A recent fortune cookie fortune reminded me of an important Lean lesson. The fortune says:
“The best angle from which to approach any problem is the TRYangle.”
I’ve learned at Wiremold, originating from Art Byrne, the fundamentals of trystorming. This method consists of, “Rapid cycles of real-time experimentation, used to test and adjust improvement ideas before establishing standard work or implementing processes broadly.” In plain language this means – try it out! Try Storming incorporates physical actions that can engage other senses and give testers a better sense of whether an idea is viable or not.
Trystorming is different from brainstorming in that it encourages the rapid development and test of an idea rather than merely thinking about the possible solutions. It allows people to visualize, touch and further improve on an initial idea. It also models action rather than talk. Often in our desire to design the perfect Future State we forget that the best way to build a process that works is through the iterative process of trying, adjusting/correcting, and trying again.
The process is built on three basic principles:
- It is not important to create perfect solutions.
- Be action-oriented.
- Keep solutions simple.
These principles work hand-in-hand to develop effective solutions. When implemented correctly, Try-Storming can be used to continuously improve any business process.
One of the key reasons to utilize trystorming as part of any process design activity is that it models action rather than talk. By leaving the conference room and actually trying ideas during the course of the work, your team will quickly realize that your activity is more than just a meeting or an exercise in theory.
In addition, taking action typically increases the level of idea generation and team engagement exponentially. By mocking up and trying concepts the team will be able to visualize their ideas and transform plans into tangible improvements quickly. While trystorming requires much more energy than the traditional design approach, use of this methodology will significantly reduce the overall time needed to reach a workable solution.