Agile Software Development Company - Agile Ethos

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Facilitating Creativity for Breakthrough Problem Solving:

Facilitating Creativity for Breakthrough Problem Solving Darian Rashid Agile Trainer & Coach


Agenda Exercise – Brute force solutions Exercise – Lateral thinking exercises Remember the Trunk Monkey! Explain the l ateral thinking concept and roadmap Debrief each exercise

Exercise: Titanic - How many can you save?:

Approx. 2500 people on board the ship Only lifeboats for approx. 1200 Help is a little more than 4 hours away Titanic will sink in 4 hours Hypothermia is fatal and will set in after 4 minutes if water is touched by any body part Exercise: Titanic - How many can you save?

Random Input Technique:

Random Input Technique Select a random word List one attribute of that word See if there is any value in that attribute to help solve the problem Repeat this with other attributes of that word Some random words you may use are: Egg Cup Hammer Bell Book Cardboard Cat Shop Water Wheel Cactus Letter Banana Pebble Prison Rain Picture Building Knife Gun

Example: Cake:

Example: Cake Problem: Get participants to internalize a monotonous presentation Random word: cake Cakes have a sweet topping  Start with something fun to get them started Cakes have many layers  Compress the tiresome subject matter into short bursts with more fun (sweeter ) layers in-between. These could be activities, videos, etc. …


Analogies State the problem Choose an analogy Develop the analogy Relate the analogy to the problem along the way State the different ways the analogy is related to the problem List the analogy step by step List actions, attributes and resources

Example: Rumors and Snowballs:

Example: Rumors and Snowballs Analogy: Snowball rolling down a hill Situation: Spread of rumors Snowballs get bigger the further down they roll The more a rumor spreads, the stronger it gets Snowballs pick up more snow the bigger they get The rumor picks up more “listeners” as it gets passed around One must get out of the way of a snowball Can we “get out of the way” of a rumor? F rom : "Lateral Thinking," by Edward de Bono, ISBN 0-14-013779-3 Copyright © Edward de Bono, 1970


Anti-Solution Define the improvement goal Define the opposite of that goal (the anti-goal) Brainstorm how to accomplish the anti-goal Define each anti-goal idea in detail Highlight actions , attributes and resources in detail

Example: Traffic Congestion:

Example : Traffic Congestion To solve traffic congestion, think about what would increase congestion


Anti-Solution Think about how to use the same resources and actions to reach the original goal

Incremental versus Breakthrough Thinking:

Incremental versus Breakthrough Thinking Continuous Maintain equilibrium Safer Bottom’s up Improve current process More common Methodical approach to improvement Affect organizational part Through normal structure and management processes Improve technology Discontinuous Reach new equilibrium Riskier Top’s down Blow up current process Less common Erratic approach to improvement Transform entire organization Create new structure and management processes New technology Incremental Breakthrough

Creative Thinking :

Creative Thinking While a potential solution may be obvious it still may not be best May need to shift thinking from conventional methods to creative thinking Creative thinking is a learned skill Not genetically predetermined Often wrongly equated with artistry Can learn to shift perspective and generate new ideas and potential solutions Generate Incremental Brainstorming Brainwritting Benchmarking: Internal Breakthrough TRIZ Benchmarking: External Channeling Anti-Solution Random Input Metaphors Analogies Many others

Two words: TRUNK MONKEY!:

Two words: TRUNK MONKEY!

Lateral Thinking:

Lateral Thinking Creative ( lateral ) leap Lady Astor : "Mr. Churchill, you're drunk!" Winston Churchill : "Yes, and you, Madam, are ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober."

Lateral Thinking Roadmap:

Lateral Thinking Roadmap “Traditional thinking is all about "what is" Future thinking will also need to be about what can be .” "You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper" - Edward de Bono 1. Provocation 2. Movement 3. Harvesting 4 . Treatment Escapes the natural, obvious thought patterns Gets us onto a Lateral path

1. Challenge Assumptions:

1. Challenge Assumptions Exercise: Connect all 9 points You have 3 straight lines Cannot lift pen off the page

Challenge Assumptions:

Challenge Assumptions Assumptions: Cannot go outside of the square Dots can’t move Why can’t you go outside the square?

Challenge Assumptions:

Challenge Assumptions Assumptions: Cannot go outside of the square Dots can’t move Why can’t the dots move?

Challenge Assumptions:

Challenge Assumptions List every assumption Draw a picture to help Ask why that is an assumption Ask what would happen if the assumption wasn’t there or reversed Ask how to accomplish that scenario

Challenge Assumptions:

Challenge Assumptions Examples : Hard drives spin. They break when they can’t spin. What if they didn’t spin? Build times are limited to the H/W they run on. What if these limits didn’t exist?

Challenge Assumptions:

Challenge Assumptions A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so? A man is wearing black. Black shoes, socks, trousers, coat, gloves, ski mask and black face paint. He is walking down a back street with all the street lamps off. A black car is coming towards him with its light off but somehow manages to stop in time. How did the driver see the man? A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

Explaining Random Input:

Explaining Random Input Used to stimulate new ideas Pick a word, picture or even a sound Best if there is NO connection to the problem Best if there is reason behind the choice of the word Look at attributes of that word/picture/sound See how those can translate into the problem

Explaining Random Input: Use Words/Pictures:

Explaining Random Input: Use Words/Pictures Problem : We have a distributed team Random input: Tree

Explaining Random Input: Use Quotes:

Explaining Random Input: Use Quotes Napoleon Hill “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal .” Napoleon Dynamite [ referring to Deb's milk ] “I see you're drinking 1%. Is that 'cause you think you're fat? 'Cause you're not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to .”

Explaining Analogies:

Explaining Analogies Match the fictitious words “ fooprose ” and “ pyloo ” to the figures below: A B

Explaining Analogies:

Explaining Analogies What do you see? Humans WILL make a connection The mind WILL s earch for a meaning

Explaining Analogies:

Explaining Analogies Can be real or fictitious Can be scenario or situation Must be familiar There must be a set of actions or circumstances that can be developed Baking a cake is simple but there are actions that need to be developed Can be expressed as objects or processes (or both)

Explaining Analogies:

Explaining Analogies Analogies provide movement Each step is related back to the original problem

Explaining the Anti-Solution:

Explaining the Anti-Solution More fun to destroy than create Most people good at being destructive Tend to be very detailed May be able to use the same procedures, people, materials, money, etc. to create Example: How can we best support Scrum teams?

Main Points:

Main Points Traditional thinking is all about "what is“. Future thinking will also need to be about what can be Lateral thinking requires you go off your current thinking track and onto a side-track The lateral thinking roadmap: Provocation  Movement  Harvesting  Treatment Reverse or remove EVERY assumption Use random input, analogies and anti-solution to help facilitate teams through the roadmap

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