CPS Step 6 - Formulate the Plan


Formulate a plan is the sixth and last step of the Creative Problem Solving process. Its purpose is to explore acceptance and identify resources and actions that will support implementation of the selected solution(s).

In this workshop, the team will go through:

A) A divergent phase to generate as many actions as possible. To do so, they will use the Assistor/Resistor, technique followed by a reverse brainstorming.

B) A convergent phase to formalise an action plan with short term, medium term and long term actions.


About the CPS process.

There are many models of the Creative Problem Solving process. Though, as recommended by the Creative Education Foundation, Stormz has chosen to focus on an evolution of the Osborn-Parnes CPS called the CPS Learner’s Model.

The basic structure is comprised of four stages with a total of six explicit process steps.






1. List all Stakeholders

Let's list all the people or organizations that we think might have an influence (positive or negative) on the implementation of our solution?

  • Add one card per people and/or organization
  • You can attach a picture of the person, if it helps, or copy paste a link to further information.

2. Identify Assistors or Resistors

In this step, we need to decide if each person or organization is an Assistor or a Resistor.

  • Assistors. People or organizations that might help in a successful implementation of our solution.
  • Resistors. People or organizations that might prevent the successful implementation of our solution.

Pick a card in the category "all stakeholders", and get the group's consensus on where it belongs, then drag'n drop it into the relevant role.
If you feel that they can be both, resistors and assistors at the same time, it is OK to re-create the same card and put one in each category.

3. Identify the bad actions

In this step we will act like a spy that wants to prevent or sabotage a successful implementation of the solution.

Yes, that is what we want! We want you to dive into your dark side and look for the worst possible actions that could be implemented...

Formulate as many devious actions as you may think of.


Don't forget to follow the rules of divergent thinking:

  • Go for quantity: create as many cards as possible (type one idea per card)
  • Defer judgment: don't judge the relevance of your own ideas at this point
  • Encourage wild ideas: be playful and write down wild and usual ideas
  • Combine and Build: Use one idea as a springboard for another

4. Identify the right actions

It is time to create a brighter future and identify the actions that will support the successful implementation of the solution!

How?

  • Take into account the assistors and resistors you have identified and the devious actions you have imagined.
  • Think of all the actions that could be taken to secure the assisters' support and to prevent anyone from sabotaging the solution.
  • Formulate each action by using this statement starter: "What I see ourselves doing is..." (WISODI)

Don't forget to follow the rules of divergent thinking:

  • Go for quantity: write down as many ideas as possible (one idea per card)
  • Defer judgment: don't judge the relevance of your own ideas at this point
  • Encourage wild ideas: be playful and write down wild and usual ideas
  • Combine and Build: Use one idea as a springboard for another

5. Select key actions

Let's select the most critical actions!

A critical action is one that will have a significant impact on the sucessful implementation of the solution .

How to select them?

  • You have 50 points to distribute.
  • You can give a maximum of 5 points per action or distribute your 50 points across 50 cards.

Don't forget to follow the rules of convergent thinking:

  • Be Deliberate: Allow decision-making the time and respect it requires. Avoid snap decisions or harsh judgments. Give every option a fair chance.
  • Be Affirmative: Even in convergence, it’s important to first consider what’s good about each suggestion and judge based on its potential for improvement, rather than eliminating suggestions based on its flaws.
  • Consider Novelty: Do not dismiss novel or original suggestions. Consider that there will be ways to tailor, rework, or tame wild suggestions.

6. Schedule key actions

In this step, we will create an Action Plan.

To do so, we will identify the priorities and move each action card into the appropriate category:

  • Short term actions
  • Medium term actions
  • Long term actions
  • Would be nice to do

Note to the facilitator: Before beginning this step, we recommend that you Set Aside any cards that did not get selected during the previous step.

7. Assign resources

In this step we want you to identify who will be the Owner of the action and what Resources might be needed.

To do so, look at the actions selected in the 4 different categories, click on a card and fill-in the sections.

8. Discuss and reflect on the outcome

Look at the final action plan and discuss all together:

  • Does the action plan make sense?
  • Are there any actions missing?
  • Are the actions well prioritized?

Important note:
* Maybe, you think some actions are missing. It means that you need to iterate, so, just go back to step 5 and generate even more actions.

9. Congratulations!

Congratulations, we have finished the last step of the CPS process!
Let's celebrate that with a final victory dance!
Your are now expert at the Entrechat or "pas de bourrée"!


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