Is − Is not
Creative tools > Is−Is
When to use it |
How to use it | Example |
How it works | See also
When to use it
Use it when you are defining a problem to decide what is in scope and
what is not going to be considered at this time.
Use it also when you are part of the way through a problem and you are
not sure what you are trying to do and what is not so important.
You can also use it when planning a solution, to help decide what to
include and what to exclude.
How to use it
Build the basic diagram
Draw the basic table as below. If you are working with a group, do it
on a flipchart page or a whiteboard.
Add a description of the overall situation at the top of the page. Use
a separate sheet if you need more than a few words.
Add 'is' and 'is not' elements
Now simply as 'What is included here?' and 'What is not included
here?', writing these down in either column as appropriate. Where it is a
close division, you can add examples to clarify what falls either side of
The bottom line for deciding where to place any point is to ask
yourself questions such as:
- Who cares about this?
- What will happen if we do nothing about it?
- Do we have the authority to work on this?
- What do I know about this already?
- Do we care about this?
- Will we actually do something about this?
Do be careful when asking these questions, as you may 'throw the baby
out with the bathwater' if you make incorrect assumptions about such as
what authority you have and what you can actually solve.
Wheels on car keep going out of balance
After high speed driving
On one car only
On ABC tyres only
Front wheels only
When driving around town
On other cars of same make
To be put off (like other problems)
How it works
Is-Is not analysis works by making you deliberately think about the
problem and in particular the boundaries of what it is or is not. It thus
helps to create focus in attention and consequently is more likely to lead
to the right problem being solved - it is a very common issue that an
unclear boundary can lead to wandering off the path and solving