Murder Boarding (TM) – Identify the best ideas and solutions – and kill off the bad ones
Murder Boarding is the process that marketing consultant Nilofer Mercent uses for filtering ideas and locating what really makes a difference in a specific situation and context.
According to Mercent there are three large parts to the solution of a problem:
1) Understand the core problem
2) Avoid the quick solution
3) Use Murder Boarding for killing the bad ideas and testing the good ones
Understanding the current situation
To understand the current situation means, that you have to know what works and what doesn't, and also know how your organization (or your client’s) as a whole solves problems. Then you'll know what to base your work on.
For instance, it's two completely different if the organization’s employees have a high morale and the technical abilities to implement an extensive overhaul of the company, than if there are few managers and a low morale among the employees who therefor cannot carry a heavy workload. Research and other methods are necessary for ensuring that you have all the data including emotions, facts, presumptions and previous mistakes. This requires openness and a shared understanding of many possibilities. After you've gathered all the material, the difficult par begins:
Avoid the quick solution
Most people want to stop when they understand the situation. Apply the ideas they've developed previously to solve the problems and then go straight to the execution. But there is a process, a complex, strategic, problem solving process, which will save a lot of time later on. Nilofer Mercent calls it Murder Boarding.
Use the Murder Boarding process
How it works: Before meetings with the client (or the chief management) the leading man or woman behind the assignment presents his or her ideas to the internal team. The team “poke holes” in the ideas and improve them before they are presented to the client. Make one, two or even more rounds with this approach to ensure that the idea is sound.
During each round bad ideas are terminated. Some ideas may sound good initially but then fail because of problems related to motivation, timing or competition. Apply actual operational thinking to build scenarios for what would happen if you followed a specific solution to execution.