Over the years, according to Ulwick (p.40), "many methods been utilized to capture customer needs."
These are examples of needs-gathering methods, according to Ulwick; yet they don't ensure that customer needs are uncovered. They fail.
According to Ulwick (p.41) "a common language for communicating a need does not exist." Which is a major problem for managers working to support innovation.
Managers disagreement - on "what a need is" and "how a need should be defined." (P.41)
Lack of agreement - about customer needs - that works out well across the company: marketing, sales, development, etc.
Ulwick indicates that customer need statements were ambiguous, lacking defining elements:
Definition - 1991 article, "The Voice of the Customer". Not a clear definition of what "customer own words" means. Some possibilities are:
This approach, focusing in the customer own words, seems to be effective, in part, adding data that is part of the story but the data that it adds, does not contribute in a rigorous approach to lessen variability; it seems to be an idea presented by Ulwick. He uses an analogy that it's like a method that helps to identify ingredients for a chef but does not help in the science of making the actual food - how ingredients could be used.
The attempt to sense what the customer need is listening to the customer potentially incorrect design.
The detection methods fail - can fail when they shift across the following aspects (or purposes?). Aside to properly defining what the following elements are, it seems to relate to the failure in establishing a clear intent for what the method is attempting to capture. For example, when you end up gathering a variety of attributes that represents something about the voice of the customer, but we are failing to know how this something relates to the impact. Ulwick is claiming that many methods are collecting attributes.