© Foursight Consulting Group Inc. CPS and Idea Generating Techniques 1
The Stages of the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Process
Stage Purpose How to Diverge How to Converge
Stage 1:ObjectiveFinding (OF)
To find a goal, wish or challenge upon which youmight want to apply theCreative Problem Solvingprocess.List your goals, wishes, or challenges. Makea long list of wishes even if you alreadyknow your general area of interest. The listtakes the form of “I wish…” “It would begreat if….”Questions: What do you wish for? Whatopportunities are there? What are your dreams?The Problem Owner chooses on goal,wish, or challenge that feels right to himor her:This becomes the starting point for FactFinding.Check the chosen objective for ownership, motivation, and imagination.
Stage 2:Fact Finding(FF)
To list all the data, facts,questions and feelingsthat will give you a clear picture of the situation asit exists now.Make a long list of facts about the situation.Questions: Who is involved? What ishappening? When is it happening? Where isit happening? Why is it happening? Whathave your tried? What don’t you know?What are your opinions?The Problem Owner highlights all thefacts that seem important or interesting.Use the facts as a starting point for Problem Finding.
Stage 3:ProblemFinding (PF)
To redefine the problem inas many different ways aspossible, and then to picka specific statement thatmost clearly identifies theproblem that you wish tosolve. A problem well defined ishalf solved.Construct as many varied “In What WaysMight I/We…” or “How might…” or “Howto…” statements as possible.Hint: Try using key facts (From fact Finding)or restatements from the Objective Findinglist to lengthen your list.The Problem Owner selects a singlespecific IWWMW statement that, if answered successfully, would bestaddress their goal, wish, or challenge.You can combine more that onestatement, or reword to improve thestatement. Check the final ProblemStatement with the Problem Owner for specificity, suitability, and potential.
Stage 4:Idea Finding(IF)
To generate as manysolution to the ProblemStatement as possible.Brainstorm a list of ideas that answer the“IWWMW…” statement selected.Hint: Change perspective: How would a ____ view this problem? Simulatedivergence by using SCAMPER, forcedconnections, analogies. GET WILD &CRAZY.The Problem Owner narrows the listdown to ideas that are “intriguing” or “might work”, even if he or she doesn’tknow exactly how yet.
Stage 5:SolutionFinding (SF)
To identify the strengthsand weaknesses of promising ideas and todecide which ones to use.Brainstorm criteria for judging ideas. Whatfactors will determine whether or not an ideaworks for the Problem Owner?Generate criteria by asking “The solution willwork if it…” “Will it…” or “Does it…” Bespecific. “Money” is not a criterion, but