The Powerful PMI Thinking Technique
The PMI method of Edward de Bono is a deceivingly simple yet effective thinking technique.
Plusses, minuses, and interesting.
You do a PMI.
Make the List
This is the good old “make a list of what’s good and what’s bad” technique with the added bonus of “Interesting”.
Simply make a list of all the plusses, minuses, and “interesting” bits of something.
Don’t skip the “interesting”.
The “interesting” are the neutrals and sometimes the best parts.
Perhaps an interesting bit is you’ll get a chance to observe a side effect of your decision, regardless of how well it turns out.
A chance to learn.
Example: Delivering a Critical Bug-Fix Software Update
Let’s do a PMI on this!
- New features in hands of users.
- Fix bug that puts a high load on our backend servers.
- Getting it out in time will be stressful.
- We’ll have to pause a tech debt initiative to fix a bug in time for the release.
- How will users react to a release outside our schedule?
- Can the team pull this together without overtime on short notice?
See how there’s a new aspect to the list?
You now have a neutral section of what you can learn if you do this. An unemotional list of things to consider outside of bad and good.
That’s how doing a PMI helps you understand better if something is worth the effort.
The “Interesting” part let you consider aspects without judgment.
It’s just interesting!