Sunday, 27 September 2009

Solving same problem multiple times...

When you decide to solve a problem the method, tool and approach you select will take you on a journey towards the solution.

In the picture below the upper path (marked with "1") is the first time you solve the problem. When solving the problem you will learn things and get insights (e.g. Insight A in picture).

If you decide to use another method or tool or approach you might get the middle path (marekd with "2"). Another journey that could possibly lead to the same solution. But in the process you made new insights (Insight B).

Yet another go would be the lower path ("3"). And in that path you will again make new insights. But also possibly solve some other problem. And you might end up with another solution to the original problem. An alternative solution. A solution that might be better than the first you found (using path 1).

Problem solving is a journey. And the methods and tools you select will form the path. Each path could give you unique solutions, new insights and solutions to other problems.

The first solution and problem solving process will of course influence the following attempts. But the new method and tool selected will make the path different anyway. The methods and tools will force you onto a new path. Just like different transportatoin methods will change your real life journey - although destination might be the same.

Another good thing with using mutiple methods is that you gain experience. You learn what methods works best and how to use them. And you can compare and build a toolbox for when to use what...

And you can describe the solutions achieved using different perspectives. Maybe the audience prefer to learn that solution was gained using path 2. Even though you first solved the problem using path 1.

Solving the same problem multiple times can be very rewarding.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

För eller mot?

För några år sedan samlades hela byn för att demonstrera mot rasism och främlingsfientlighet. Många föräldrar och barn stod uppställda i mörkret. Facklor delades ut och leden formade sig.

När jag stod där i mörkret blev frestelsen för stor. Jag knackade damen framför på axeln och frågade:

"Jo, ursäkta, men vet ni om det här är fackeltåget FÖR eller MOT rasism?"

Damen snäste - precis som de gjorde i gamla pilsnerfilmer och flyttade sig snabbt några platser framåt i kön. Hon tyckte inte det var ett dugg kul. Jag däremot fnittrade hela vägen där vi gick med våra facklor i mörkret.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

A short story and a few questions

[Not sure about the details but on the news on the radio this morning there were some news about drugs, resistant bacteria and how to keep drug companies happy. It made me think... Check out for more information about the modelling language used and symbols]

Once upon a time there was a company producing drugs. They were good. They had a great research department. And even some money to spend on research, since they knew they would sell the drugs.

The owners were happy since they got their profit. And they continued to invest in research, find new medicine, sell and become richer and richer. Like this:

In the same country there were doctors and hospitals of course. When they found a disease they treated it. And if drug A helped - they would use it.
The drug A would counteract the disease A. Like this: (the special arrow is "counteract")

But, now a problem was seen. When treating the sick with the A-medicin resistant bacteria developed. Or suddenly appeared. The doctors were not sure how, but it was a fact that they now had to deal with disease B. And it seemed that it was the wide-spread use of drug A that "created" or "allowed" the resistant bacteria to enter the scene.

The drug A did not cure people with disease B. So, they really needed the drug company to come up with a new medicine.

The situation looked something like:

The drug company developed drug that doctors used. While using the drugs resistant bacteria appeared and new disease was born. And that triggered the need for new research. All this created another loop with diseases, resistant bacterias, need for new drugs. And so on.

Can you see any problems?

The most clever people in the country met and discussed. Here are some of the questions they were discussing:

- How do we limit usage of drug A in order to avoid disease B - while still helping people with disease A? Should we help now - or consider the future? Or both? How do we balance this situation?

- If we limit usage of drug A - How do we ensure that the company can do research and have happy owners? If they cannot sell drug A they cannot research new drugs.

- Should we by ethical means do everything we can to stop every new disease? Thus risking to create new resistant bacteria that we need another drug for. All in a spiraling effect...

And I actually think they they still are discussing these matters...

[If nothing of this makes sense, or is completely unrealistic, remember: its just a story :-)]

Monday, 14 September 2009

Life is a verb

And Life is not only a verb. Life is full of verbs. Actually, it's just verbs all the way down.

Thanks, @pattidigh , for these insights.

(You can learn more about Life is a verb and meet Patti at 37DAYS)

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Project myths

Project management is not always easy.

But there are many things we complicate quite on our own. Based on project myths, methods, stereotypical thinking about projects etc.


Because there are principles and basic thinking that makes project work more successful. Very fast! But, we really need to get back to basic thinking. Re-think a lot. Not complicated thinking - quite the opposite really.
And it is not snake oil, or fairy dust solving it all - but very basic thinking and insight what a project is - and how it can be successfully executed...

How to share this "wisdom"? How to get it out in the open to be shared, discussed, used and ignored. Blog about it? Write a book?

Hmmmm.... thinking.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Use a map to find'em all!

Lets say we have two parties, X and Y, with two different solutions to a problem. The solutions also have negative side effects.

Here is a picture of the situation: (follow the link to left to a Southbeach Quickguide for more information about Southbeach modeller and how to interprete the model/images)

If we now consider how party Y might argue to gain followers or voters. They have lots of possibilities and can act on almost any of the items in the previous picture:

The blue boxes contains what the Party Y might say to win. And with Party Y perspective the various effects (arrows) now are of different "strengths".

It can be very beneficial to illustrate a situation with a map. And then consider what might happen to or how to act upon each item in the map. With the knowledge gained you can build a strategy and plan to execute. Or solve the problem you have.

And as you can see there are plenty of blue boxes that Party Y could use to form their strategy!

Use a map to find'em all!

Learn, Children, Learn.

I feel so lucky having two children that after many years in school still are motivated to learn and grow. And I am proud that they still let me part of that process. I am also proud that they challenge their own knowledge - and mine! As long as we learn we grow. And to learn we often need to challenge ourselves and our "teachers".

Get out there, kids. Learn, Challenge, Grow! And make sure that your children also learn.