QWERTY® is for more than just the simple tasks. In fact, the more complex your project, the more help it can give you to think things through and come up with interesting and creative solutions. It helps you control the complexity to come up with a neat result.
This page gives you some ideas about how to take QWERTY® that little bit further.
The Quick QWERTY® page took you on a quick romp through your thought processes for a straightforward task. But what if you wanted to think about a project that has lots of different parts and which could take weeks or even months to complete? By spending a bit of time with QWERTY® upfront you can streamline your project, so you don't waste time on non-essentials but can spend it profitably on the interesting stuff instead while delivering a result that is of higher quality and greater interest.
Even in a complex project, the stages remain the same:
Q is for Question - where you note down your ultimate goal
W is for Wonder - where you generate as many ideas as possible
E is for Explore - where the Wonder ideas become viable solutions
R is for Rank - where you choose the optimum solution(s)
T is for Target - where you put that solution into action
Y is for YaY! - where you consider what you've done and learn from it
The complexity comes in delving a little bit deeper at each stage and/or doing a QWERTY® more than once so that each component of your overall plan is the best it can be.
As with Quick QWERTY®, you can read more about each stage in our dedicated blogs or watch our YouTube clips, which will talk you through each one. We've repeated the Resources box from that page so you can link to them easily.
“Out of complexity, find simplicity”
Detailed explanations of each stage can be found in our blogs:
Overview - QWERTY® A Staged Thinking Plan
There are further blogs that show practical examples of QWERTY® in use such as this one.
If you prefer someone to talk you through each stage, then you can watch clips on our YouTube channel, where we also show you practical examples:
Overview - Creative QWERTY®
For a complex project (or even a simple one!), you can also use our Forget-Me-Nots to think deeper about the stages. Some Forget-Me-Nots were originally designed for a certain stage (e.g. MORE Inspiration that we mention below is particularly suited to Wonder ), but most can be used in multiple stages, just in a different way. We'll mention a few here as we go along, just to give you an idea, but you'll find more information about them all on our Forget-Me-Not page.
Even in a complex project, the QWERTY® Question would be approached the same way. The main difference is whether this Question is the overview of the entire project, a component part, or one that helps you work out how to achieve a design you have selected from previous deliberations. The Forget-Me-Nots Essence and Key Features can help you identify what should be in your 'Qualifiers' and 'May Have' fields.
When it comes to Wonder, it's all about getting as many ideas as possible. If you feel you don't have enough yet, then try using MORE Inspiration. That's where you use Memory, Observation, Research or Enquiry to give your Wondering other avenues to follow. You might want to use ADDA (Alternative Directions, Different Angles), which encourages you to look at things from a different perspective, or Whose Views to consider what other people might think.
Explore benefits from you using ACES. Assess all your Wonder ideas (i.e. how well they might solve, or contribute to solving, your original question) and then Construct, Enhance or Select them to create viable, practical solutions. By that, we mean putting two or more ideas together to Construct something new, Enhancing an idea that is less than ideal by adding some kind of enrichment or removing problems or simply Selecting an idea that already looks workable. You could use Give it a WhiRL! to think about which ones might work, which are ethically or morally right and which ones you like. Anticipate, on the other hand, is all about the effect certain things could have on your solution. You could go back to ACES to find a way around anything Anticipate has flagged up.
By the time you come to Rank, you should have a number of solutions comprising a selection of your best ideas. You could rank them in a number of different ways, depending on which criteria you use to judge them. Which one(s) give you the best possible solution to your original Question? The first thing to use is probably P!C (where you consider pros, cons and interesting features) but you could also reuse Whose Views? or Give it a WhiRL! if you wanted to try changing your ranking criteria.
The Target stage of a complex project is the biggie. You have to think about how to bring those wonderful ideas of yours to life. To do that, you need to have a structured plan that identifies what resources you need, how long things will take and which task are interdependent or have to be done in a certain order. We have paper forms that will help you do that. TIMES and TIDES can help you structure your thinking here.
YaY!, as ever, is all about looking at what you've done and seeing if there is any way to improve it (if there is still time) or learning from it for next time. Gave it a WhiRL! goes back to the important questions of whether it worked, was it right and did you like it and is useful for considering the detail of what you came up with, where REF (Review, Evaluate, Feedback) helps look at the overall picture. They should be used for both the product (i.e. what you came up with) and the process (how you got there).
If you've got a specific question about QWERTY that you'd like help with, do feel free to contact us.
THE QWERTY® HUB APPROACH
There are times when you have multiple things that you want to balance in your product. A common combination at the beginner level is design and content - particularly when it comes to projects.
It can be a conundrum - you have to demonstrate your knowledge or understanding in a particular way (e.g. 3D model, slideshow, poster or infographic etc.) but the medium through which you must present your knowledge defines what knowledge you can show. So, do you start with the content or with the design?
Alternatively, you might think of using QWERTY® to decide what it is you want to produce, but you would also have to decide how you can do so (or if it's even possible), so you're trying to bring together theory with practical application(s).
You might have a project that has multiple questions. Each question is complex so would benefit from a QWERTY® of its own.
A good answer to all those scenarios is to use the QWERTY® Hub approach. You have the main idea at the centre of the wheel, and then do a smaller QWERTY® on each of the different creative elements around the rim. Feedback your ideas and/or decisions to the Hub QWERTY®, which is where you can rank them according to the constraints of that particular project. Go back and forth between the rim and the hub as much as you need to come up with your final decisions.
This handout explains the approach in more depth.