!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Is/Is Not Analysis

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Is/Is Not Analysis

When I first encountered Is/Is Not analysis some years ago, it struck me immediately as a particularly useful tool in various situations in which careful analysis is needed. For instance, if you're trying to answer the question, "What business are we in?" creating a two column Is/Is Not worksheet, and then listing — in benefit terms — what you do offer customers, and what you do not, can help bring your business's scope into clear focus.

Most often, Is/Is Not analysis is used in problem-solving. The purpose is to sharpen the definition of the issue that needs to be resolved. Those working the problem answer these questions:
  • Who is/is not affected?

  • What are/are not symptoms of the problem?

  • When is the problem observed/not observed?

  • Where does the problem occur/not occur?

  • What does/does not make a difference in how quickly and efficiently we accomplish our objectives?
By answering these questions, you decide the scope of what you will examine and analyze, and what is not important or relevant enough to be a focus of attention at this time. You can see a simple example here.

The value of Is/Is Not analysis for problem solving is that it helps insure both that the right problem is investigated, and that the root causes of the problem are identified.