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Ivan.rosenberg

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Ivan.rosenberg

  1. 1. Solving Difficult Problems Without Descoping Ivan M. Rosenberg Frontier Associates, Inc. Valley Village, California NASA Project Management Challenge 2008(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 1
  2. 2. We cant solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -- Albert Einstein(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 2
  3. 3. Solving Difficult Problems Without Descoping Introduction Seven Principles Outline of the Process(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 3
  4. 4. Solving Difficult Problems Without Descoping Introduction Seven Principles Outline of the Process(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 4
  5. 5. Solving Problems With No Need to Descope X Solution Paradigms (The Box)(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 5
  6. 6. Solving Difficult Problems Where Need a Breakthrough X Solution Paradigms (The Box)(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 6
  7. 7. Some of the Projects Who have Used the Process Starlight (DS/3) Champolion Deep Impact Kepler CloudSat Genesis Neptune(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 7
  8. 8. Starlight (DS/3) Mission Interferometer Subsystem 38% Budget Cut (3 to 2 spacecraft) Variable Delay Line Problem (straight line to parabola formation) Nulling Stability Lab conflict(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 8
  9. 9. Other Applications Reduced hospital 6 month deficit from projected $13M to $2.3M Reduced medical claims processing time from max of 35 days to max of 10 days Resolved numerous conflicts between organizations(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 9
  10. 10. Solving Difficult Problems Without Descoping Introduction Seven Principles Outline of the Process(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 10
  11. 11. Two Phases to Resolving a Problem This is the issue for breakthroughs 1. Figure Out How to Solve the Problem: Develop one or more feasible solution methods and select one or more. 2. Solve the Problem: Execute selected solution methods until the solution is realized.(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 11
  12. 12. Convergent vs. Divergent Problems Convergent Problems: as you study them they get simpler to resolve. Divergent Problems: as you study them they get more complex and more difficult to resolve (need breakthrough).(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 12
  13. 13. Convergent vs. Divergent Problems We have been taught to approach ALL problems as if they were convergent, and thus we always study every problem first. For divergent problems, studying and analysis only makes the problem worse. Divergent problems, i.e., those that require a breakthrough, require a different process.(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 13
  14. 14. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Apply the solution method appropriate to the type of problem you are facing. Don’t apply convergent methods to divergent problems(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 14
  15. 15. Process for Producing Breakthroughs The Truth a truth (A Paradigm) (An Assumption) Occurs as Fact Other Assumptions A Solution (A Breakthrough)(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 15
  16. 16. Process for Seeing Paradigms as Assumptions (Paradigm Shift) Paradigms: Assumptions that occur as the obvious truth, often unconsciously. Process: Distinguish facts from assumptions (interpretations, opinions) Result: People will see their own statements (which they thought to be facts) as assumptions. This opens the possibility of seeing new solutions.(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 16
  17. 17. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use appropriate problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 17
  18. 18. Typical Approach to Solving Problems (From Present) Solutions Descoped Original Obstacle Goal Goal(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 18
  19. 19. Proposed Approach to Solving Problems (From Future) Obstacle Goal(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 19
  20. 20. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use divergent problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions 3. All participants agree on Success Criteria (the real Goal) expressed in objective, measurable terms.(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 20
  21. 21. Proposed Approach to Solving Problems (From Future) Goal Obstacle (Success Criteria) Commitment(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 21
  22. 22. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use divergent problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions 3. Agree on the real Success Criteria 4. Start with a Commitment for which the group has an unquenchable passion(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 22
  23. 23. The Fundamental Human Commitment To survive Physically After death, to leave a legacy “To make a difference with my life.”(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 23
  24. 24. (c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 24
  25. 25. It’s Only a Flesh Wound(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 25
  26. 26. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use divergent problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions 3. Agree on the real Success Criteria 4. Start with a Commitment for which the group has an unquenchable passion(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 26
  27. 27. Proposed Approach to Resolving Problems (From Future) Breakthrough Obstacle Goal Commitment(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 27
  28. 28. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use divergent problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions 3. Agree on the real Success Criteria 4. Start with a Commitment for which the group has an unquenchable passion 5. Separate creative thinking from analysis - work backwards from the future Work from the future (the Goal) backwards Ask “How did we do it?” Any answer is OK. Does not have to be feasible (it’s good if some are clearly not).(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 28
  29. 29. Participants Typically, senior managers meet to solve big problems. Even if they produce a breakthrough idea, it lacks buy-in and ownership by those who typically have to implement the idea.(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 29
  30. 30. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use divergent problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions 3. Agree on the real Success Criteria 4. Start with a Commitment for which the group has an unquenchable passion 5. Separate creative thinking from analysis - work backwards from the future 6. Involve all stakeholders in the process Use “influencers” where are too many stakeholders. 30-35 participants is typically a comfortable upper limit (has worked well with as many as 70 people).(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 30
  31. 31. Group Decision-Making Methods groups typically use for making decisions: Majority vote Last man standing Autocratic Compromise Other(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 31
  32. 32. Group Decision-Making Consensus: There is a solution if, and only if, everyone agrees that the same solution is best. Everyone has veto power. No one compromises. Result Everyone “wins” and owns the solution Promotes creativity(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 32
  33. 33. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use divergent problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions 3. Agree on the real Success Criteria 4. Start with a Commitment for which the group has an unquenchable passion 5. Separate creative thinking from analysis - work backwards from the future 6. Involve all stakeholders 7. Use consensus for decision-making(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 33
  34. 34. Requirements to Use Consensus Participants prefer a solution to the status-quo Owner trusts the group to come up with a better solution Group gains experience with consensus Skilled, neutral facilitator(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 34
  35. 35. Seven Principles for Producing Breakthroughs 1. Use divergent problem-solving methods 2. Generate paradigm shifts by distinguishing facts from assumptions 3. Agree on the real Success Criteria 4. Start with a Commitment for which the group has an unquenchable passion 5. Separate creative thinking from analysis - work backwards from the future 6. Involve all stakeholders 7. Use consensus for decision-making(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 35
  36. 36. Solving Difficult Problems Without Descoping Introduction Seven Principles Outline of the Process(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 36
  37. 37. Characteristics of the Process Thirteen specific clear steps Highly reliable in producing breakthroughs (>95% success rate) Typical Total Meeting Times: 30 min (easy) to 20 hours (tough) Makes intuitive sense to most people Participants do not have to understand the process Anyone can be trained to facilitate it(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 37
  38. 38. The Process Phase 1: Establish Foundation for the Process Phase 2: Get into the Future Phase 3: Establish a Solution from the Future Phase 4: Support the Solution(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 38
  39. 39. Phase 1: Establish Foundation 1. Briefly Specify the Situation 2. Validate there is an Obstacle 3. Establish Process Guidelines 4. Establish Success Criteria for the Process(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 39
  40. 40. Phase 2: Get into the Future 5. List Interpretations 6. List Facts 7. Create a Commitment(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 40
  41. 41. Phase 3: Establish a Solution 8. Create Possible Solutions 9. Analyze Feasibility 10. Establish Promises for Actions and Accountability(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 41
  42. 42. Phase 4: Support the Solution 11. Resolve Potential Obstacles to Promises 12. Establish Follow-Up Mechanism • If Promises Kept • If Promises Not Kept 13. Acknowledge and Appreciate(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 42
  43. 43. Solving Difficult Problems Without Descoping Ivan M. Rosenberg Frontier Associates, Inc. 4804 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Suite 804 Valley Village, CA 91607 818-505-9915 irosenberg@frontier-assoc.com www.frontier-assoc.com(c) 2008 Frontier Associates, Inc. 43

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