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Disney Creativity Strategy
The dimensional analysis technique is a checklist (Jensen, 1978) that relates to Five Ws and H, and is of most use as an aide memoir for initial exploration of a problem or evaluating options, particularly those associated with human relations, rather than of a technical nature. Jensen defines a problem as a violation of values – a slightly unusual approach that is reflected in this list:
Substantive Dimension (‘What?’)
- Commission/omission? Doing something wrong, or failing to do something?
- Attitude/deed? Is it necessary to change attitudes or practices?
- Ends/means? Is the irritant we see the actual problem or merely a symptom of it?
- Active/passive? Active threat or source of irritation?
- Visible/invisible? Is the problem masked (e.g. covert human relations issues)
Spatial Dimension (‘Where?’)
- Local/distant? Is it merely local or are their some remote influences
- Particular location(s) within a location. Recognise the exact area concerned.
- Isolated/widespread? Is the problem isolated or linked to several other problem areas.
- Long-standing/recent? Which are parts are new and which are old?
- Present/Impending? Is the problem happening or looks as though it may happen?
- Constant/ebb-and-flow? Is the problem always there, irregular or cyclic?
Quantitative (‘How much?’)
- Singular/multiple? Is there a single cause or are there many?
- Many/few people? How many people are affected by the problem?
- General/specific? Is the problem applicable to a broad category or very specific sub-area?
- Simple/complex? Are there several elements to the problem with complex interactions?
- Too much/too little? Appears as a shortage or surplus?
Qualitative (‘How serious?’)
- Philosophical/surface, is it an issue with deep values or surface practicalities?
- Survival/enrichment? Is it a live-or-die issue, or one to do with managing quality?
- Primary/secondary? What priority does the issue have top or bottom?
- What values are being violated? See Jensen’s definition of a problem (above).
- To what degree are they being violated? Qualifies previous answer.
- Proper/improper values? Not all values should be honoured.