Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Using a simple problem to demonstrate the TP

Looking through my blog's statistics, it is very clear that Thinking Process is the most interesting topic for people. I know it is the part of TOC I found the most mystifying. So I did a bit more web digging and found this little gem in a site filled with TOC examples – a simple example of all the steps of the thinking process. This example takes a very very simple problem and runs it through all the steps. Now we are talking a very simple problem (did I mention the problem is simple?), so putting it through the full TP process seams silly and at first leaves the impression that somebody really lost their common sense and any sense of proportion at the same time. Yet once I have gone through it I immediately had those lovely "A-Ha" moments when everything just clicks in place AND I finally figures out what's a transition tree. So I have to hand it to whoever did all the hard work setting up all those trees – Great Job!
I do want to warn you that some things, though, didn’t work so well, this being a very simple problem (I'm starting to feel like a broken record). First, the use of the Three Cloud Technique (which, by the way has you write 4 clouds; 3 from the UDEs and a generalized one), in this example this step is totally redundant and all 4 clouds ended up being virtually the same cloud with slightly different wording. Second, although once the general cloud was ready, you can easily understand how it was turned into the CRT this CRT has no root cause in it since it starts with the common goal and builds up from it. This CRT basically explores what is the expected reality if we choose to implement only one side of the conflict or the other. Third, the FRT is built from an injection defined in the general cloud phase and is very simply the CRT's negative. This feels way too simplistic and is probably not representative of the way the CRT and FRT will look and feel when using this process on a complex problem.
Hope you find this helpful and I'd be glad to know what you think.