PMI - Plus / Minus / Interesting
PMI is a lateral and creativity thinking technique developed by
Edward De Bono
that is a development of the pro’s and con’s technique that has been used for centuries.
It is designed to deliberately direct your attention to the positive, negative and interesting aspects of a particular idea, subject or decision.
(Image Credit orkboi)
To complete you make three columns… “Plus”, “Minus” and “Interesting.”
Under the plus column you list all of the positive aspects of the idea, subject or decision.
Under the minus column the negative aspects and under the interesting column anything else that you think is worth noting but does not fit easily into the other two columns.
After using this technique you should be in a better position to make a decision about the matter in question.
I am considering relocating my family from Canada back home to the UK.
The table used to assist the decision making process is given below:
|Family in UK (+9)||Have to sell house
(-6)||A web based career would mean I could swap between the 2 countries(+3)|
|Easier to see UK friends
(+6)||More crime (-2)|
|Parents will babysit for free
(+3)||Less space (-2)|
This isn't an exhaustive example - I'm sure I could add many more pros and cons for each. Hopefully it is enough though to give you a picture of how the technique can be used.
Interesting aspects of an idea
Interesting aspects of an idea can move you to another idea completely. A good example of this occurred in 1944 when a group of MIT scientists at the radiation laboratory were working on a radar that could detect a tower six miles away.
The scientists found that when the humidity increased the radar failed. Noting the interesting fact about the radar being in tune to the natural frequency of water vapour they decided to look for other useful applications. Their work ultimately led them to the creation of the first microwave oven.
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