Turn Your Company Into A Problem Solving Machine

Phoenix is a checklist of questions developed by the Central Intelligence Agency to encourage agents to look at a challenge from many different angles.

Why Agile Transformations Sometimes Fail

One of the issues I have with agile working is the presumption that teams using agile methods get things done faster. And fast is always good.

How To Solve Impossible Problems

I was reminded this week of the CIA technique for solving difficult problems. Phoenix is a checklist of questions developed by the Central Intelligence Agency to encourage agents to look at a challenge from many different angles.

  • Write your challenge. Isolate the challenge you want to think about and commit yourself to an answer, if not the answer, by a certain date.
  • Ask the questions. Use the Phoenix checklist to dissect the challenge in as many different ways as you can.
  • Record your answers. Information requests, solution, and ideas for evaluation and analysis.
  • Why is it necessary to solve the problem?
  • What benefits will you receive by solving the problem?
  • What is the unknown?
  • Suppose you find a problem related to yours that has already been solved. Can you use it? Can you use its method?
  • What are the best, worst, and most probable cases you can imagine?
  • Can you separate the steps in the problem-solving process? Can you determine the correctness of each step?
  • What creative thinking techniques can you use to generate ideas? How many different techniques?
  • How will you know when you are successful?

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Innovation Coach and Co-Founder of @BromfordLab. Follow for social innovation and customer experience.

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Paul Taylor

Innovation Coach and Co-Founder of @BromfordLab. Follow for social innovation and customer experience.