The beauty of thinking in Design Space is that it helps the project leader to identify whose voice is or isn't being heard at team meetings. this is important as not having the right voice can lead to the development of cultural norms and myths that can be a constraint of themselves. I was involved in a packaging project where the factory packaging engineer did not come to the team meetings, pleading emergencies in the factory. The packaging technology manager was always there, yet complained of being kept in the dark about what was going on. I was there as Heisenberg's facilitator (If you are there you will perturb the conversation so you might as well contribute your knowledge when appropriate- honest broker). In private conversation it turned out that marketing were deeply suspicious of the packaging function as they were seen to be very negative in response to anything new. I realised that the packaging technologist was always saying things like "they won't like that in the factory ( and unsaid was "as they'll have to change the line and they have no capital spare to invest in change parts"). When I asked why the factory guy was never there he said "Well the packaging is only of interest when you have fixed it and then I am forced to take an interest." We persuaded him to come to some early meetings and then regularly when the options were narrowing. We then found the conversation changed... "I've been thinking about that more adventurous design and have realised that if we incorporate some mods into the new stuff we are doing anyway for another project we could take that design with little on-cost, so if the rest of you want to do it, I'm game." And the marketing people relised that the pack technologist was not making negative comments so kept him in the loop and the project transformed from another one of those to a stretch of imagination of every factor. It turns out that if you have a member of the team missing the one who sits opposite him or her at the "Design Space table" should not venture to offer opinions for his/her opposite number as they will be misinterpreted.
Now a first pass at Opportunities and constraints may look like this:
Opportunities reside in the business (mainly)
Consumer needs: what is the motivating insight? Who will buy the product/service? Why will they buy it? What do they need and want? What do they crave for?
Brand: What will the product bring to the brand? What can it borrow from the brand? How can this product help deliver the brand strategy?
Technology: What opportunities and constraints does the technology bring? Can we repackage the technologies we already have? Can we access new ones and how?
Business and strategic fit: What are the financial goals? What level of risk is acceptable?
Constraints are external to the business (mainly)
Channels: How does the product get to market? What are the needs of the people promoting and selling the product? How do these vary between customers, regions and countries?
Competitors: What are the strengths and weaknesses of competing brands and products? What challenges could they make to our claims? What patents do they own?
Supply chain: How flexible is existing equipment? What are the opportunities and constraints of new equipment? What role do suppliers and partners play?
Environment, external and legislation: What social, economic, and political trends might impact this product/service? What legislation is relevant? What are the environmental consequences?
Getting eight people in the Design Space to hold discussions around these broad topics can yield a great deal of fact and opinion that is a rich vein to be mined for the (Q)(q)uality of the thinking and creativity going into the insights, ideas, concepts prototypes and ultimately the products and services we offer.