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Management & Planning Tools



  • Contemplating Data:Generating & Organizing IdeasBrainstormingNominalGroupTechniqueAffinityDiagramsSeeding theProcessMatrixDiagramsInterrelationshipDigraphsForceFieldAnalysisTree DiagramsManagement & Planning Tools & Methods

  • Brainstorming

    A method for developing creative solutions to problems. It works by focusing on a problem, then deliberately coming up with as many deliberately unusual solutions as possible, then pushing these ideas as far as possible.We may seed the idea generation process by randomly selecting a word pulled from a dictionary.Criticism is not allowed during the brainstorming session. This is inhibiting.Once ideas have been generated, results can be analyzed and best solutions can be explored either using further brainstorming or more conventional solutions.

  • The Brainstorming Process: The Facilitator RoleA leader or facilitator should guide the session, initially defining the problem to be solved with any criteria that must be met, then keeping the session on track.Facilitators must encourage enthusiastic, non-critical brainstormer attitudes and encourage participation by all team members.The session should be held to an announced time limit and the facilitator should ensure that no single train of thought is pursued for too extensive an amount of time.The facilitator should try to keep the brainstorming on track, and should try to steer it toward the development of practical solutions.Ideas should be visually recorded as they are generated in order to spark additional ideas.

  • The Brainstorming Process: Participant RolesBrainstormers should represent a wide range of disciplines with a broad range of experience. This will generally bring more creativity to the process.

    Brainstorming should be enjoyable and a variety of ideas, ranging from solidly practical to wildly impractical, should be generated in an environment where creativity is welcomed.

    Ideas must not be criticized or evaluated during the brainstorming session --- scrutiny is allowed later in the process.

    Criticism introduces an element of risk for team members putting forth ideas, stifles creativity, and inhibits the free running nature of a good brainstorming session.

  • The Brainstorming Process: GoalsBrainstormers should both generate new ideas both by being sparked by the ideas of others as well as sparking ideas in others. This is a natural result of free association.A running record of the session should be kept either via notes or video / audio recording. This should subsequently be evaluated. Both for the purpose of processing information from the session and for improving future sessions.

  • Group vs. Individual BrainstormingIndividual brainstorming tends to produce a wider range of ideas, but does not develop those ideas as deeply as does group brainstorming since the depth of solution is limited to the knowledge possessed by an individual.

    In contrast, group brainstorming produces fewer ideas (as ideas are developed, instead, in greater depth). Dominant individuals may suppress the ideas of creative, but quiet team members.

  • ExamplesofSeed ParagraphsandImages

  • Our Irish warriors are as good as any of yours.

    Perhaps. But we have knights on horseback and skilled archers, and our men fight in one unit, following one order. The Irish fight man-by-man, each according to his own desire. They cannot overcome one hundred men all following the same order.Aoife, Irish wife of StrongbowRichard de Clare Strongbow Norman knight who lead the 12th Century Norman Conquest of Ireland.

    Strongbow: the Story of Richard and Aoife (1992), p. 114 by Morgan Llywelyn,The OBrien Press, Dublin.

  • How can SAS Expand &Cut Back at the Same Time?During the autumn of 2001 SAS started phasing in our new Airbus A340s,and three of our new A321sare going into service on European routes in January and February of 2002. Media people often ask me Is SAS going ahead with the big investment program for fleet renewal and also adjusting total capacity?When I assure them that we are, they almost always ask How can you follow a strategy for expansion and implement cutbacks at the same time?

    The answer lies in two words strength and stability.Jergen Lindegaard, President and CEO, The SAS GroupJanuary / February 2002 SCANORAMA

  • Magdalena ForsbergSwedish Olympian - 2002Imagine waking up and being able to simply do nothing.Not having to train.Jumping in the car and driving to the country.Making it through a whole daywithout feeling any pain.Goldfinger, January-February 2002, Scanorama, pp. 22-27.

  • Stefan KllmanSwedish Survival GuruIf you dont have any food,and cant find anything rich in glucose, its better to stay put.You wont die if youdont eat for a week.All you need iswarmth & water.I never bring a full days rations into the wild,not even in winter. Surviving the Chills, January / February 2002 SCANORAMA, pp. 36-41

  • There is nothing new under the sun.


    By pressing the buttons on a touchtone phone youmight be breaching international copyright law byperforming one of the copyrighted compositions included in the Magnus-Opus series.10,000,000,000Created by modern Australian composers, Dr. Sonique and Jon Drummond, the compositions were created by assigning sixteen tonal pairs an alphanumeric sequence that was then fed through an algorithmic generator.The composers soon realized that many of the compositions, all of which are copyrighted, correspond to the tonal sequences transmitted when dialing a phone number so dialing the number is a public performance of someone elses song. BUT FEAR NOT, Dr. Sonique and Drummond are selling licensing agreements on their web site, which vary in cost and coverage.SCANORAMA, January / February 2002, p. 70.

  • Brainstorming Example With the Seed AutomobileNew Software Application DevelopmentAutomobile Ferrari Italy Spaghetti Westerns

    Expensive Fast My Name is Clint Eastwood Benchmark Trinity Overtime Custom State of Efficient Make my day Options the Art Algorithms Three Pronged Hardware Approach Take out the Competition

    Quality Cost Cycle TimeWindows Large Market Fault Tolerant Testing Share Design

    Pope Software Bugs Bounty for Worldwide the Best Implementation Holy Roman Empire Corrupt Aggressive Roman Empire

    Rome Colosseum Christians & Lions

    Sacrifices (7:1) Lasting Impact

    Partner withMicrosoft ISO 9000 Subsequent Releases


    ISO 14000

  • Affinity DiagramsAffinity Diag m

    Business Plan Implementation

  • Affinity Diagram

    This tool organizes language data. Once brainstormed ideas are written on cards, they are grouped together with similar ideas (affinities) a header card is created which captures the meaning of each group of ideas. This is a creative, right brain, activity.The purpose of the affinity diagram is to creatively generate a large number of ideas / issues and then organize and summarize natural groupings among them to understand the essence of a problem and breakthrough solutions.

  • When to use an Affinity DiagramChaos exists;The team is drowning in a large volume of information;Breakthrough thinking is required;Broad issues / themes must be identified.

  • Constructing an Affinity DiagramAssemble the right team: Four to six people with varied perspectives who are creative and open-minded.Phrase issue to be considered: A clearly stated, yet broad, neutral statement which is well understood.Generate & record ideas: Follow brainstorming rules & record each idea on cards and flip chart with no one word cards.Randomly lay out completed cards: On a table, wall, or flip chart;Sort cards into related grou