Critical Thinking

1. Vilfredo Pareto, the author of the 80/20 rule, observed this rule to be in effect in both _ and _.

fishing; the stock market
real estate; gardening
gardening; spelunking
eating; blinking

2. You have a very efficient and reliable team member on your team, but they are infamous for treating symptoms rather than root causes. What is the likely outcome of using their quick assistance?

Their output will be undocumented and unreliable.
The team may be provoked into disagreement.
The project will be reliable for years to come.
Any fix provided will be short-lived.

3. What’s the most productive way to apply the 80/20 principle to critical thinking?

Focus on the efforts that impact 20% of the results.
Spend 80% of your effort analyzing causes, and 20% analyzing consequences.
Focus on the 20% of efforts that impact 80% of the results.
20% of your efforts are unnecessary and should be cut.

4. You have a team member who is a bit inflexible; they are prone to doing their job without much reflection and they do not like change. Which pitfalls likely impact their critical thinking?

being unwilling to change the problem space, and failing to consider implications
failing to consider similar situations in unrelated areas, and not understanding the fundamental causes
focusing on things that do not matter, and not using the 80/20 rule
jumping to answers too quickly, and not teaching others their methods

5. Defining a clear problem statement can help you avoid this common pitfall.

focusing on the unimportant
jumping to answers too quickly
not thinking of future consequences
generating weak hypotheses

6. What does a problem statement define, overall?

what success for the project looks like
what role each stakeholder will take
the tasks involved in solving the problem
the symptoms of the problem

7. Three different lenses for thinking critically are to change your _, to change the context, or to change the reality of the problem space.

point of view
project statement

8. The “7 So What’s” are a critical tool for analyzing _.

consequences of recommendations
causes underlying problems
probability of milestones
roots of origin

9. If you want to improve your team’s critical thinking skills you’ll need to introduce them to the tools, give them opportunities to practice, coach them along the way, and _.

encourage them to rate each other’s work
hold them accountable when they don’t apply the methods
teach them to believe in themselves
reward the best performing team member

10. You just completed your analysis for a project and have your initial recommendation completed. After validating your results, what is the best next step you should take?

submit the results of the project to your manager for review
implement your ideas immediately
compare your results with other unrelated projects to see if new insights emerge
make sure your results are plausible

11. Comparing the solutions from _ can improve your analysis and lead to the discovery of new kinds of solutions.

high-level projects
successful projects
unauthorized projects
unrelated projects

12. What is the best tool for getting to a problem’s root cause?

the 7 So What’s
the 3 How’s
the 5 Forces
the 5 Why’s

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