Technology Element Decomposition (TED)


A Hierarchical Technology Element Decomposition for Co-design Works (PDF)



This paper introduces a method of technology element decomposition (TED), which can be used for co-design works. The method originated with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and has been used to support product innovation through transfer of space technology, promotion of industry-university collaborations, and so on. Through the MOT Practicum conducted between JAXA and Ritsumeikan University, the method has been adapted for general use. TED consists of three phases. First, a product is conceptually decomposed into hierarchical layers (scenario, purposes, functions and measures), allowing everyone to understand its structural relations at a glance. Second, multiple scenarios (combinations of Who, Where, When, and What) are generated, assuming the product’s application to new use contexts. Finally, necessary and unnecessary purposes, functions, and measures are added to or removed from the structure to conceptualize a new product. We conducted workshops to examine the effectiveness of the method for group-oriented product design activities. The method particularly benefits understanding of both the global picture and the product details among nonengineers, which facilitates co-design activities without the need for specialized technical knowledge. We believe the method to be useful for collaborations among technical experts and sales teams as well, promoting innovation through diversified viewpoints.

  • Minato, N., Shimoida, C., Hirata, K., Fujishima, N., Kamiya, T., Takeda, T., Yamagata, K. (2019). A Hierarchical Technology Element Decomposition for Co-design Works. PICMET2019. Portland, U.S.A.

Systems Innovation Laboratory

Graduate School of Technology Management

Ritsumeikan University

© Nobuaki Minato, All right reserved.