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(ILM 8600-223) May 2011
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Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire
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CONTENTS Learning Outcomes: ............................................................................................. 4 1. What is the relationship between creativity and innovation?.............................. 5 1.1 1.2 Encouraging Creativity ............................................................................ 5 The Innovation Health Audit .................................................................... 6
2. The Problem Solving / Decision Making Cycle ................................................... 9 3. Defining and Screening the Problem .............................................................. 10 3.1 3.2 Defining the Problem............................................................................. 10 Monitoring the Performance Dashboard ............................................. 10 The Fishbone Diagram ..................................................................... 15 Mind-Mapping .................................................................................. 18 Comparison of the Fishbone to the Mind Map .................................... 20 The 5 Whys Method ......................................................................... 21 Data Gathering - Screening the Problem and Getting the Facts First ......... 14 3.1.1 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3 3.2.4 4. 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5
Generating Solutions – Paradigm Shifts ......................................................... 22 Developing the Mindset ......................................................................... 25 A Process for Generating Options ........................................................... 26 Brainstorming – a Creativity and Innovation Tool .................................... 26 Other Creativity and Innovation Tools .................................................... 29 Screening Solutions - Evaluation Tools and Techniques ........................... 31 The Decision Matrix.......................................................................... 31 The Six Thinking Hats ...................................................................... 33 The Criteria Matrix ........................................................................... 36 Decision Trees ................................................................................. 37
4.5.1 4.5.2 4.5.3 4.5.4 5. 5.1 5.2 5.3 6. 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4
Implementation ........................................................................................... 39 Communicating the Decision .................................................................. 39 Force Field Analysis ............................................................................... 40 Implementation Plan ............................................................................. 41 Lessons Learned ................................................................................... 41 Monitoring Processes ............................................................................ 42 Evaluation ............................................................................................ 42 Looking Back ........................................................................................ 42
Review and Evaluation ................................................................................. 41
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At the end of the training, delegates should be able to know, demonstrate, and apply the following learning outcomes: Apply the tools of problem solving and decision making in a structured and systematic manner Seek innovative solutions through a critical analysis of the situation: current and future Take ownership to implement solutions within the organization
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to be able to develop creative ideas. or to be innovative and turn creative ideas into practice? In reality they are both critical. So what is more important for the organisation .1 Encouraging Creativity "If at first. In other words. or to change their processes. Part of our conditioning is to spend a lot of our time thinking and acting in a conventional way.1. The Centre for Exploitation of Science and Technology (CEST) define the ‘innovation gap’ as the gap between vision and reality. Unfortunately. but the innovation that puts them into practice.November 2012© . a good place to start is to think about the differences between the two. the biggest problem facing companies is not coming up with creative ideas. between generating the creative idea in the first place and the subsequent analysis to identify the potential of the new idea or process and its implementation. Dr William Coyne (a former senior vice president for R&D of the 3M Corporation) said creativity is "the thinking of novel and appropriate ideas" whereas innovation is "the successful implementation of those ideas within an organisation". Bridging the Innovation Gap (1995) 1. Speaking at the 6th UK Innovation Lecture at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (5 March 1996) Another way of thinking about it is that creativity is the new or original idea. most of us lack the confidence to think such ideas. particularly in our workplace. There is also quite a lot of history which shows us that there are plenty of ‘brakes’ on innovation and creativity: Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 5 of 43 Broadlands . there is no hope for it. but unfortunately we can all think of many organisations where the people are creative but the organisation lacks the willingness to turn these ideas into real products or services. following the rules and procedures . What is the relationship between creativity and innovation? There are lots of different definitions. but innovation is the process by which that idea is turned into practice." Albert Einstein Everyone is capable of being creative and thinking up novel and new ideas. the idea is not absurd.the way that things have always been done.
November 2012© . perform the following ‘innovation health audit’. Record your score next to the statement in the place provided. 1. President. and guitar music is on the way out. it is a way of thinking which exists as a result of a long-term exposure to an encouraging climate of creativity.2 The Innovation Health Audit In order to diagnose the ‘health’ of innovation within your organisation/team. complete it yourself. Look at each statement and give a score according to the scale below." Ken Olsen. If you can involve team members. Warner Brothers: 1927 "We don't like their sound. If not." Western Union internal memorandum: 1876 "Who… wants to hear actors talk?" H M Warner. Creativity is not something that can be turned on or off as and when required. if you are keen to help people think up novel and appropriate ideas. The following ‘Innovation Health Audit’ is designed to evaluate the climate for innovation in your organisation. so much the better. If the team is completing the audit. Scoring: This is always true This is often true This is true about 50% of the time This is largely untrue This is totally untrue 5 points 3 points 2 points 1 point 0 points Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 6 of 43 Broadlands . each team member should have his/her own copy of the audit and should complete it individually and without conferring. The device is inherently of no value to us." Decca Recording Company Executive rejecting the Beatles: 1962 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. Final results should then be compared and discussed. Chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation: 1977 As a supervisor or manager. The objective is to raise awareness of the state of health of innovation and to take subsequent positive action. you will need to create the right environment."This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. and a consensus score entered for each question.
I am involved in generating new ideas Team members are open with each other Innovation is encouraged and rewarded as part of the performance review process Team members have a clear image of what we are trying to achieve We are encouraged to try new things We find ways to question what we are doing so that we do not become complacent We show a high level of support towards each other Reward and recognition programmes are in place to encourage creativity and innovation There is a regular forum for looking at ways of how we can improve I know that I will be supported when taking responsibility for introducing new initiatives Team members are open to the ideas of others Even difficult issues are brought out into the open and discussed We focus on future challenges as an organisation Team members are trained properly to conduct idea generation sessions If existing practices aren’t working we will actively take action to continuously improve Our idea generation sessions are productive We learn from past failures New initiatives are resourced fully There is a climate in the team in which it is OK to have fun Time is allocated to the development of new ideas ‘Creative’ thinking is encouraged when we are seeking to develop new ideas Everyone is encouraged to participate in idea generation and actually do participate Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 7 of 43 Broadlands .November 2012© .Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Innovation is articulated as a company-wide commitment We focus on future challenges as a team We are encouraged to challenge current procedures and practices As an individual.
18. 5.November 2012© . B. 1. 7. 19. C. 9. 16. which reflects the scores above. 23. 8. 13. 0 Low Organisational Commitment to Innovation Inappropriate Team Climate for Innovation Low Tolerance to Risk Taking Uninvolved Team Members in Idea Generation Closed Thinking E 5 10 15 20 25 High Organisational Commitment to Innovation Highly Appropriate Team Climate for Innovation Strong Tolerance of Risk Taking Fully Involved Team Members in Idea Generation Open Thinking A B C D Connect up the crosses to provide a profile of the health of innovation within your organisation/team Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Question Nos. 14. 6. 11.Copy your scores from the questionnaire onto the score grid below. 24. 25. 15. 10. 21. 4. 22. A to E. 3. A. 20. E. D. 17. Totals Transfer the totals above on to the next page by putting a cross on each row. Add the scores in each vertical column and enter the figures in the total boxes. 2. Page 8 of 43 Broadlands . 12.
graphically. 4. First. Defining and the problem Screening the problems Generating potential solutions Deciding which solutions to implement Implementation Review and Evaluation Whilst the terminology is slightly different.2. the problem solving cycle below mirrors. we need to find out what we know about the problem by gathering relevant data Third. 2. It’s a simple.November 2012© . once the relevant data has been gathered. straightforward and logical structure comprising the following steps: 1. the steps presented above. we must analyse the data and identify the root causes Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 9 of 43 Broadlands . The Problem Solving / Decision Making Cycle We’re going to explore this discipline using a structured approach. 6. 3. we need to monitor ‘what’s going on’ and identify any problems Second. 5. having identified that a problem exists.
as managers we also need to monitor the operation’s ‘performance dashboard’. The Performance Dashboard Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 10 of 43 Broadlands . you also need to monitor internal information such as: fuel levels. we must monitor its implementation and analyse whether it has provided a long term solution to the problem Finally. ‘how do we go about it?’ Seventh. having selecting the optimal solution or solutions. 3. we may fail to get to our destination. Defining and Screening the Problem 3. Not only are you having to monitor external information in order to get from point A to point B safely. we must generate a range of solutions to the problem by asking the question ‘what could we do?’ Fifth.1 Monitoring the Performance Dashboard A first key stage of the process is ‘defining the problem’. we need to review and evaluate our activities in order to continuously improve. Without monitoring these sources of information. speed and so on.e. having implemented the solution.November 2012© .1.1 Defining the Problem 3. having identified the root causes. the oil level warning light. Imagine that you are driving a car. engine temperature. we need to plan for its implementation – i. But what issues would you need to monitor? Pause and think about this for a moment –fill in your performance dashboard and then compare it to ours on the following page.Fourth. we should select the optimal solution or solutions by asking the question: ‘what’s the best thing to do?’ Sixth. In the same way that your car provides you with valuable information on the dials facing you on the dashboard. We can use this analogy for running a business operation.
We also need people’s views. costs/budgets. These are only examples and are not meant to be fully representative of all performance indicators. well we’ve got: productivity. and staff turnover. SMART is an acronym which stands for: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time bound Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 11 of 43 Broadlands . and finally we need a clear aim which should be expressed in SMART terms. What do the dials tell us about performance – are there signs for concern – do we need to examine certain issues more closely to explore an area for concern? The danger is that we focus on only one area of performance and fail to spot problems. or even opportunities! Desired Outcome(s) Where there is cause for concern. we need information and data on the problem. quality levels.November 2012© . customer complaints. accidents. We’ll need to analyse this information carefully.Ok. general agreement amongst team members that the problem needs resolution.
Would you consider the following aim to be a SMART aim in response to a rise in customer complaints? SMART AIM: To reduce customer complaints. measurable and time bound. however.’ to reduce customer complaints to 10% of their current level by 30 June 20—‘. to reduce. wastage. costs. Importantly. from 5 units to 10 units.g. e. measurable. this does not form part of the written objective. e. and time bound.g. you need to ask the following questions? Is it specific? Is it measurable? Is it time bound? When writing SMART aims/objectives. It is crucial that the objective is: specific. When writing a SMART objective. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 12 of 43 Broadlands . quality State the measure in terms of the quantity/standard. this objective is specific. by 50% from £50K to £100K Ensure it is time bound To reduce the number of customer complaints in the front line customer service team from the present 10 cases per month to a maximum of 2 cases per month by 30th June 20XX For example. eliminate. we can review this objective to see whether or not we have achieved an effective solution to the problem. deliver Identify the condition to be addressed. improve. you should consider the following: Structure of an Objective Example Must start with a verb of movement or attainment.November 2012© . e. sales. increase. you certainly need to assess whether or not it is achievable and relevant. Once we have progressed through the process.g. Quite simply. response times. meetings. it should be implicit that these points have been considered.
November 2012© . So how can this image act as an analogy for how we approach a problem? 1. Who are the fish? 5. What does the person in the ship see? 3.Perceiving the Problem Below is a picture of a ship approaching an iceberg … surrounded by fish. What does the iceberg represent? 4. it’s not to scale! Consider the messages presented in the picture and answer the questions in the following page. Who’s in the ship? 2. Ok. What do the fish see? Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 13 of 43 Broadlands .
If you focus on all the potential obstacles in your way then.3. The following tools and techniques are designed to help you to breakdown the problem. again. start trying to generate solutions before this crucial stage of the process has been completed. you will find it very difficult to proceed and you may decide not to start the Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 14 of 43 Broadlands . the next step is to screen the problem in order to get to the root cause. Before we proceed.Screening the Problem and Getting the Facts First Having identified that a problem exists and that it needs resolution. you need to focus on the end goal. The danger is that we only skim the surface of the problem without looking at all the potential causes and worse still. You may like some tools and not others – it’s what works for you. you can always adapt them and make them yours.2 Data Gathering . Equally. And don’t forget. otherwise the task may seem completely insurmountable and you may just give up straight away.November 2012© . have a look at the following image entitled: ‘So How Do you Eat an Elephant?’ So How Do You Eat an Elephant? What’s its relevance to our discussion here? Well … without wishing to upset anyone – you’ve got to cut it down into small manageable chunks. The screening tools which are going to be presented to you in this section are as follows: the fishbone method mind-mapping the 5 whys method These are just a selection of some of the problem screening tools available to you.
who used the technique in the Japanese steel industry. the fishbone (or cause and effect) diagram may help you to get to the root cause of the problem. For complex errors or problems that have cropped up repeatedly. It is also known as the Ishikawa diagram after the Japanese academic. 3. draw a fish skeleton right across the page like the one below.1 The Fishbone Diagram The vast majority of problems occur over and over again because the root cause of the problem is not established or eradicated. methods. Keep focusing on the image on the following page – it helps! 3.November 2012© .journey at all. Alternatively. Label the main bones with the key factors that you see as contributing to the problem.2. Write your problem or error in the fish head (as specifically as possible – this helps to keep people focused on the specific problem). 2. use the standard ‘PEM/PEM‘ prompts as shown or the 3MP prompts: these are: people. Using as large a whiteboard or piece of paper as you can get your hands on. machinery. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 15 of 43 Broadlands . materials. The trick is to imagine yourself standing on the top of a hill overlooking a valley with its many obstacles below but with the view of the goal on the other side of the valley. The key steps are as follows: 1. Kauro Ishakawa. The Fishbone Diagram is a technique that is best conducted with the team in order to get several different perspectives on the problem.
but they turn up late!!! The problem..People Environment Methods Plant Equipment Materials 4. Generate ideas on the causes of the problem and write each one up on a smaller bone feeding into the appropriate main arterial bone.. which is written in specific terms. you’re waiting at home for someone to come at the designated time and fix your boiler. is that ‘20% of service calls are more than one hour late’. People Environment Methods absenteeism overloaded staff untrained staff poor scheduling traffic roadworks over-ambitious rotas weather region too big unreliable vans poor phones poor spares labelling unavailable spares warehouse location Plant Equipment Materials Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 16 of 43 Broadlands .November 2012© Problem 20% of service calls are more than one hour late . Pursue each cause to the limit – keep asking why? Here’s a completed example and it’s based upon a problem which we can all relate to as customers. (It may be easiest to write them onto ‘post-it’ notes first so that you can move them around and alter the order) 5. You know .
Under the Environment heading. it could be that staff are having to travel back across the region. or that inventory replacement levels and times have been poorly calculated. in a bid to reveal the full extent of the iceberg. The only issue identified as being a potential contributory factor under the plant heading is the warehouse location – if this was not central. unreliable vans or poor phones could be contributing to the problem. e. unavailable. staff could be issued with too many jobs to complete throughout the course of the working day. it could be that spares are poorly labelled and that service personnel are getting to the job with the wrong spare parts. we now need to investigate each factor further by getting the relevant information. and the high turnover spares are regularly out-of-stock and. therefore. It’s possible that certain environmental factors have not been factored into the job times. Finally. Firstly. We will then be in a position to eliminate a number of the ‘could be’s’ and narrow them down to the ‘actual’ causes. too many jobs for the space of time allocated. The other issue relates to the region which is allocated to each service worker – it could be just too big to get around in the time allocated. Under the methods heading. 3 issues have been raised as ‘could be’s’. increasing traffic (how long ago was this measured). clocking up a lot of miles and wasting a lot of time. Thirdly. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 17 of 43 Broadlands . Having generated a broad range of potential contributory factors. under the materials heading.Under the people heading. Under the equipment heading. roadworks that appear from time-to-time: have these been taken into consideration.g. the first 2 points are connected – they are related to scheduling issues – i. You can always use different headings to the main arterial bones if the PEM/PEM headings are not all relevant.e. if absenteeism is the issue then this would be putting pressure onto other service staff to also complete the jobs allocated to the absentees. 3 further issues have been raised. the same could be said for weather conditions. it’s possible that staff have received insufficient or inadequate training so that they are unable to complete all the tasks required of them. Secondly.November 2012© .
Mind mapping is equally applicable in problem screening as it is in planning. based on the BBC TV series of ten programmes screened in 1974 of the same name. Don’t forget to involve your team. linked together from their original roots.3. this is the key distinction between mind mapping and brainstorming. The great thing about mind maps is that they grow very quickly. Use Your Head. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 18 of 43 Broadlands . from my experience of working with teams. what an enjoyable process it is for the team. The mind map below was generated by a team who were planning a consultation event. Powerful software is available which can then be utilised to finalise the mind map. Mind mapping is a process based upon a series of linked connections. Although it’s not for everyone.2 Mind-Mapping Popularized by Tony Buzan ‘Mind Mapping’ is a possible alternative technique to the fishbone method. team members can work on different sections in small groups. the major benefit of mind mapping is that it virtually mirrors the thinking process.November 2012© . Give them the appropriate marker pens in order to get ‘hands-on’ involved. Tony Buzan is probably best known for his book. You can see that colour and images feature importantly in the mind map. whereas brainstorming is a process in which ideas can be randomly and independently generated. turning a potentially dull subject into fun.2. It is done in free-hand which is how it should be done initially. we then develop our thoughts as to what factors could be causing the problem – the ideas then growing from the centre. for which it is more commonly used. Its incredible how quickly the mind map will develop and. and we can see relationships between issues very clearly. We will return to the subject of brainstorming further on in this book. By starting with the central problem. Indeed.
Just as we did with the fishbone diagram. Now it is very important that you identify the major sub-topics before you proceed any further. again. although you can always join two sheets together. Draw lines out from the central heading and label the sub-topics and.To develop a mind map. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 19 of 43 Broadlands . A complete Mind Map may have main topic lines radiating in all directions from the centre. Pictures can also be used to add a useful further visual element to the mind map. and draw a circle around it. Flip chart paper is too small. use as large a whiteboard or piece of paper as you can get your hands on. 4. Write the title of the subject you're exploring in the centre of the page. Different colours can be used for each sub-area of the mind map and help to differentiate between them. Sub-topics and facts will branch off these. 2. 3.November 2012© . as this will evolve of its own accord. approach it in the following way: 1. like branches and twigs from the trunk of a tree. You do not need to worry about the structure produced. As you ‘burrow’ into the subject and uncover another level of detail. to do so would undermine the hierarchical structure of the mind map. draw circles around these sub-topics. but do not circle these because. insert further sub-headings.
the problem presented on the original fishbone diagram (on service calls being late) is now produced in mind map form. we now need to investigate each factor further by getting the relevant information. We will then be in a position to eliminate a number of the ‘could be’s’ and narrow them down to the ‘actual’ causes. as problem screening techniques. in a bid to reveal the full extent of the iceberg. having now generated a broad range of potential contributory factors. Screening Problems Fishbone Diagram Mind Map Vs 3.November 2012© . Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 20 of 43 Broadlands .Just as with the fishbone diagram.3 Comparison of the Fishbone to the Mind Map To compare the fishbone diagram to the mind map.2.
The ‘five whys’ is a question and answer method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem. most groups I work with. you should find that the level of detail increases the more the mind map expands. Activity: In groups. 3. Well. they were engineers – say no more! However.What do you notice? …. I’ll be honest with you. It was developed by Sakichi Toyoda and adopted by Toyota as it developed its Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 21 of 43 Broadlands . It was seen to be too ‘messy’ in favour of the more structured framework provided by the fishbone diagram. there was universal rejection of mind mapping.2. during a session I was running with a group of engineering managers in Warsaw.4 The 5 Whys Method The 3rd tool that we are going to consider is the 5 whys model. given the choice. in a way that it would not be possible to do with the fishbone.November 2012© . given the choice between the two problem screening techniques discussed. due to space restrictions. If you compare the fishbone to the mind map. I’m more of a fan of the mind map over the fishbone diagram but it’s ‘horses for courses’. Recently. decide which of the two techniques to employ and choose a workbased problem to screen. opt for and have far more fun with mind mapping.
gathered the facts. and identified the root causes of the problem. Generating Solutions – Paradigm Shifts Having screened the problem comprehensively.November 2012© .g. we have moved from initially identifying the problem being that a machine is leaking oil. Whilst it’s called the 5 Whys method. we can now proceed onto the 4th stage of the process: ‘generating Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 22 of 43 Broadlands . which is rather like a child quizzing his/her mum or dad (and you know what the outcome often is when that happens). Ultimately. I have to say that from my own experience. the goal of the method is to drill down to the root cause of a problem or defect by repeatedly questioning ‘why’. Some if the manufacturing companies I have worked with have integrated it into their standard. prescribed problem screening process. Level of Problem Puddle of oil – why? Machine leaking – why? Gasket deteriorating – why? Bought cheaper gaskets – why? Good deal – why? Buyers are evaluated on cost savings Change policy Replace gasket Buy better quality gaskets Consequent Improvement Clean up oil As you can see above.manufacturing processes. which is that buyers are evaluated on cost savings. 4. by continuing to drill down to the root cause of the problem through questioning. Activity: Working in pairs. e. hence they are buying inferior gaskets. rather than continuing to ask the question ‘why’. it is preferable to make it more of a conversation. through to the real cause of the problem. each of you identify a work-based problem and take it in turns to employ the 5 whys method in order to get to the root cause of the problem. why do you think …? The following is an example of the 5 whys method. you may find that you reveal the root cause before you have get to the fifth why.
It is normally associated with right-brain thinking and it is that side of the brain given to daydreaming. Before we look at the range of tools and techniques available to you in this stage. In this instance. The thinking mechanism of the human brain can be described as consisting of two parts: one part for uninhibited creative thinking and the other for analytical or judicial thinking. the term ‘green-light thinking’ has been applied to the thought process most conducive to the generation of creative ideas. not the quality.November 2012© . Interestingly. children are far more predisposed to green light thinking owing to their reduced exposure to right brain focused thinking. the quantity. and colour. of ideas is emphasised. uninhibited side. In fact. normally associated with left-brain thinking. To illustrate this point. the focus is on the quality of ideas. Here. It is that side of the brain given to logic and analysis. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 23 of 43 Broadlands . let us first consider the role that creativity can play in this process. imagination. Green Light Thinking Daydreaming Imagination Red Light Thinking Logic Analysis Because most of our educational processes and systems have been devoted to developing the judicial thinking function. most people have far more creative ability than they realise. As Albert Einstein said: ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’. The term ‘red light thinking’ is often used to describe this process. our potential in this area is always present and can be developed to a much greater extent quite easily with the proper coaching. attempt the following activity . analyses and evaluates ideas emanating from the creative.draw a square. The judicial side of the brain. rhythm.potential solutions’. Over the years.
Are the following squares? Does the first one look like the one you drew – is it positioned parallel to the page? Activity: draw a square Are these squares? Now have a go at the following activity.November 2012© . Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 24 of 43 Broadlands . The aim is to enclose each of the sheep separately by drawing only 3 squares.
Did the activity of drawing a square on the previous page help? Consider for a moment why it may have helped. 4. judicial thinking while working creatively Look at a range of ideas/solutions – the first may not be the best Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 25 of 43 Broadlands . analytical. it may be useful to bear the following points in mind: Establish a can do attitude to approaching problems and developing solutions! Be open-minded to new ideas and the ideas of others Have an enquiring mind Never be satisfied – assume everything can be improved Don’t be put off by ridicule Put aside critical.1 Developing the Mindset In order to maximise our contribution to this phase of the process.The solution is below.November 2012© .
4. This is where a group of people with a stake in a problem are brought together in order to. we have a time out for at least an hour or so. acceptable again. a bell rings in our head. A real danger is that the generative stage never happens – because of our educational conditioning we move straight into red light thinking.November 2012© . during the generative stage. on occasion. or preferably. dismissing the more creative ideas as impractical and even ridiculous. a free-forall. overnight or even better . literally. at this cut off point. and fliter down the ideas to the feasibles. however.2 A Process for Generating Options Opportunity Generative Stage Cut-Off Point Green Light Open Thinking Spread of Ideas (Possibles) Time Out Filtering Down (Feasibles) Evaluative Stage Red Light Practical Thinking Solution The diagram above shows graphically the process for generating solutions. ideas need time to germinate – our sub-conscious works relentlessly on those ideas until. The idea is that.4.over the weekend. storm through ideas until a potential consensus solution is found. a term which is now. This is not. There are certain rules that need to be followed if the session is to maximise the Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 26 of 43 Broadlands . because if we move on to the evaluative stage where we apply red light thinking. Like seedlings in a green house.3 Brainstorming – a Creativity and Innovation Tool An excellent and widely-used tool for generating solutions is popularly known as brainstorming. a connection is made. and a eureka moment is achieved. It is highly recommended that. apparently. it is highly likely that we will get rid of ideas that had potential but we hadn’t given sufficient time to consider. Why. the idea generation stage will reach its natural conclusion. At some point. we should look to employ green light thinking where we are generating a spread of ideas ‘the possibles’.
The potential problem with this approach is that: Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 27 of 43 Broadlands . Building and synergising Participants build on each other’s ideas. alternatively. that no one is allowed to edit. when we have run out of ideas. Cut off At the cut off stage. Accept No Editing All ideas. Toss Out All participants toss out as many ideas as possible. It is the responsibility of the discussion leader to ensure these rules are followed. the group taps into the creative energy of each participant and fuses it in to a sort of chain reaction – this is synergy. the green light / generative stage is complete – remember what we just discussed about the benefits of a time out at this point. Sometimes. what would an alien put on the table. however seemingly impractical or crazy. are accepted. a combined or cooperative action which is more productive than the sum total of all the individual efforts. Question The discussion leader should clearly announce the focus of the session. This technique has been found to generate at least 25% more ideas.potential for success. criticise or evaluate any suggestion until the process is complete. The discussion leader reminds participants. participants can draw roles out of a hat in order to continue to generate ideas. the key question the group will be seeking to answer. a role might be to assume the views of James Bond – what would he put forward as ideas or. It’s recommended that these ideas are written up randomly on a flip chart or white board or post-it notes. Screen/shortlist the solutions There are lots of ways of screening or shortlisting solutions. If they are listed in linear format then. For example. Traditional Brainstorming I was originally taught to run brainstorming sessions by getting team members to call out their solutions to a problem and then capturing the ideas by writing them up on a flip chart or white board.November 2012© . when necessary. This triggers new thoughts which acts as a snowball to the process. We’ll be looking at three methods for this part of the process. the ideas at the bottom tend to be neglected owing to time constraints. By focusing this interaction. when we shortlist. ie.
Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 28 of 43 Broadlands . the team should assemble around the flip chart/whiteboard and discuss the ideas that have been generated At this stage. therefore. we should try to start categorising the ideas by writing appropriate headings at the top of the flip chart. Let’s try this approach with the following scenario A company operates from a 10 storey office building. Those on the upper floors complain that the lifts are slow and. everyone can actually see the ideas Team members work individually. and placing the ideas under the appropriate headings. Once all the ideas have been captured. secondly. as in the example below. developing their ideas Team members place their completed post-it notes randomly on the flip chart/whiteboard The great benefit of this approach is that everyone is involved and gets their ideas aired.November 2012© . The reason for the latter is twofold: firstly. they have to wait in the lobby for an inconveniently long time. ideas have to be kept brief because of the size of the writing and.Louder members of the team may dominate Quieter team members’ ideas are not ‘heard’ The leader may start editing ideas according to his/her preference An Alternative Approach to Brainstorming A really effective way of overcoming these problems is through the use of large post-it notes. It works like this: Each member of the team is given a number of post-it notes and a flip chart marker pen.
Members of the group each write their ideas down on a sheet of paper and then pass them on to the next person. A variant of this uses Sticky Notes or Post-itTM notes. Having read someone else's ideas. Synectics: In this context Synectics is based on the principle of bringing together contradictory or very different ideas in order to generate a creative solution to a problem. so that each person reads out one idea.4.November 2012© . people missing out on the ideas from the list in front of them that have been mentioned already. so the different ideas are called out in turn around the table. This technique can allow duplication. these ideas are discussed as they are described. (Delbecq. Instead of the no discussion rule of brainstorming. This starts my people writing down their ideas (a kind of private brainstorming) and then sharing these with the group in turn. It Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 29 of 43 Broadlands . Trigger Sessions. Ideas are stuck up and read as people come up with them and variants can be added. The advantage of this technique is that similar ideas can be physically grouped together to encourage development and refinement of the concepts. Van de Ve and Gustafson). They each go around until everyone has completed their lists.4 Other Creativity and Innovation Tools Nominal Group Technique. or everyone runs out of ideas. people can and add their own thoughts (triggered by these ideas) to the list and pass this on again. The sheets are circulated until they are back where they started.
Random words can come from the dictionary or any book. This encourages people to look for solutions to problems that don't fit into the fixed mind-sets that often condition our thinking.in other words by looking for different solutions where similar or equivalent problems exist and have been solved. the challenge is to find a link between the random word and the issue being considered.starts by detailed analysis and definition of the problem on the grounds that you need to be very clear exactly what it is you want. Mind-sets are the way that we have always done things or approached issues. Similar ideas to Synectics include: Lateral thinking-developed by Edward De Bono.November 2012© . For example. This is an elaborate name for a simple technique using random words or ideas to encourage people to look for links between the idea and the problem. Like Synectics. triggers can include: Subtract Substitute Hybrid Add Fragment Repeat Transfer Isolate Combine Superimpose Distort Parody Change Disguise Mythology Scale Contradict Fantasise The ideas are discussed in detail to refine them and make them manageable. Open the book of any page and use the first word on the page. phrases or ideas that may prompt people to think of analogies. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 30 of 43 Broadlands .words. but the key purpose of the Synectics approach is that it encourages a very creative approach to problemsolving by combining the unreal or impractical with the real problem to come up with a viable solution. in order to avoid solving the wrong problem or dealing with a symptom rather than the cause. What is important is that people feel able to identify analogies from quite different arenas. Synectics: The Development of Creative Capacity: WJ Gordon (1961) Solutions are generated based on and analogies or metaphors . This can be helped by using triggers . and these limit our ability to see things from new perspectives Random juxtaposition.
Within this stage.5 Screening Solutions . these criteria were not known to participants when brainstorming solutions. this would Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 31 of 43 Broadlands . Well. Whilst the following criteria will be used to screen the shortlist of solutions in the decision matrix.5. Had they been.1 The Decision Matrix We could also use the ‘Decision Matrix’ method to screen the options. Possible Solutions Selected Solutions This is the stage where you explore and develop your choices (the three or four main options) to a stage where you have sufficient information to weigh them up against each other and make an objective decision. the function of this stage is to screen the range of solutions and select the optimal solution or solutions. we now need to progress to the 4th stage: ‘deciding which solution to implement’. it is equally appropriate at this stage because.4.November 2012© . we are going to consider the application of 4 decision making tools: The Decision Matrix De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats The Criteria Matrix Decision Trees Screening the Solutions You may remember that we used the syphon analogy for screening the problem. essentially. 4.Evaluation Tools and Techniques Having generated solutions.
Refurbish the reception area E. C. Reprogram Could reduce complaints. C. Cost less than £5. one lift to serve only upper floors Might increase number of stair users. B. Ease congestion 2. fish tank etc £2. F. Speed up lift travel by fitting new motors Benefits Costs Risks Meets Essential Criteria 1 Reduction in complaints and congestion £30. Flexi-time working Less congestion in lobby at start of day.000 to set up High likelihood Yes Yes Yes Yes This is the decision matrix. Essentially. £1. Not take the lifts out of commission for more than one day 4. Take a moment to familiarise yourself with its structure.November 2012© Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire .have restricted the free flow of ideas. Takes people’s minds off the wait £500 High likelihood Might increase waiting times for some staff Yes Yes Yes Yes Nil Staff rebellion! Unlikely Yes Yes Yes Yes D. Refurbish reception inc. Inaccurate records kept.000 New motor means lift not operational for one month High likelihood Meets Desirable Criteria 2 3 No 4 Yes Yes No B. Junior staff get more exercise by climbing stairs. Stagger lifts to serve different floors Flexi-time working Page 32 of 43 Broadlands .000 High likelihood Yes Yes Yes Yes £1. Team members would have been too focused on ensuring each idea met the criteria – disasterous! The criteria are as follows: Essential Criteria: Any solution must reduce complaints to 10% of their present level Desirable Criteria: 1.000 Staff stay in reception longer than necessary to watch the TV Certain floors may be more popular System is abused. 6 solutions have been shortlisted: A. Stagger lifts to More targeted utilisation of lifts serve different floors F. Allow only senior staff to use lift in peak hours Less congestion in lifts at peak hours. Not spoil the newly decorated lobby Decision Matrix Possible Solutions A. Medium likelihood No Yes Yes Yes E.000 3. TV screen. Speed up lift travel by fitting new motors Reprogram one lift to serve only upper floors Allow only senior staff to use lift in peak hours D.
we can become so carried away with our enthusiasm for an idea. He argued that one of the main difficulties with thinking is confusion. ie. too much weight can be attached to one negative comment. information. emotions. the cost soon makes it prohibitive in the short term. at this stage. therefore. risks.5. Tells the team when to switch hats. E. E. Alternatively. to use one of Edward de Bono’s many contributions to the field of creativity and innovation: the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ approach. Should we. A desire to ‘make things happen’. effectively damning an idea before its positive aspects have even been considered. as such. and F? 4. to put a TV and fish tank in reception meets most of the criitera. logic. Searches for benefits. Cool – concerned with control and the organisation of the thinking process. and the essential and 4 desirable criteria listed on the previous slide. It points out the weaknesses in an idea Sunny – positive and optimistic.These are screened in terms of benefits. The Black Hat is cautious and careful. consequently.November 2012© . D. eg.2 The Six Thinking Hats Certain types of thinking can be allowed to dominate the evaluation of ideas. that we overlook or ignore the potential pitfalls. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 33 of 43 Broadlands . I just don’t like the sound of it’ – legitimises emotions and feelings as an important part of thinking Sombre and serious. Hat Colour Characteristics Neutral and objective – concerned with objective facts and figures Emotional – non-rational thinking – brings things out into the open – no need to justify arguments. change. For example. costs. Concerned with new ideas. Option D. and F meet both the essential criteria and all the desirable criteria. and new ways of looking at things. develop a more structured. Out of all 6 potential solutions. there is an opportunity. select options B. options B. the six coloured hats represent a different way of thinking and looking at an option/problem. ‘don’t ask me why. Creative and enthusiastic. closely followed by option A. hope and creativity all crowd in on us. However when you look at option A. we try to do too much at once and. In essence. To help us refine and explore/develop the options. It is recommended that the group adopts the same hat (approach) to look at each option and. rounded view of the range of options. Each of the hats is described briefly below but will be explored more fully in the workshop.
A trainer introduced the Six Hats method and the problem was solved in 12 minutes. Stage One: is about ensuring all of those involved in evaluating the idea have a clear and consistent understanding of what it is. develop and prepare for a decision. List all the key information you can about the idea. An oil company in Norway had a problem with a rig that was costing them $100. Here. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 34 of 43 Broadlands . De Bonos’ Six Hats techniques can be used to solve problems very quickly. or can be used as part of a longer process. To help you. The important thing is that all available factual information is shared. You have got your three or four options.000 per day. amazing results have been achieved.000 per day expenditure was reduced to zero. at this stage it is important to retain a neutral and objective manner. ask questions like: What is the idea? What problem is the idea intended to solve? How was the idea generated? How much will it cost? How long will it take to implement? What competition exists? What market research has been undertaken? When is it intended to be implemented? Who will be involved/affected? What training will be required? Depending upon how far the idea has been developed. you may not be able to answer all applicable questions at this stage. The $100. This is not the time for opinions or for individuals to start identifying problems or opportunities within the idea. At this stage only factual information should be shared. In organisations where the Six Hats method has been used. and you wish to develop them or add richness to the detail – do some ‘colouring in’ so that you have a full picture of the pros and cons. Do not attempt to interpret the facts. using four stages. It provides an opportunity to share any known factual information about the idea and for those owning the idea to ensure that the idea has been explained clearly.The hats are always referred to by their colour and never their thinking. Remember. and that everyone has a consistent understanding of what is being evaluated.November 2012© . we use it to demonstrate how you can evaluate. and the different features of the option or idea.
Stage Four: This stage provides an opportunity to refer back to Stage Two and try to identify ways in which the objections and concerns could be overcome. Questions you might ask at this stage include: What are the benefits? What opportunities could be created? What do we like about the idea? What’s the best thing about it? What could go right? At this stage. refining it until you reach a point where the consensus view is either that the idea is worth progressing to pilot/trial.Stage Two: This is the stage at which the potential pitfalls. subjective judgements are allowed. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 35 of 43 Broadlands . The facilitator will need to ensure focus is kept on the positive. but it is very important that you don’t revert to Stage Two here. potential benefits and opportunities are identified and highlighted. This is the creative stage of evaluation where suggestions for adapting or changing the idea can be made.November 2012© . Stage Three: This is the time for optimistic thinking. allowing negative comments to be made. when all of the things liked about the idea. simply go back to Stage One and repeat the process for the new idea. or that it should be discarded. This is the time to get all the negative thoughts out into the open. Questions you might ask at this stage include: What could go wrong? What’s wrong with the idea? Where are the potential dangers? What don’t you like? At this stage. subjective judgements are allowed. All concerns should be recorded. problems or dangers within an idea are identified and highlighted. Questions you might ask at this stage include: How can we overcome the objections? How could the idea be made better? What improvements can we suggest? How could the idea be adapted to help avoid the pitfalls? If you significantly change the idea as a result of Stage Four.
which is 10. A company needs to renew its fleet of 4 wheel drive vehicles. which in this case is price. the Nissan 30. service intervals. as the cheapest vehicle would. and acceleration from 0 to 60 mph. the Honda would come third with a rating of 2. Price has been given the highest weighting out of 10. The lowest weighting of 3 is given to the criteria of acceleration from 0 to 60. In other scenarios.November 2012© . we simply multiply the weighting (in this case 10) against the vehicle’s rating. and the Land Rover would come fourth with a rating of 1. that is the importance attached to each criterion. each vehicle can either come first. second. not to be confused with the critical examination matrix which we looked at earlier. Because of the black and white nature of the criteria. the Nissan would come 2nd with a rating of 3. coming first would attract a rating of 4. urban MPG. The process goes as follows: Taking the first criteria.3 The Criteria Matrix The Criteria Matrix is another solution screening tool which we will be looking at in this stage of the module. Nissan X Trail. rate each vehicle against price out of 4 points. Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 36 of 43 Broadlands . presumably come first with a rating 4. In this case. third or fourth.4. We now simply perform the process for the other criteria and then we can arrive at a final score for each vehicle. The criteria against which each vehicle will be screened are presented in the far left column. the team decides these based on what they see as the most important factors. These are: price. the Toyota. Honda 20. To achieve a score for price. and Land Rover 10.5. So the Toyota would have a score for price of 40. Each criterion is given a weighting. Let us consider the scenario below. cost per mile. If we look at price together. Four models have reached the shortlist: the Honda CR-V. But who decides on the criteria? Quite simply. and Land Rover Freelander. it maybe that a rating out of 10 be allocated. Toyota Rav4. it being the most expensive vehicle.
In numerical terms. As a tool it can certainly help us to reach the optimal decision. 4.November 2012© . it should be our final choice but there maybe other influential factors.Here is the completed criteria matrix and we can see that the vehicle with highest score is the Nissan X Trail with a total score of 97. A decision tree will start like the one below: Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 37 of 43 Broadlands .5. the sum total of each of its scores (in the green column).4 Decision Trees Decision trees are a useful way of working through and visualising complex problems.
but if B is chosen. But option B could yield either QR 10. The probability of each outcome is written on the relevant branch.November 2012© . In the example shown here. there is only one possible outcome. the branch of the decision tree for that alternative is complete.The square is the decision point.000 or QR 30. and the branches are four different choices. even though there is the prospect of a slightly higher return with the high profit line on option B. In the example above. there are two options facing the decision maker: A and B. For example. (B) get a loan to buy it. (C) hire the equipment. shown as a subsidiary branch. or (D) continue to use the existing equipment. If the choice can only have one outcome. your choices might be (A) to use cash to buy a new computer system. Usually however. If A is chosen. The more complex the problem. you can screen the solutions in order to identify their: Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 38 of 43 Broadlands . using SWOT Analysis. there are two possible outcomes: high profits or low profits. In this simple example the judgement may come down to your appetite for risk. let's assume that we are certain that option A will give a profit of QR 25. the more likely you are to need to use something like a decision tree: SWOT Analysis Simply.000: which option is the best one to choose? There is more certainty with option A.000. the choice will have several possible outcomes and we show this on the decision tree by putting in outcome point (circle) with each possible choice.
per message. it is often necessary to explain. to convince or to negotiate before we can implement.November 2012© . where other people are involved. per audience group Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 39 of 43 Broadlands .1 Communicating the Decision As we know from our real life. You also may need other people's help to implement the solution.Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats 5. You will certainly need to communicate with a whole range of other people so that they understand what is happening. Use these simple points to check that you are clear about the ‘what’ and the ‘how’: Decide what you want the people to do/know after the communication define target audiences (may be you have done this as part of stakeholder mapping determine the content of messages for each audience group identify the most effective and efficient media to use. Implementation 5.
5. for making and communicating decisions.November 2012© Score . You can then look at strengthening the forces that support the change and managing the forces against the change. Force Field Analysis is also used in business. The following template can be used: Forces FOR Change (Drivers) Strategy for increasing the power of the driver Forces AGAINST Change (Resisters) Strategy for reducing the power of the resistor Score Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Change Proposal Page 40 of 43 Broadlands . time and situation identify the most effective communicators of the message check if the right message has been heard by the right people at the right time keep at least one step ahead of the target audience’s thinking processes prepare for adverse outcomes. so that it's more successful.2 Force Field Analysis Force Field Analysis was created by Kurt Lewin in the 1940s. Lewin originally used the tool in his work as a social psychologist. You use the tool by listing all of the factors (forces) for and against your decision or change. however. Today. You then score each factor based on its influence. day. Its key purpose is to help you plan how you can sell the change. and add up the scores for and against change to find out which of these wins.identify barriers to effective communication (organisation and physical) agreed best delivery date(s).
In many cases. A plan which covers the following would be helpful: what is to be done the start date who needs to carry out the action how they are going to do it the resources required the risks involved and any actions to ‘mitigate’ the effects of risk the target completion date.1 Lessons Learned Once the problem has been solved. learning lessons from past experience in order to apply them to the future is very important. Review and Evaluation 6. particularly if you are changing something that is already in use in your organisation.November 2012© . So sometimes we Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 41 of 43 Broadlands . 6. But as we saw when looking at projects. The reality is that our lives are full of problems and so the sooner we finish with one thing and move onto the next the better. you will need to create an action plan. A Gantt chart looks like this: You may also need to put in place new systems or controls/checks and balances in order to make the solution work.5. we may produce a Gantt chart – either using an IT system or on paper.3 Implementation Plan Unless the solution is very simple and does not involve other people. there is a tendency to forget about it.
This is about getting together those involved in the project or implementation. 6. and what could be done differently next time. what went badly.4 Looking Back Each time you go through a problem-solving process. it's rarely sensible to implement the solution and just assume that no further action is required. 6.undertake a ‘Lessons Learned’ session. In other words. This is particularly so where you are changing things that involve people. The kind of monitoring that you undertake will depend on the nature of the change. you will have the opportunity to learn something that will help you do it even better next time. let's review some of the key things to think about when you look back: What caused the problem in the first place? Could it have been avoided? Have you taken steps to ensure that the problem will not re-occur? Was your initial approach to the problem the correct one? What can be learned from the mistakes made in the early stages? Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 42 of 43 Broadlands .November 2012© . If you have changed systems or processes in an organisation with lots of transactions. and asking what went well. As a manager. you will see: Whether or not it is working whether and how it could be improved how to solve a similar problem in the future more quickly and efficiently. With a complex problem. or informally by checking with the people involved to see if the problem has been resolved.3 Evaluation Evaluation is a process of comparing the actual outcome of the implemented solution (as measured by the monitoring) with your planned outcome. you can also check out the system for yourself. how successful did the solution turn out to be? In evaluating your solution when it is in operation.2 Monitoring Processes You will want to put in place some kind of process (even a very simple one) for checking on progress post-implementation and ensuring that any quality systems are updated and maintained. As a final point. 6. you can use formal systems such as customer satisfaction questionnaires and computer printouts.
so that you can use a similar solution? Can you use the result or method again for a similar problem? Did you use all the help you could get? Were you surprised to find out who the most helpful people were? Could you have arrived at the result differently? Does it all now seem obvious? Would you tackle a problem like this in the same way again? What have you learned? Broadlands Consulting Ltd PO Box 27111 Commercial Bank Plaza Doha Qatar 2012 Innovations to Solutions Workbook_v3_221112 Created by Broadlands Approved by: John McGuire Page 43 of 43 Broadlands . or would you have been better off not tackling the issue at all? Did your definition of the problem turn out to be correct.Were you objective in your approach to solving the problem? Was the eventual price you paid for solving the problem worth it.November 2012© . or were you forced to revise your impression of it? Did you have enough information to make a sound decision? Could you have had any more information? Are you confident that you will be able to recognise a problem of the same type in the future.
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