Thinking Tools/Additional thinking tools

Many more thinking tools have been created and described than are covered by the Thinking Tools course. Here is a long list of known thinking tools. Over time these may be researched further, curated, organized, and adapted, and imported into Wikiversity.

Also see the list of thinking tools for solving problems.

Seven basic tools of quality edit

Wikipedia lists these Seven basic tools of quality:

  1. Check sheet
  2. Control chart
  3. Stratification (alternatively, flow chart or run chart)
  4. Pareto chart
  5. Histogram
  6. Cause-and-effect diagram (also known as the "fishbone diagram" or Ishikawa diagram)
  7. Scatter diagram

Hoshin Planning, the Developmental Approach edit

King, Bob (July 6, 1989). Hoshin Planning: The Developmental Approach. Goal Q P C Inc. pp. 219. ISBN 978-1879364004. 

  • The Affinity Diagram[1]—gathers large amounts of data and organizes it into grouping based on the natural relationships between each.
  • The Interrelationship Digraph—explores and displays interrelated factors involved in complex problems. It shows the relationships between factors.
  • Tree Diagram—systematically maps out the full range of tasks or methods needed to achieve a goal.
  • Matrix Diagram—displays the relationship between necessary tasks and people or other tasks, often to show responsibility or tasks.
  • Matrix Data Analysis—shows the strength of the relationship between variables which have been statistically determined.
  • PDPC Process Decision Program Chart—maps out every conceivable event that may occur when moving from a problem statement to the possible solutions.
  • Arrow Diagram—is used to plan the most appropriate schedule for any task and to control it effectively during its progress. This is closely related to the PERT Chart.

Problem-solving methods edit

Wikipedia lists these problem-solving methods:

The Quality Toolbook edit

The Sinque website describes many useful thinking tools. See:

Tool Chapters edit

  • Activity Network
  • Affinity Diagram
  • Bar Chart
  • Brainstorming
  • Cause-Effect Diagram
  • Check Sheet
  • Control Chart
  • Decision Tree
  • Design of Experiments
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA)
  • Flowchart
  • Flow Process Chart
  • Force-Field Diagram
  • Gantt Chart
  • Histogram
  • IDEF0
  • Line Graph
  • Matrix Data Analysis Chart (MDAC)
  • Matrix Diagram
  • Nominal Group Technique (NGT)
  • Pareto Chart
  • Prioritization Matrix
  • Process Capability
  • Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC)
  • Relations Diagram
  • Scatter Diagram
  • String Diagram
  • Surveys
  • Tables
  • Tree Diagram
  • Value Analysis
  • Voting
  • Bibliography

Creating Minds edit

The Creating Minds website lists the following tools. See:

Tools for implementing ideas edit

Perhaps the hardest stage of creative problem solving is getting other people to buy into your idea. Here are some methods you can use. You can also use general idea-creating tools.

  • Adoption Checklist: A checklist of what leads to adoption.
  • CATWOE: A checklist for thinking about problems and solutions.
  • ChangingMinds: The ultimate persuasion website.
  • A Day In The Life Of...: Imagining how your solution will be used.
  • Diffusion Lifecycle: Spreading ideas one group at a time.
  • Force-field Analysis: Exploring forces that will support or oppose the idea.
  • Head, Heart and Hands: Get all three systems of motivation engaged.
  • How-How Diagram: Build plan by repeatedly asking 'how'.
  • Mind-mapping: Use a mind-map to build a plan.
  • Positives, Negatives: Look at both problems resolved and benefits gained.
  • Purposing: Finding the real purpose of how the idea will be used.
  • Remembrance: Remembering solutions not yet discovered.
  • Reverse Planning: Working backwards from a perfect future.
  • Role-play: Become other people you must persuade. Let them tell you what to say.
  • Rubber-ducking: Talk about the problems you are facing to someone else.
  • Six Thinking Hats: Look at the idea from the viewpoint of your customers.
  • Storyboarding: Creating a visual story to explore or explain.
  • Why not?: Challenge objections and assumptions.

Tools for creating ideas edit

Creative tools > Tools for creating ideas

Here are tools for creating ideas, either individually or with other people.

  • Absence Thinking: Think about what is not there.
  • Art streaming: Keep creating until you get through the blocks.
  • Assumption Busting: Surfacing and challenging unconscious assumptions.
  • Attribute Listing: Listing attributes of objects and then challenging them.
  • Brainstorming: The classic creative method for groups.
  • Braindrawing: Good for reticent groups.
  • Brainmapping: Combining brainwriting and mind-mapping.
  • Brainwriting: Group doodling for non-verbal stimulation.
  • Breakdown: Careful decomposition to explore the whole system.
  • Challenge: Challenge any part of the problem.
  • Crawford Slip Method: Getting ideas from a large audience.
  • A Day In The Life Of...: Building creative tension from contextualized situations.
  • Delphi Method: Explore ideas or gain consensus with remote group.
  • Doodling: Let your subconscious do the drawing.
  • Essence: Looking elsewhere whilst retaining essential qualities.
  • Forced Conflict: Using conflict to stimulate the subconscious.
  • Guided Imagery: Letting your subconscious give you a message.
  • How-How Diagram: Break down problem by asking 'how'.
  • How to: Frame statements as 'How to' to trigger focused thinking.
  • Incubation: Letting the subconscious do the work.
  • The Kipling method (5W1H): Ask simple questions for great answers.
  • Lateral thinking: Thinking sideways to create new ideas.
  • Lotus Blossom: Unfold the flower of extended ideas.
  • Chunking: Go up and then down elsewhere.
  • Mind-mapping: Hierarchical breakdown and exploration.
  • Modeling: For the artist in everyone.
  • Morphological Analysis: Forcing combinations of attribute values.
  • Nominal Group Technique: Getting ideas with minimal personal interaction.
  • Pause: Think more deeply for a minute.
  • Post-Up: Brainstorming with Post-It Notes.
  • Provocation: Shake up the session by going off-piste.
  • PSI: Problem + Stimulus = Idea!
  • Random Words: Using a random word as a stimulus.
  • Rightbraining: Combine incomplete doodles around the problem.
  • Role-play: Become other people. Let them solve the problem.
  • Remembrance: Remembering solutions not yet discovered.
  • Reversal: Looking at the problem backwards.
  • Reverse Brainstorming: Seek first to prevent your problem from happening.
  • Rubber-ducking: Get someone else to listen to your talk.
  • SCAMPER: Using action verbs as stimuli.
  • Six Thinking Hats: Think comfortably in different ways about the problem.
  • Storyboarding: Creating a visual story to explore or explain.
  • Take a break: When creativity is fading.
  • Talk streaming: Just talk and talk and talk until you unblock.
  • TRIZ Contradiction Analysis: Use methods already used in many patents.
  • Unfolding: Gradually unfolding the real problem from the outside.
  • Value Engineering: Deep analysis to understand and innovate in areas of key value.
  • Visioning: Creating a motivating view of the future.
  • Wishing: State ideas as wishes to expand thinking.
  • Write streaming: Write and write and write until you unblock.

Other sources edit

Here are several other sources that describe useful thinking tools.

Mycoted edit

The Mycoted website describes several dozen “creativity techniques” on their website. See:

Thinkertoys edit

  • Michalko, Michael (June 8, 2006). Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques. Ten Speed Press. pp. 416. ISBN 978-1580087735. 

The author provides ideas, puzzles, and exercises at:

Total Design, Integrated Methods for Successful Product Engineering edit

  • Pugh, Stuart (February 1, 1991). Total Design: Integrated Methods for Successful Product Engineering. Addison-Wesley. pp. 278. ISBN 978-0201416398. 

In this book Stuart Pugh describes “Total Design” which he defines as: “… the systematic activity necessary, from the identification of the market/user need, to the selling of the successful product to satisfy that need – an activity that encompasses product, process, people and organisation.”

Prominent among the techniques is Pugh concept selection a method of controlled convergence.

A Whack on the Side of the Head edit

  • von Oech, Roger (May 5, 2008). A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative. Grand Central Publishing. pp. 256. ISBN 978-0446404662. 

Intuition Pumps edit

References edit

  1. Affinity Diagram, Sque. See: