Executive problem identification
Executive Problem Identification is about the generation of a ranked list and collective understanding of the current issues and opportunities faced by decision-makers at different levels in the organisation. This list can include long-term goals, but the maximum impact comes from solving intractable problems in the present.
Name and history
Notes about the origin and subsequent developments of the method.
List of concepts, frameworks and necessary understanding to use the method (it is OK to say none). This includes any key principles that need emphasising in this context or during the application of the Method.
Preparation and requirements to use this method
Facilitation skills Required
Please note whether this Method requires any skill in complex facilitation and if so, what this should focus on. General principles are set out in the facilitation article. Linked to Method property "COMPLEX FACILITATION SKILL": How much training and skill in complex facilitation does the Method require?
Preparation for Stage 1
- Setup of a SenseMaker Engagement based on a pre-defined engagement framework. This can be either a MassSense engagement, or SenseMaker Journaling engagement.
- Design of Engagement Plan for the SenseMaker collection.
Preparation for Stage 2
Prepare room for workshop
Factual description of what is needed together with lists of materials and the physical environment needed. Default is physical but see later section on virtual delivery. Linked to Method property "COST & RESOURCES": How resource-intensive is the Method in terms of materials and tools required, and thus costs?
Note whether any preparation or prior knowledge is required on the part of participants in the Method. Linked to the Method property "ENGAGEMENT GRADIENT": How challenging is engagement of participants into the Method likely to be?
Key elements and artefacts
May be blank
|STAGE INSTRUCTION||COMMENTARY & TIPS|
|Collect list of executive problems.||SenseMaker journaling is a preferred way to collect the list of problems from decision-makers. Problems are recorded as they occur.|
|Rank problems in order of importance to the organisation||A list of problems are collated from the SenseMaker Journal in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is then distributed for scoring based on the impact on organisational performance and/or competitive advantage. The scoring will be used to rank the problems.|
|Invite decision makers to a workshop to look across the ranked lists of multiple decision-makers to identify commonalities and differences, as well as outliers and surprises or unexpected patterns. Resolve conflicts in rankings.||Preparation for workshop (can be performed by an analyst on the project team): Scores, SenseMaker Dashboard to present in the workshop, hexies with problems for clustering|
|Collate the ranked list of executive problems in a format usable for the method that will utilise the results, such as Dependency matrix.|
Do's and Don'ts
Capture and score the problems, issues and challenges individually, and not in a workshop. This will keep the options open and avoid the presedence of power in determining the problems raised.
Default is to state that it cannot be until we have developed and tested practice. If it can be run virtually then we describe it here. It is acceptable to add a third column to the workflow if needed
Link to other articles on this wiki if they are relevant.
Specific articles can be referenced here
Link with commentary
Link to case articles here or third party material
Related methods and approaches
This section is intended for third-party approaches that may help gain insight into the method. Any methods that are on the wiki should be referenced in the above sections.
Method card material
This material will be extracted for the method cards
Possible symbols or illustrations
Front page description
Generate a ranked list and understanding of the current issues and opportunities faced by decision-makers at different levels in the organisation.
Back of card summary
Executives and decision-makers from various levels in the organisation are invited to share the most pertinent issues, problems and challenges the organisation is facing. The list of problems are then collated into a spreadsheet that is distributed for scoring of the importance of the problem to the organisation. The results are then presented in a workshop to identify commonalities, differences, outliers and surprises. The outcome of this exercise is then incorporated into the list and ranking of problems, as input for the Dependency matrix.
How can it be used?
Method Properties - Ratings
Represented by symbols - interpretation/voting scales are:
COST & RESOURCES: How resource-intensive is the Method in terms of materials and tools required, and thus costs?
- Requires only common office equipment (eg paper and pens)
- Requires simple facilitation materials (special hexies, printouts, whiteboards etc)
- Requires some inexpensive but specific tools and materials
- Requires moderate investment in tools or software to apply
- Requires significant investment in software or other specialist tools
COMPLEX FACILITATION SKILL: How much training and skill in complex facilitation does the Method require?
- No complex facilitation experience is required
- Some complex facilitation experience needed - practice in a safe space
- Should be mentored while developing complex facilitation skill
- Requires Mentoring until proven, familiarity with theory critical
- Advanced, requires deep knowledge of theory and experience
ENGAGEMENT GRADIENT: How challenging is engagement of participants into the Method likely to be?
- Ad hoc technique - can be used in multiple contexts with relative ease
- Requires time commitment but overall, engaging and not difficult to achieve
- Mild uncertainty or discomfort, may need work to keep people engaged
- Indirect/ambiguous method, requires engagement through sustained levels of uncertainty
- Challenging method – may incur resistance if people expect a more traditional approach