When I started blogging regularly back in the autumn I started with a series of posts about my favourite acronyms. Acronyms sometimes get a raw deal, mistaken for being trite or silly – but actually I think they can be really useful in summarising valuable ideas. In working with researchers for the last six years I’ve shared many (hopefully!) helpful techniques using acronyms. The posts I’m collecting here are eight of my favourites.
Previously, on this blog…
I finished last week’s series of posts with DRC – Dreamer, Realist, Critic. It’s easy, I think to be a Critic, but much harder to be a Critic in a rigorous or fair way. Today’s acronym gives a way to do that. PMI or Plus, Minus, Interesting is a thinking tool made popular by Edward de Bono. One can think of it as an improvement to Pros & Cons lists that people make when they’re trying to make a decision.
I’ve used it a lot over the last few years, because it is a neat and simple approach to getting information for evaluating ideas. Simply, it delivers three lists of points about factors that people find positive (Plus), negative (Minus) and things that people find Interesting, or find curious in some way. For example, an idea that I have heard about recently is that of scheduling specific times when I read and write email, rather than be open to it through the day (which is how I generally engage).
I am trying to decide about whether or not to practice this behaviour now, so it makes for a good example.