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How to develop creativity with the PMI method
How to develop creativity with the PMI method

This tool will allow you to evaluate the idea from all sides and make an informed decision.

How to develop creativity with the PMI method
How to develop creativity with the PMI method

What is PMI?

I continue my column with tools for the development of creativity. I've already talked about four tools that help creatively solve problems and find cool ideas and solutions: associations, empathy maps, scamper, and freewriting.

The time has come to answer the question: "And which of all the ideas created by me is the best?" Which one should be implemented, and which one should still lie in your bank of ideas and mature? The advantages of this tool are that it is simple and consists of three words. The downside is that it doesn't guarantee instant results, but that's okay. There are hundreds of interesting features.

PMI, or "plus, minus, interesting", is a tool for evaluating ideas and making decisions, one of the huge tools for lateral (creative) thinking, which is developed and actively promoted by Edward de Bono, British psychologist and writer, an expert in the field of creative thinking.

How it works?

The name itself has the answer: when evaluating an idea, you should find pros, cons and interesting features in it. The most valuable thing about the tool is moving away from the two-sided model of evaluating an idea “like it or not like it”, in which you can hardly come to the optimal choice, because you immediately start criticizing and working in templates.

What is it for me?

PMI is an indispensable tool for life. It can be used to evaluate ideas after brainstorming, to make an informed decision about a specific life situation, for self-development and improve the quality of life, to increase the effectiveness of your actions.

In general, it is normal and constructive practice to evaluate situations and ideas from several angles. I recommend to everyone.

How to use PMI?

Here is a simple algorithm by which you can evaluate any idea right now.

  1. Write your idea down on the sheet above.
  2. Draw a table below with three columns: "+", "-", "i".
  3. In the "+" list all the pros and cons of the idea.
  4. In "-" list all the cons, negative points and possible negative consequences.
  5. In the "i" list, what else is interesting in this idea, what features you found. Maybe there is a strong emotional component or perspective for the future?
  6. Completed three columns? Next to each evaluative thought, put a score from 1 to 10, where 10 is the maximum (for both pros and cons).
  7. Add up the scores in "plus", then in "minus". Subtract the second from the first. If the bottom line is positive, it looks like a worthy idea.
  8. Do not forget that you still have the potential for "interesting", which often contains innovative ideas for further work. Yes, when evaluating ideas, you come up with new ideas - that's pretty damn cool.

What alternatives does this method have?

There are many tools for evaluating ideas according to several criteria. One of the interesting ones is the How-Now-Wow Matrix, a tool from Gamestorming that helps to overcome the "creadox" - the creative paradox when you come up with a lot of ideas using divergent thinking, and when evaluating, when it came to convergence, ultimately chose the most familiar (template).


Another alternative is the extended PMI. When filling out the scorecard is the first stage, and reflection on the answers is the second. The second step is to ask and answer questions. For negative points - "How can I use it?"

Where to begin?

Let's consolidate the work with the PMI in practice and do the exercise for 7 minutes. Look at the picture and fill in the IUI table.


How do you like this world?

Are there resources to help me?

Here they are:

  • Igor Mann, the # 1 marketer in Russia, proposed an idea for evaluating ideas, and one studio made the Mann Filters website - you can evaluate your idea very quickly and profitably for your business.
  • Edward de Bono's book The Art of Thinking about lateral thinking.
  • Philip Kotler's book "Lateral Marketing". Take marketing and lateral thinking - and voila.
  • The works of illustrator Nick Pedersen, just stick to them, you can write a PMI for each.

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