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This is the stage of CPS, where you begin to focus on evaluating all of your possible options and developing/formulating solutions.

After you have written down all of your ideas, take a break. It might just be an hour. It might be a day or more. Then go through the ideas. Related ideas can be clustered and combined to form bigger ideas.

Analyze whether potential solutions meet your needs and criteria, and decide whether you can implement them successfully.

This is important. If you focus only on the “best” ideas or your favorite ideas, the chances are you will choose the less creative ones! Nevertheless, feel free to include your favorite ideas in the initial list of ideas.

Consider how well each idea meets your criteria, and give it a rating of 0 to 5 points, with five indicating a perfect match. If an idea falls short of a criterion, think about why this is so. Is there a way that it can be improved in order to increase its score? If so, make a note. Once you are finished, all of the ideas will have an evaluation score. Those ideas with the highest score best meet your criteria. They may not be your best ideas or your favorite ideas, but they are most likely to best solve your problem or enable you to achieve your goal.

Depending on the nature of the challenge and the winning ideas, you may be ready to jump right in and implement your ideas. In other cases, ideas may need to be developed further.

With complex ideas, a simple evaluation may not be enough. You may need to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis or discuss the idea with others who will be affected by it.

If the idea is business related, you may need to do a business case, market research, build a prototype or a combination of all of these.

Also, keep in mind that you do not need to limit yourself to one winning idea. Often you can implement several ideas in order to solve your challenge.