Thursday, April 04, 2013

Innovation with Morphological Matrix and Copycatting

At the heart of Morphological Matrix is the idea that each solution proposal is composed of solutions to sub-features. First, those are organized into a table, and then all the combinations may be explored.
For example:
ComponentOption AOption BOption C
CommunicationSOAP callQueued/MSMQREST
StorageRelationalKey-Value storeFlat files

With the Morphological Matrix approach, all combinations of features (3*3 in the example above) are explored and evaluated. This can be daunting, so my personal variation is 'copycatting': starting from each proposal, for each feature, consider the alternative implementations proposed in the competing solutions. If any of those are an improvement, adopt them. For example, when trying to improve Option A, analysis may show that using queued calls would improve system behavior. We then create option A', and 'copycat' that feature. We get:
ComponentOption AOption BOption COption A'
CommunicationSOAP callQueued/MSMQRESTQueued/MSMQ
StorageRelationalKey-Value storeFlat filesRelational

Both those approaches allow a methodical way of merging the best elements of competing approaches into a better solution.

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