Summit: Power Modeling - Self Training

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The second session at the Indianapolis Productivity Summit was dedicated to Power Modeling, a series of techniques for self training on technology tools.

Behind the concept of Power Modeling is a single principle: the mismatch between our mental models for systems and the actual internal mechanisms. For example, many people misuse a common household thermostat by giving it a “stretch goal”—setting it well beyond the desired temperature in the hopes that the device will make the climate control system work harder. This technique might be effective for coaches and athletes, but is only wasteful on an HVAC installation.

Power Modeling encourages individuals to challenge their own assumptions about how systems work, and then begin to determine the actual model through analysis and experimentation. Rudimentary diagramming tools should be employed, such as mind maps and state charts, as these can help with the though process. Those working with power modeling are also encouraged to normalize data and procedures by breaking each down into the smallest, logically distinct parts and defining precise relationships. Aspects of tool usage that are repeated are often subject to iteration, which means that there may be ways to automate steps and make work more efficient. When employed together, all of these techniques can be used to facilitate analysis and help stakeholders teach themselves to use systems more effectively.

Albert Einstein once noted that “The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking which created them.” Power Modeling is an organized approach to higher level thinking about workplace systems. To learn more, or to schedule a training for your organization, check out our packages or contact Slaughter Development today.

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