When trying to help a team create a really great solution to a problem, a coach needs access to, and familiarity with, a variety of creative problem solving and project management tools that they can teach and share with the team. That's why we have created this Toolbox.
Before starting to solve the specifics of the problem, and (with care to avoid Outside Assistance) during the solution creation process, the coach can help the team acquire and develop new Skills & Techniques. How to write a script, how to join things together, how to use materials creatively or for visual effect etc.
At the first stages of the problem solving process, one of the most important steps is to understand the requirements and limitations of the long-term problem and to spend time and effort Problem Defining.
The next stages are Idea Generation, choosing ones to develop further and then for the team to work on Solution Focusing before starting work.
Once the team is ready to begin the writing, building and making stages of solving the problem, they should start to assign people to tasks, set deadlines and monitor progress, bearing in mind the available time before they will need to compete. The Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) methodology can also help in solving problems and improving their solution.
Obviously along the way the coach will need to help the team remain focused, on track and working well as a cohesive group; not allowing cliques or factions to develop and making sure all team members are happy and contributing to the solution - Team Management is an important role and responsibility for the coach.
At some point in the solution, hopefully sooner rather than later, the team should start thinking about Style and using the teams talents and skills to augment their solution. We have a number of videos produced by former OMers that will help the teams improve their style.
Of course throughout the process teams will need access to Forms and Files, whether it be the Program Guide, a cost form, team required list or style form. How these are filled out is very important, helping the judges understand the team's solution and hopefully maximizing the points awarded as a result.
"THE WAY TO GET GOOD IDEAS IS TO GET LOTS OF IDEAS
AND THROW THE BAD ONES AWAY."
~ Linus Pauling