Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Osborn's Checklist

The second method we applied during our Magnolia 5.0 kick-off session is a pearl of a creativity technic. The method is simple but will produce useful outcome in many scenarios.

Following the checklist as found at :
- http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/ctm/idm/tools/concept/osborn.html

Other uses New ways to use as is? Other uses if modified?
Adapt What else is like this? What other idea does
this suggest? Does past offer parallel? What could I copy? Whom could
I emulate?
Modify New twist? Change meaning, colour, motion,
odour, taste, form, shape? Other changes?
Magnify What to add? More time? Greater frequency?
Stronger? Higher? Larger? Longer? Thicker? Heavier? Extra value? Plus
ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate?
Minify What to subtract? Smaller? Condensed?
Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Narrower? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split
up? Understate? Less frequent?
Substitute Who else instead? What else instead? Other
ingredient? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place?
Other approach? Other tone of voice? Other time?
Rearrange Interchange components? Other pattern? Other
layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change place?
Change schedule? Earlier? Later?
Reverse Transpose positive and negative? How about
opposites? Turn it backward, upside down, inside out? Reverse roles?
Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek?
Combine How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an
ensemble? Combine units?

I admit that this technic fits best situations in which you have to overwork an already existing something - like in our case a CMS ;-) It is less useful if you start from scratch. But this is why I find this method so great. Then isn't it more often the case that you rather overwork something than that you start from scratch? And unfortunately one uses creative technics mostly when starting a project but less once you are in the process of maintaining it! But this is the correct moment to use a technic like this, because you will systematically over-think the current solution and will improve it.

I also like the method, because it can be used with any team and it is easy to convince others to use this method: common lets verify it against this checklist!

To often we just focus about features to add but forget that we could change things or even remove components to make it better.

Other uses? Modify? Magnify? Minify? Rearrange? Reverse? Combine?

So easy is that!

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