Creative Thinking Techniques

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IRM Training - White Paper
Creative Thinking Techniques

Creative Thinking Techniques
Derrick Brown, Director Jan Kusiak, General Manager IRM Training Pty Ltd ABN 56 007 219 589 Suite 209, 620 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia 03 9533 2300 derrickbrown@irm.com.au jan.kusiak@irm.com.au

Introduction
This extract from IRM’s training material looks at how systematic, creative thinking techniques can be used to design practical solutions to business problems. Successful designs don’t just happen. Whilst we can sometimes get ‘flashes of brilliance’, successful designs are more likely to occur as part of a systematic process. Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

The first step in developing a solution is to identify and define the problem - see the IRM paper Problem Analysis Techniques. Using the problem definition as a starting point we can apply a number of creative thinking techniques to identify potential solutions, then further analyse and refine these to give us an optimum solution for the problem at hand. This paper discusses some of the successful creative thinking techniques used by business analysts and describes a generic model which can be used to guide the process. ________________________________________________________________________

Table of Contents
1.0 2.0 2.1 2.2 3.0 3.1 3.2 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5.0 6.0 7.0 Successful design strategies...................................................................................................................... 2 Design methods ......................................................................................................................................... 2 Vertical thinking ..................................................................................................................................... 3 Creative thinking ................................................................................................................................... 4 The brain .................................................................................................................................................... 4 Left and right brain functions ................................................................................................................. 5 Blocks to creativity ................................................................................................................................ 6 Creative thinking techniques ...................................................................................................................... 7 Brainstorming ........................................................................................................................................ 7 A bridge - process flow analogy ............................................................................................................ 8 The six thinking hats ............................................................................................................................. 8 Business process re-engineering: 20 questions .................................................................................... 9 Validation ................................................................................................................................................. 10 Creative thinking - generic process model .............................................................................................. 11 Balance .................................................................................................................................................... 12

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IRM Training - White Paper
Creative Thinking Techniques

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Successful design strategies

The design strategies that we choose are crucial to a project’s success – a strategy that initially looks good but that proves to...
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