The Creative Problem Solving Process – Step 2 – Fact Finding

This is the second stage in the Creative Problem Solving Process.  The complete model can be found here:

Gather data to develop a well-rounded view and a clear understanding of your objective by writing down important information about it.

Process – Diverge

  • Write your goal/objective/wish at the top of  a new sheet of paper.
  • Ask yourself: “What do I know about this?”
  • Write down everything that comes to your mind.
  • Use the following questions to get more answers around your goal/objective:
  • How did this start?
  • What’s challenging about it?
  • Why aren’t you there yet?
  • What’s getting in the way of reaching it?
  • Who else is involved? How?
  • What are the components of getting there?
  • What does it feel like?
  • What color is it?
  • Does it have a smell?
  • Was there a time when you were there or when this wasn’t a problem? What was it like?
  • Don’t be afraid to be simple. No fact is too big or too small.

Process – Converge

  • Once you have what you feel to be a comprehensive list of all the facts around your goal/objective/wish, review the list and write down anything you think you’ve missed.
  • Be sure to look to see if you missed the obvious.
  • Put a star next to the facts you feel help you best understand your goal/objective/wish.
  • Cluster similar facts together. Facts included in clusters do not need stars.
  • Give each cluster a name that represents the common theme running through each idea within that cluster.
  • These clusters will be used as a reference to help guide you along the way to reaching your goal/objective/wish.

CONGRATULATIONS!  You have just completed the Fact Finding Stage of the Creative Problem Solving Process.  You are now ready to complete the next stage – Problem Finding: