|Last modification||May 17, 2017|
|Pattern formats||OPR Alexandrian|
You need to evaluate one idea in more detail. Sometimes you evaluate a single idea in order to decide how to setor even kill an idea. Sometimes you want to evaluate an idea in-depth to compare the evaluation results with other ideas that have also been evaluated. Such an evaluation should be objective because it has large consequences such as killing an idea or binding a lot of resources when implementing the ideas.
People have a lot of biases towards new ideas. Conflicts may exist between contrary views, such as dreamers and realists, conventionalists and progressive folks, idea givers and those who have to do the work, money givers and development teams, creators and users.
People are focusing on their views only. They think everyone sees the world as they do. Even if someone acknowledges that people have different views it’s still hard for them to empathically jump into their shoes or accept their views as equally valid.
Long discussions based on communication problems can be fruitless. Fighting for one’s own views is a waste of energy that is better utilized for actually working on a solution.
One should not forget views of important stakeholders, especially if they are not present in the room.
Therefore, use different perspectives on the ideas. Use a predefined set of perspectives and ensure that each perspective gets attention. Concentrate on one perspective at a time. Ask everyone to take in the same perspective at the same time, i.e. have a parallel view on the objective instead of different views.
By ensuring that all relevant perspectives are taken into account, no one gets overruled. By jumping into different perspectives, everyone is forced to hold back one’s own views and emphatically see with the eyes of others. Not the loudest is best but the one who take in several perspectives.
By only concentrating on one perspective at a time, conflict is eliminated. For example, if everyone only concentrates on the benefits of an idea, there is no room for conflict. Even the nay-sayers have to think about benefits. It is simply not allowed to say negative things about the project idea in this phase. No one can complain about this restriction because it is ensured that the drawbacks of the idea will be discussed later.
You can look at every problem or solution from different angles. Changing the perspective provides new insights. By making the perspectives explicit you stimulate thoughts on each view. You ensure that no perspective is forgotten.
- Select one idea that should be evaluated more deeply.
- Define different perspectives as roles of the Jury (see typical role sets below).
- Individually or in a group step into the shoes of one role at a time. Concentrate on this role and find statements, conclusions and opinions from the perspective of that role.
- Then, move on to the next role. Ensure that all roles are played.
- judges by considering all the arguments from the different perspectives. To finally judge, you can do a .
The goal of is to have many perspective on an idea and better understand its consequences. Instead of discussing against each other, everyone tries to understand each other. Once everyone has experienced the different views, they should have a more elaborate understanding of the idea and make better decisions.
The strict parallel thinking as proposed by de Bono is particularly helpful to resolve conflicts between group members. Very often, however, each member of a group sees both advantages and disadvantages right away. In that case it might be best to write those items directly down and sort them into the appropriate categories. That’s more effective than waiting until each role is taken. Once you have collected all items that come into the groups mind right away, you can start with parallel thinking and explicitly jump into the different roles. You may want to spend more time with perspectives that have not many contributions yet. For example, if you have collected many pros but just a few cons then you should spend some extra time to think about potential pitfalls.
Edward DeBono’s Six Thinking defines different views and is based on parallel thinking. That means the whole group takes in the same view.
- White hat / analytical thinking: What information and facts do we have? Which information is missing? How reliable are the data?
- Red hat / emotional thinking: What is your gut feeling? What is your first impression? Express your thoughts without any justification!
- Yellow hat / optimistic thinking: What are the positive outcomes of an idea? Which factors are in favour for a proposal? Even sceptics have to find good points about a suggested solution.
- Black hat / critical thinking: What could go wrong? What are negative consequences? Even if you are convinced of the success of an idea, think about every potential show stopper.
- Green hat / lateral thinking: Think out of the box and generate alternative ideas or derive new ideas from the existing approach.
- Blue hat / moderator: Put on the blue hat to set the goals, decide which hat to use next and sum up the outcomes of a discussion.
SWOT Analyis: Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the situation.
Pro / Con: Just write down the Pros and Cons, or the Advantages and Disadavantages, the Positive and the Negative.
Stakeholder: Identify the different stakeholders and consider each of their views.
Walt Disney Method: It is said that Walt Disney had the habit of explicitly taking in different roles: the dreamer, realist and spoiler. First you can dream up everything without limits! What are all the potential options, the positive outcomes! Then you have to think about what is realistic, you think constructively how something can be done. And finally you challenge all the solutions and think about what could go wrong.
- Kohls, C. (2016). The magic 5 of innovation: judgement patterns. In Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPLoP 2016) (p. 21). New York:ACM.
- de Bono, E. (1985). Six hat thinking. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.