• Heilmeier’s Catechism

George Heilmeier was an American engineer, manager, and a pioneering scientist. Heilmeier’s Catechism is a set of questions that anyone proposing a research project or product development effort should be able to answer.

  1. What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.
  2. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?
  3. What’s new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?
  4. Who cares? If you’re successful, what difference will it make? What are the risks and the payoffs?
  5. How much will it cost? How long will it take? What are the midterm and final “exams” to check for success?

When considering an innovation, you should be able to answer these questions. In fact, answering these questions in selecting an “innovation target” is a great way to kick off use of the Autodesk Innovation Genome.