In today’s post I’ll talk about decision making, more precisely the De Bono Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono technique. It provides a structured way of thinking about problems or anything that requires a decision making process and it’s a great tool for use in groups. What team have never encountered a problem or major decision in retrospective or planning meetings, which led to endless discussions?
According to Edward De Bono, people tend to approach these situations always in the same way, for example, emotive persons are guided by instinct, while logicians often use logic and stick to the facts. The idea of the Six Thinking Hats is that the target of the decision should be approached from different perspectives, and this is done using the metaphor of the hats.
- The blue hat is worn by the Scrum Master or some other meeting facilitator. This person will direct the order of the thinking hats.
- “Wearing” the white hat, the team sticks to expose all the available data on the problem or decision. Here, all the information is gathered and explained to everyone.
- The red Hat leads us to look at the problem or decision using our intuition. Here individuals are brought to use their instincts.
- When you “wear” the black hat it’s time to be pessimistic. It’s time to analyse everything that can go wrong.
- With the yellow hat it’s time to be optimistic, rising the positives things and benefits of the decision.
- Lastly, It’s time for the green hat. It’s time to be creative and explore different solutions. The idea is to make a mini brainstorming without being critical.
The order of hats is very important and should be carefully considered by the Scrum Master who shall take into account the knowledge he or she has of the team. A suggested order for problem solving is: blue, white, yellow, black, green and red.
This is a simple and easy technique that can save countless hours of meetings and avoid those meaningless discussions that do not lead anywhere.