Being creative and innovative is something that is widely touted, but how do we actually do it?
This may be needed for a particular issue during land development, most certainly necessary during design and of course during construction. In todays economy cutting costs is a constant factor and to do this whether you are using lean, value engineering etc etc at the core is being creative and innovative. While there are a range of issues that go into making a company or team creative including culture, here is one structured approach to creativity, PISA.
The Creative Problem Solving framework includes PISA is:
Define clearly what the problem is that you need to solve. Spend time on this, we so often dive right into assigning a solution that we don’t focus on the details of the problem in the first place. Also involve everyone connected at this stage, talk to the customer, trades and construction managers that deal with this issue, use their experience to fully understand the situation.
Again, don’t be tempted to dive into a solution! Gather ideas or ‘seeds’ that can be developed later. Engage a range of people in this activity, including the original group consulted to understand the problem but also others. Others in your team may have ideas or insights and would love to get engaged.
Finally, yes the solution. This stage involves evaluating the ideas and developing the ‘seeds’ in alignment with the problem to create an effective solution or range of sub-solutions.
This is putting the solution into action. This may be correcting a process, creating a new process or developing a new product. This can be the stage when the ideas do not get turned into action. So it is critical that those that will be creating and managing the solution continue to be involved and those that the solution is created for have the opportunity to provide feedback. This may involve a pilot project and use of a focus group depending on the project and its scale. But good project management is another tool to ensure that the solution is put into action.