How Does the Transformation Lab Evaluate Ideas?

graphic reading ideate assess validate design pilot launch The Transformation Lab uses a six-stage vetting process, as seen above, to evaluate ideas. Each idea will go through every stage; however, the time in each phase will vary depending on the complexity of the idea. At the end of each phase, specific questions have to be answered and a decision will be made whether to move the idea to the next phase or not.

Phase Steps and Descriptions

In the Ideate stage, team members think about ways to solve problems, address challenges, and add value. In this stage, the Lab and Lab partners are dreaming, thinking, and processing innovative solutions.


When ideas enter the Assess stage, the Lab will start shaping them into potential programmatic or business model solutions. The early-stage models will be used to assess the need for such a solution. Specifically, a high-level assessment of the idea will occur. This will result in a potential value proposition and outline of a business model to be tested in the next stage

The Validate stage is a critical one in the innovation process. In this stage, thorough research occurs. This research informs the model and often results in changes to the original model. Work in the Validate stage includes market scans, SWOT analysis, financial analysis, and risk assessment. These activities result in a better defined and refined model.

In the Design stage, a prototype is created. To accomplish this, prototype sizes and scopes are identified. These items are used to inform the budget, financial projections, timeline, and success metrics. At the end of the Design stage a complete model should be created and ready to pilot.

During the Pilot stage, the Lab and its partners are testing the model in action. Specifically, a smaller sample of the full model is introduced and results from the model are tracked. These results are assessed for success and failure results. Additionally, the results allow for the model to be redefined and a future of the model to be scoped and refined.

The Launch stage occurs after a successful pilot occurs. When ideas move to a “launched model,” they become part of the standard operations for the university. This means that the idea is being executed on in a manner aligned with the refined business strategy and plan.

The Transformation Lab seeks ideas from all colleges and departments across campus.
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