly or indirectly, for your customers. A good innovator understands their needs and wants.
One way to make adaptations with Attribute Dependency is to change the type of dependency. There are three ways to do it: passive, active and automatic. Think of these as what has to happen within the product or service for the dependency to take place. Let’s look at each type.
On any given day, it’s estimated that 1 in 25 hospital patients in the U.S. has at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That includes pneumonia; gastrointestinal illness; or infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream or surgical site.
Sadly, despite enormous resources aimed at preventing the problem, HAIs continue to result in infection and even death. Moreover, HAIs cost the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $35 billion annually, making it one of the biggest challenges facing hospital chief executive officers. Clearly, a new way of thinking about HAIs is needed.
The Task Unification Technique is great because it generates novel ideas that tend to be novel and resourceful. Task Unification is defined as: assigning an additional task to an existing resource. That resource should be in the immediate vicinity of the problem, or what we call The Closed World. In essence, it's taking something that is already around you and giving an additional job.
Here are two great examples, one about a very young person and the other about a new and nifty device for old people.