Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Abstract models are useful starting points for concrete models

Often, developing a model in the abstract, helps create a useful starting point for a concrete model. Here, the abstract model shows a problem, its root cause, and upstream harmful impacts. Around these red (harmful) blocks are green boxes indicating potential (dotted line) intervention points. The two blocked in green (useful) boxes are considered goals. Why? Because intervening to remove the root cause, or converting the problem into a solution, are considered 'preferred' (goals) solutions.

Use the 'quick edit' mode of Southbeach Modeller to rephrase the boxes with your problem. Add creativity rules to generate suggestions for verifying the solutions. For example:

1.   We have plenty of pros for [intervention] - are there harmful side effects? What are the downsides/cons?
2.   Is there a strong case for [intervention]?
3.   Is it the right thing to do?
4.   Do we have support for [intervention]?
5.   How could the case for [intervention] be questioned?
6.   What types of criticism could arise?
7.   Who will object to [intervention] and why?
8.   What's the defence against critisim of [intervention]?
9.   Is there anything we have forgotten? Is there anything to add?

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