I have used Creative Problem Solving techniques for more than 10 years now and facilitated more than 100 workshops using this method or one derived from it. CSP is at one hand one of the most useful techniques to innovate, both for established companies and for start-ups.
CPS: a simple process to be creative
CPS is a simple but key process critical to any innovation process. yes, creativity and problem solving is a process and can impact strongly your innovative initiative.
From a couple of years now I have developed my own approach to CPS and workshop facilitation. My version of CPS takes the best of Design Thinking, Lean 6 sigma and creativity tools to travel from the problem identification to launching the project that will at the end solve it.
The necessary missing step of CSP
If the steps I used towards CPS are more or less the ones defined at Buffalo college in the 1950’s I strongly recommend to go as far as possible to the implementation phase.
My point is that often CSP workshops end with a lot of so-called « idea-sheets » or « action plan » to be implemented. That’s not enough if you want to deliver and innovate to create customer value. At this point my « Project Manager dark side of the force » takes the lead and drive it along the « Initiating Project Process ». It is a key factor of success to have, ready to sign for the sponsor, a project charter to launch the first activities necessary to evaluate and implement the solution to the CSP topic.
The definitive CSP steps
- Clarify the problem: Identify and converge on what your group understand from the topic
- Explore the problem: Define clearly the topic
- Analyse the problem: Analyse all the parameters and dimensions of your topic. Be sure to have everything in mind all the specifications of our topic
- Ideate: generate ideas, cross-fertilize them…
- Challenge the ideas: evaluate all ideas and transform them into concepts (a more advanced state) and explore all positive and negative aspects of the possible implementation
- Implement the ideas (initiate the projects): prepare the project, define the ready-to-launch actions incl. project charter, preliminary WBS and stakeholder map.
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