Plus-Delta - A Worked Example

Slide Introducing Plus | Delta (all rights reserved)

During August there was a great discussion in the LinkedIn group 'Professional Facilitators Network' comparing the use of Plus-Delta and Start-Stop-Continue, and introducing a number of other facilitation tools.

In the discussion I mentioned a recent half-day session during which participants in small groups used a range of problem solving tools - 6 thinking hats, the creative whack pack, affinity diagram, forced analogy, etc. The participants had half an hour using a tool; then about 10 minutes using Plus-Delta in a discussion about whether and how they would use the tool back at work.

When we all came back together to pool our learning, to commence we used the Roman gladiator method - as I read out the name of each tool, participants who had used the tool were asked to give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  All methods got an overwhelming thumbs up, tempered by a strong recognition that we must be aware of the stage that the problem solving process has reached.

(Earlier in the session we had talked about the 'stages' of fanning, exploring and focussing. (For more information of the Fan - Explore - Focus Model click here.)

Plus | Delta on the Forced Analogy Method

Here is Plus | Delta feedback about the Forced Analogy Method (during which I sat in on an excellent discussion about how a real business problem is like a flea/flea infestation/flea eradication):

Plus + 

Good for "fanning"
Common themes emerge
Useful for thinking about the needs of others
Identify context and conditions
Idea raised that would not have been otherwise thought about


Recognise in instructions that this is a divergent thinking method
Need a formal process to cull and catalogue ideas generated
Need to be clear on next steps - the process to make a decision

The last couple of deltas are not so much about 'Forced Analogy', as they are about how we transition from divergent to convergent thinking as we progress through fanning, exploring and focussing.

All the best using Plus | Delta to review processes and tools.