Part 1: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
1. A PROBLEM
What is the problem?2. PETER PIGEONHOLE PREPARED A PETITION
Who has a problem?
What is the essence of your problem?
How can we determine "What is wrong?"3. WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?
What is wrong?
What can be done about it?
A problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived.Part 2: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Phantom problems are real problems.
4. BILLY BRIGHTEYES BESTS THE BIDDERS
Don't take their solution method for a problem definition.5. BILLY BITES HIS TONGUE
If you solve their problem too readily they'll never believe you've solved their real problem.
Don't mistake a solution method for a problem definition - especially if it's your own solution method.6. BILLY BACK TO THE BIDDERS
You can never be too sure you have a correct definition, even after the problem is solved.Part 3: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM REALLY?
Don't leap to conclusions, but don't ignore your first impression.
7. THE ENDLESS CHAIN
Each solution is the source of the next problem.8. MISSING THE MISFIT
The trickiest part of certain problems is just recognizing their existence.
If you can't think of at least three things that might be wrong with your understanding of the problem, you don't understand the problem.
Don't leap to conclusions, but don't ignore your first impression.9. LANDING ON THE LEVEL
Test your definition on a foreigner, someone blind, or a child, or make yourself foreign, blind or childlike.
Each new point of view will produce a new misfit.
How could we change the problem statement to make the solution different?10. MIND YOUR MEANING
What am I solving?
Once you have a problem statement in words, play with the words until the statement is in everyone's head.Part 4: WHOSE PROBLEM IS IT?
11. SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES
Whose problem is it?12. THE CAMPUS THAT WAS ALL SPACED OUT
Don't solve other people's problems when they can solve them perfectly well themselves.
If it's their problem, make it their problem.
Whose problem is it?13. THE LIGHTS AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
If a person is in a position to do something about a problem, but doesn't have the problem, then do something so he does.
Try blaming yourself for a change - even for a moment.
Whose problem is it?Part 5: WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
If people really have their lights on, a little reminder may be more effective than your complicated solution.
14. JANET JAWORSKI JOGGLES A JERK
Where does this problem come from?15. MISTER MATCZYSZYN MENDS THE MATTER
Where does this discourtesy come from?16. MAKE-WORKS AND TAKE CREDITS
Where does the problem come from?17. EXAMINATIONS AND OTHER PUZZLES
There's two kinds of people in the world...
Where does the problem come from?Part 6: DO WE REALLY WANT TO SOLVE IT?
Who sent this problem?
What's he trying to do to me?
18. TOM TIRELESS TINKERS WITH TOYS
In spite of appearances, people seldom know what they want until you give them what they ask for.19. PATIENCE PLAYS POLITICS
Not too many people, in the final analysis, really want their problems solved.20. A PRIORITY ASSIGNMENT
Do we really want a solution?
We never have enough time consider whether we want it, but we always have enough time to regret it.
The fish is always last to see water.