Mini tools

MINI TOOLS ASSOCIATE TO THE CREATIVE PROCESS PHASE

MINI STATEMENT                            TO ANALYZE THE PROBLEM

MINI IS /IS NOT                                TO ANALYZE THE PROBLEM

MINI BRAINSTORM                        TO FIND IDEAS

MINI BRAIWRITING                       TO FIND IDEAS

MINI SCAMPER                                TO FIND IDEAS

MINI MIND MAP                               TO FIND IDEAS

1. MINI STATEMENT

What you think is the problem may differ GREATLY from what the problem is…

Image provenant de http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2011/07/european-monetary-union-titanic.html

Materials: Pencils and paper, whiteboard

How does it work? This mini tool will allow you to define MORE CLEARLY the problem to be solved. Start with the context of the problem by analyzing:

  • the data of the problem you have and don’t have
  • all the circumstances for which the problem occured
  • the environment of the problem
  •  actors and stakeholders involved
  •  components of the product
  •  any other relevant information to define the problem

In solving the problem, what weakness, difficulty and other negative element will you reduce or eliminate? Will you create positive elements with your solution? Which? Is the problem too big to be considered as a whole for this project? (Is that a group of problems?) Should you just take a part of it? Which one? Is it too small? Would it be better to add items?

KISS: Your problem statement should be CLEAR and SIMPLE and EASY TO UNDERSTAND for those who will read it. Perform tests: Ask several people to read it and ask them what they understand!

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MINI BRAINSTORM

Image from http://biggerplateblog.blogspot.ca/2012/10/solo-vs-group-brains

Materials: Pens and « Post-It ™ » to record ideas

How does it work? Simply generate the largest possible number of ideas without trying to  judge them. Starting from the problem statement, participants expressed ideas and a secretary writes them on « Post It ™ » stuck on a wall. A facilitator is useful to encourage the issuance of ideas and explain to the participants the rules:
1) No censorship: Think freely without negative criticism
2) Equality: All ideas are of equal value
3) Consideration: Respect others, no judgment
4) Registration: Register or note all ideas
5) Discipline: One idea after another one
6) Originality: Each idea should be stated

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MINI BRAINWRITING (OR 6-3-5 METHOD)

The technique is simple: It involves 6 participants (could be more or less) who sit in a group and are supervised by a moderator. Each participant thinks up 3 ideas every 5 minutes. The ideas are written down on a worksheet and passed on to the next participant. The participant reads the ideas and uses them as inspiration for more ideas. Participants are encouraged to draw on others’ ideas for inspiration, thus stimulating the creative process. After 6 rounds in 30 minutes the group has thought up a total of 108 ideas.

MINI SCAMPER

Image from http://mappio.com

SCAMPER stands for:

  • Substitute.
  • Combine.
  • Adapt.
  • Modify, magnify or miniaturise
  • Put to another use.
  • Eliminate.
  • Reverse or re-arrange

You use this mini tool by asking questions about the ideas found using each of the seven terms above. These questions will help you to find creative ideas and improve the ideas found. It works very well with ideas from a MINI BRAINSTORM.

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2 software programs to do mind mapping : The first and the second proposed.

MINI MIND MAP

Picture from http://blog.thinkbuzan.com/education/beginner%E2%80%99s-guide-to-the-use-of-mind-maps-in-elementary-schools

Materials needed: Large sheets of paper and markers of different colors – free software FreeMind

How does it work? Register at the center of the sheet the problem or issue to solve (in image and words). Then draw color branches radiating in all directions with the main ideas in the form of drawings and keywords. These branches in turn radiate to secondary ideas, image and keyword, etc..

Very useful after a « brainstorming » to work on the components of a product or system.

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Other mini tools

MINI IS / IS NOT

Image from http://www4.asq.org/blogs/statistics/statistical_thinking_tools/isis_not_analysis/

Materials: Large sheets of paper and markers of different colors or whiteboard

How does it work? Make a chart similar to the chart above. Write the problem statement and define WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN that is and is not. Analyze the possible causes and actions to take for the future.

Is the problem too big to be considered as a whole for this job? (Is it a group of problems?) Should you just take a part? Which one? Is it too small? Would it be better to add items?

KISS: With the elements wrote in this table,  try to define more clearly the problem. Your problem statement should be CLEAR, SIMPLE and EASY TO UNDERSTAND for those who will read it. Experiment: Ask several people to read it and ask them what they understand.

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MINI CK

Picture from http://www.gisa.inra.fr/Toutes-les-actualites/Reseau-R2A2-et-theorie-CK

Materials: Large sheets of paper and markers of different colors or whiteboard

How does it work? On the left side you have the concepts (C): you start at the top of the problem or topic to develop. You then add the concepts (creative ideas) to solve the problem one after the other one plotting the link between these ideas. For each idea emitted, you must write on the right side of the drawing, the knowledge (K) needed to develop the idea described. These may be existing knowledge (old K), knowledge that « crazy » ideas for example can make us reuse knowledge or ideas for wich new knowledge must be found. New ideas need new knowledge (new K). The new knowledge acquired will allow these ideas to become a real solution. New knowledge is the source of the new concepts wanted!

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MINI YELLOW BOX

Image provenant de http://elapoldvic.wordpress.com

Required materials per participant: Blue, green, red, yellow and pink pens – ideas written on « Post IT ™ »

How does it work? MINI TOOL to classify the ideas generated – each participant will make a small colored circle on the sticker (Post IT) of the idea.

Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ QUICK AND EASY IDEA TO IMPLEMENT
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com IMPROVEMENT – INSTALLATION MAY REQUIRE SOME EFFORT
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ IDEA VERY DIFFERENT FROM USUAL WAYS TO DO
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ VISIONARY IDEA THAT CAN HOWEVER BE DIFFICULT TO IMPLEMENT
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ INGENUOUS IDEA (NAÏVE) THAT CAN DEVELOP A NEW APPROACH

Classify ideas under a color depending on the number of points obtained for the same color and group consensus. Then ask yourself:

Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ HOW CAN WE DEVELOP THIS IDEA?
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com HOW CAN WE IMPLEMENT QUICKLY THIS IDEA?
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ HOW CAN WE MAKE PEOPLE ACCEPT THIS IDEA?
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS IDEA FEASABLE?
Image provenant de http://www.hanging-mobiles.com/ HOW COULD WE MATURE THIS IDEA TO MAKE A SOLUTION OF IT?

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MINI PRAISE

Picture from http://stuffthatsrelevant.files.wordpress.com/

Materials: Worksheet and ideas generated

How does it work? Three aspects:

  1. List the positive aspects of ideas
  2. Describe the potential gains that could provide ideas if successfully implemented
  3. Express fears that the idea generate

This mini tool allows to develop ideas to improve their potential for success.

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Steps

  1. Make a first spontaneous choice of the best ideas. Then make a second choice of some intriguing and original ideas that could be difficult to implement.
  2. Starting with the intriguing and original ideas, complete a worksheet by idea
    1. Positive aspects: List ALL the benefits of the idea discussed
    2. Potential gains: ideally try to identify fifteen actual or potential benefits resulting from the implementation of an idea
    3. Fears: Rephrase each fear in question. For example, « we do not have the budget for a communication campaign » to « How can we find a budget for it and how can we do if for free? »
    4. For each concern transformed into question, conduct a session generating ideas to solve this problem
    5. Select the group or the best idea(s) as a result of this activity

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