Well done for this article, I really enjoyed reading. Had heard of the “5 Whys” method in the past and I think such “easy to do” methods are always helpful to quickly analyze situations and react accordingly.
Another mental model which you didn’t mention was to map your situation to an analogous one. I found that using analogies can open up at least three channels of opportunities:
- Knowledge sharing — the better you can explain something, the more likely it is to attract people to it. People love complex stuff, but are weary of complicated matters. So with analogies you can unveil complex concepts as something your audience can relate to
- De-complicate stuff — couldn’t find a better term for it. If you can explain it then, many times, you can spot the extra fluff and cut it out. Remember: simple is beautiful, complex is awesome, complicated is scary.
- Brainstorming — using analogies you can spot features that could be adopted to your current context.
As you can see, I’m a big fan of analogies and so I am developing a simple method which can help people harness the power of analogies in their situations. I’m continuously building and improving the documentation, but would be happy if you give me some feedback on it.