Having Sufficient Technical Resources Available: Using Option Solving

Not so long ago I found myself talking with a client project leader for a fast growing medical devices company. The market is developing rapidly for hospital handheld devices, where vital patient bedside information can be rapidly transmitted to the responsible physician or nurse.

Insufficient technical staff to meet the demand was providing a certain amount of stress for this project leader. She had to pull new teams together quickly once new projects came in, although her company was not in a position to hire people in advance without projects actually having arrived in-house. Additionally, based upon local demographics, she was challenged to assimilate technical people because of their diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

At some point we got around to figuring out the most effective question to get the option solving ball rolling and thereby resolve her dilemma. After some discussion, her question started to emerge as: “What is our best immediate option for obtaining sufficient technical people for completing projects, considering…”

To increase the effectiveness of the question, it is important to include her key considerations to provoke her intuitive capabilities into higher gear. She ultimately came up with 5 or 6, although particularly focused on 3: “…considering cultural differences within staff, tremendous time pressures, and time to complete multiple projects at once.”

Now that the question was complete, she could take the next option solving step, namely, deriving “bookends.” Bookends are those extreme options, the ying and yang extreme possibilities that would help frame a cluster of likely options. The pair she chose were: “Not wait for technical resources to appear” and “Disregard deadlines.” Why don’t we finish her story in the next blog, see below.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of this dilemma and its potential solution. If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks to finish: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘Having sufficient technical resources available?’” We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)

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Filling Vacant Storage Space: by using Option Solving!

Just imagine you are a manager of a storage facility and your success depends on filling all available space at worthwhile margins. Here you are with a fair amount of space available, but economic conditions are not helping you: especially as you focus on storing rather valuable items. Additionally, other players are pushing their way into the market so there is extra market squeeze. Your CEO is not enthralled at the space standing vacant.

Fortunately, as the storage manager you find yourself introduced to option solving. So now you are encouraged to think about the rational minded question which will fire your creative, intuitive capabilities into action. All being well, from this starting point, you will find a valuable option to solve your perplexing storage dilemma.

Your question starts out: “What is my best option for filling the vacant XYZ location storage space…” But then you have to start thinking about some of the special considerations that you and your team have to think about, which will either help or hinder the situation, such as: “No direct influence over sales,” “Current difficult economic environment,” “In-house competition from other facilities,” “Marketing budgets are tight,” and “Growing external competition.”

Once these are appended to your earlier question, you are prompted to devise “bookends:” yin and yang options that are too extreme to realistically consider. You are nudged to do this because they will prompt your intuitive senses into even higher imaginative gear. Put on the spot, you come up with: “Not to worry about it” at one end, and “Stand on the nearest corner with a sandwich board!” at the other.

Sparked by these and your comprehensive question, your intuitive mind begins to fire off more realistic alternatives including: “Collaborate more closely with Bill our salesperson,” “Ask clients for referrals, when they are happy with our services,” and “Keep wooing my fellow storage managers, relative to the way I make referrals to them.” You come up with at least two other alternatives.

Since you are not totally pressed for time, you have the opportunity to sleep on it overnight as a good form of emotional distancing. Your intuitive mind mulls over the question, considerations, bookends and your range of options during the night. It makes the many trade-offs, searches for comparable experiences, and synergizes many factors. By the morning out pops your best option. As soon as possible thereafter, you put your initial game plan in place and move forward: comforted that you’ve considered all the worthwhile possibilities and have chosen the best one. Within a month your space is filled.

Please refer to the Latest Example to view the overall picture of this dilemma and its potential solution. If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.
Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Using Option Solving to decide on ‘Having sufficient technical resources available?’” We will appreciate your COMMENTS or go to peter @ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger.)