Attribute matching is a simple method which breaks down the stereotypes which are very common among many of us.
Procedure for use:
Come up with a procedure or process that is totally different from the process or product to be improved.
List attributes of the new product or process.
Apply each attribute to the product or process being considered and arrive at alternative solutions.
Example for use:
Let us say that we want to design a method of work, which is as interesting as a holiday. I would then list out the attributes of holiday as follows:
A holiday is:
A time when one can go away on picnics and play games and listen to music
A holiday is when you enjoy and meet new people
A holiday is when you enjoy leisure time activities and different sports like canoeing and water skiing
A holiday is when you catch up on your reading
A holiday is when you spend more time with your family
Now in attribute matching you apply each of the attributes to the work situation. For example, you say my work will involve spending more time with my family. This can lead to the idea that families can be invited to the work place or helped to take up jobs in your work place. Family get-togethers every week will also provide opportunities when family members are involved in contributing to the individual company as in telemarketing or with summer jobs for the kids. Both ideas are being implemented in many corporations.
You can use any word as a key to enter the domain of a problem in attribute matching. This enables you to study a problem by importing ideas from a totally different field.