If I consider creative problem solving Iwould usually think about tree hugging, and weird techniques to be at one with the universe. It doesn’t seem to fit well with my idea of IT problems which need engineering solutions. I have, however, found that the use of such techniques will often lead to a better overall solution than simply digging into the technical detail.
In summary an example creative problem solving approach may consist of stages, such as:
- Exploring the problem by opening up consideration of the problem space.
- Narrowing down the problem again by defining it based on the new understanding.
- Opening up to a set of ideas for possible solutions.
- Narrowing back down by selecting a subset of the possible solutions.
- Opening up to the potential approaches to solution implementation.
- Narrowing this down to an implementation plan.
The creativity techniques can then be used to apply many people’s minds to each of the stages. The most commonly know approach is brainstorming in step 3. There are many such techniques, however, all with different properties and needs. It is the application of many minds to the problem in a way that isn’t often achieved in traditional meetings that really gives this value for IT. Choosing the people to bring into the problem at each stage carefully will allow a much better problem solving approach. It will also mean that they will tend to buy into the solution that is eventually chosen, which can help when it comes to implementation.
So next time you have an IT problem, and most of us have many on a regular basis, consider whether a way to apply moiré creativity to it might help. If the answer is “Yes” then consider how that might be achieved – even if you can’t get out the finger paints. If, of course, you need help in doing so then feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 7887 536083. The ideas can be surprisingly effective when applied appropriately.