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DOC Tables of Contents: 939495969798990001020304050607080910111213

ACM 21st International Conference on Computer Documentation

Fullname:21st International Conference on Computer Documentation
Note:Finding Real-World Solutions for Documentation: How Theory Informs Practice and Practice Informs Theory
Editors:David G. Novick
Location:San Francisco, CA, USA
Dates:2003-Oct-12 to 2003-Oct-15
Standard No:ISBN: 1-58113-696-X; ACM Order Number: 613030; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: DOC03
Links:Conference Home Page
  1. Building on the user's experience
  2. Teamwork in technical communication
  3. Single sourcing
  4. Field studies
  5. Formal methods
  6. Design
  7. Getting and giving information
  8. Accessibility
  9. Roles of end-users
  10. Understanding users II
  11. Managing the process

Building on the user's experience

Multidimensional analysis for custom content for multiple audiences BIBAFull-Text 1-5
  Michael J. Albers
As technical communication gains the technology to deliver dynamic custom documents, the importance of the upfront analysis increases. As a major factor in supporting dynamic adjustment of document content, the task and audience analysis must clearly capture the range of user goals and information needs in a flexible manner. Replacing a linear analysis model with a multidimensional model provides one method of achieving that flexibility. With a minimum of three separate dimensions to capture topic knowledge, detail required, and user cognitive ability, this model provides the writer a means of connecting content with information requirements and ensuring a dynamic document fits varying audience needs.
Optimizing your documentation with the help of technical support BIBAFull-Text 6-11
  Rob Pierce
Maintaining technical support is costly. Better documentation means more successful customers AND lower costs of supporting a product.
   Most companies have two bodies of technical information that in many organizations remain entire to themselves. The information presented in the company's documentation deliverables and in their technical support data repository are not always consistent. There can be a real issue of redundancy and inaccuracy between these two areas of information.
   It may be common knowledge that working with Technical Support can improve your documentation deliverables, in theory. But in practice, there is frequently not a seamless integration of technical information, unless mandated by management for documentation groups and technical support groups to work together.
   This paper is a case study of this situation and presents some ideas on how to improve the probability of ensuring that one unified body of information is presented to customers. It is derived from experiences gained through working with a large body of technical content for a widely-used product, that includes application programming interface (API) reference information in the form of a Help system and a 900 page pdf file that ship with the product and access to a solutions database that is accessible from the Internet, given proper authentication.
Examining the use case as genre in software development and documentation BIBAFull-Text 12-19
  Ashley Williams
The practice of outsourcing among organizations frequently involves external companies or consultants introducing texts (or in rhetorical genre theory terms, genres) as means of transforming work practices in the company who sought expert help from the outside. Such an abrupt-seeming introduction of unfamiliar texts upon workers, either within or across organizations, characterizes a practice I call "genre dumping." This practice, however, contrasts with the rhetorical genre theory perspective that sees genres as typified actions that respond to situations that recur. While such theoretical perspectives may help us understand how genres function and/or evolve in extant situations, they may not be sufficient for describing what happens when texts are imposed upon workers with the purpose of creating situations entirely new to those people and with the expectation that the text type (i.e., genre) will enable the new situation to stabilize and recur over time. For example, in software development, the practice of genre dumping is exemplified by a growing trend in which companies are adopting use cases to learn or begin using object-oriented or iterative design methodologies. In fact, the use case genre features its own large and growing body of literature and is popular for its perceived richness and informality in iterative design approaches. However, much of the use case literature voices problems that can arise with the adoption of use cases. As a means of beginning to assess the function of use cases in a particular software project in which genre dumping has occurred, this paper reports on a descriptive analysis of two use cases used in that project. Discussed here are implications for (a) practice apropos of the use of use cases in development and documentation and (b) theory apropos of notions of generic recurrence and communicative success and the phenomenon of genre dumping.

Teamwork in technical communication

Patterns of communication and the implications for learning among two distributed-education student teams BIBAFull-Text 20-27
  Kofi Amponsah
In a recent pilot study of two Distributed-Education student teams, we learned how people collaborate in work groups. We identified different patterns of communication and the implications such interactions have for collaborative teams. An analysis of current practices in documentation by both teams was conducted, and it offered real world solutions for understanding effective communication interactions of academic and workplace teams in the creation of day-to-day documents. This study tries to answer questions such as, "What are the patterns of communication, and what consequences do these forms of communications have on the way student's learn in a collaborative or distributed teams and learning environments.
Seeing the project: mapping patterns of intra-team communication events BIBAFull-Text 28-34
  William Hart-Davidson
This paper reports the results of a qualitative study of the communication patterns of two student teams engaged in a design and documentation task. All communication events for each team are recorded and analyzed to produce displays that show how well-coordinated each team was throughout the project. The sorting and mapping methods presented suggest a new class of features for groupware applications, features designed to allow members of collaborative teams to monitor and adjust their communication patterns during the lifecycle of a project.
Research methods for revealing patterns of mediation BIBAFull-Text 35-38
  Shaun Slattery
Studies of workplace communication have shown numerous communication events can surround the production of a single target document. Not only must team members coordinate design decision-making and the production of documentation, individual authors must often coordinate multiple textual resources in order to make their own contribution to the team process. To explore methods of researching these phenomena and to determine how an understanding of these phenomena might inform the process of creating documentation, two pilot studies were developed. A diary study of two design team's communication was useful in identifying the purposes and gross patterns of the use of documentation to support work (mediation). The use of screen-capture software to record and study an individual author's drafting session helped revealed complex patterns of document use in fine detail, especially when supplemented by a stimulated-recall interview.

Single sourcing

Authoring translation-ready documents: is software the answer? BIBAFull-Text 39-44
  Jennifer Wells Akis; Stephanie Brucker; Virginia Chapman; Layne Ethington; Bob Kuhns; P. J. Schemenaur
This paper describes the experiences of a publications group and a localization group at Sun Microsystems, Inc., of evaluating and then adopting a translatability checker. Translatability checkers are fairly new to Sun. This paper's findings are restricted to the company's experience, rather than to the long-term effects of translatability checkers on publications departments. This paper attempts to follow these guidelines for translatability checking:
  • Sentences contain no more than 25 words.
  • Standalone pronouns are reworded.
  • The use of gerunds is limited.
  • Scenario-based and model-driven information development with XML DITA BIBAFull-Text 45-51
      Michael Priestley
    In this paper, I describe how I followed an end-to-end development process in the development of the user's guide and help information for XML DITA, using scenarios to define my information needs and maps to describe my information model. By using technology driven by maps and scenarios, I was able to keep the information focused on user goals and requirements from its inception through to its final form. The paper will also look at how an integrated end-to-end process can help keep information on track through staged delivery of content to ensure early and ongoing feedback, and will look at some future opportunities for further integration in the stages of the information development process.
    Beyond theory: making single-sourcing actually work BIBAFull-Text 52-59
      Liz Fraley
    In this paper, I discuss how we made single-sourcing work at Juniper Networks. This is a practical discussion of issues, problems, and successes.

    Field studies

    General hospital: modeling complex problem solving in complex work system BIBAFull-Text 60-67
      Barbara Mirel
    To be truly useful, applications for complex problem solving require distinct design approaches. One that is crucial is getting the user model right for dynamic, emergent, nonlinear work. Drawing on an example in healthcare, this paper proposes modeling complex work in ways that go beyond common user-centered approaches. It models nurses' dosage decisions as patterns of inquiry and visualizes them as task landscapes.
    Alternative methods for field usability research BIBAFull-Text 68-72
      Laurie Kantner; Deborah Hinderer Sova; Stephanie Rosenbaum
    Field usability research involves observing people in their own environments-for example, workplaces, homes, and schools-to learn their normal or natural behavior. Through field research, we can gain an in-depth understanding of the goals, needs, and activities of people who use the products and documentation we design and develop. This paper introduces three field research methods-condensed contextual inquiry, ethnographic interviewing, and field usability testing-illustrated with a short case history of each method. The paper then describes when and why to use each method, that is, how to choose the appropriate method for different data-collection goals.
    Using a handheld PC to collect and analyze observational data BIBAFull-Text 73-79
      Clay Spinuzzi
    Observational research has become an increasingly important tool in the technical communicator's toolkit as a way of analyzing audiences, discovering problems with current documentation systems, and envisioning alternate ways to design information. Whether it is used informally, in structured design methods, or in academic workplace studies, observational research is useful for technical communication. Yet collecting, managing, and analyzing data can be laborious, time-consuming, and hard to share among team members. Thus technical communicators sometimes avoid observational research in favor of interviews, focus groups, and usability testing -- methods that have their own strengths, but that are no substitute for observational research.
       In this presentation, I describe two projects in which I dealt with some of these barriers by using handheld PCs (a Handspring Visor and a Sharp Zaurus) as data collection, management, and analysis tools. Consolidating various techniques to a handheld PC -- particularly on the data collection side -- leads to a number of benefits, including a reduction in laborious manual transcription; the easy transfer from raw data to research databases; the elimination of work in digitizing audio and photo data for archiving in a database; on-the-fly analysis of data anywhere, without the need for file cabinets, folders, or other bulky types of data storage; and easy sharing of data among team members. At the presentation's conclusion, I will describe how I plan to further develop this fruitful line of inquiry by developing a crossplatform qualitative research tool.

    Formal methods

    An interaction initiative model for documentation BIBAFull-Text 80-85
      David G. Novick; Karen Ward
    In this paper we propose a model of creation and use of documentation based on the concept of mixed-initiative interaction. In our model, successful single-initiative interaction is characterized by grounding of contributions, and successful mixed-initiative interaction is characterized by both grounding and agreement. Just as in spoken conversation, achievement of actual agreement depends on the intentions of both parties; agreement is achieved when the reader follows the documentation's instructions. In fact, readers are not obligated to-and often do not-act according to the author's intentions. By making these dynamics explicit, the model can aid authors in developing effective documentation. The paper describes the model and its antecedents, explains the application of the model to documentation, discusses implications such as effects of printed versus electronic forms of documentation, and outlines future work that includes empirical testing of the model.
    A theory of requirements documentation situated in practice BIBAFull-Text 86-92
      Norah Power; Tony Moynihan
    This paper presents a theoretical framework which attempts to explain the variety of styles of requirements documentation found in practice in relation to the variety of situations in which software products and systems are developed. It identifies situational factors that might be useful to categorize development situations from the point of view of the requirements documentation process. This framework is in contrast with much of the literature on requirements engineering, which takes a very prescriptive approach to documentation, and which takes very little account of the situation of use. The research was based on a qualitative study of requirements practitioners and their documentation practices. The empirical data collected from interviews in the study was systematically analyzed using the grounded theory method and a computer-based tool, ATLAS.ti.
       The framework is in three parts. The first part is an analysis of requirements documents as texts, categorizing the different constituent elements that might be used to specify requirements. The second part is a scheme for classifying system development situations with respect to the requirements documentation process. The third part of the framework takes each of these situation types and matches it with an appropriate style of requirements document that is found to be typical in that situation. The aim of the paper is to explain (or structure an explanation of) the diverse ways that system and software requirements are documented in practice. To date, this diversity has not been examined by any empirical study or theoretical framework. Most requirements specification techniques are regarded as application-independent, assumed to be context-independent, and presented as if they were universally applicable. Requirements specification standards follow a similar line. The paper concludes that standard prescriptive approaches have failed to identify the necessary and sufficient contents and style of a requirements document, because what is good enough in one situation may not be desirable or acceptable in another.
    Towards a documentation maturity model BIBAFull-Text 93-99
      Shihong Huang; Scott Tilley
    This paper presents preliminary work towards a maturity model for system documentation. The Documentation Maturity Model (DMM) is specifically targeted towards assessing the quality of documentation used in aiding program understanding. Software engineers and technical writers produce such documentation during regular product development lifecycles. The documentation can also be recreated after the fact via reverse engineering. The DMM has both process and product components; this paper focuses on the product quality aspects.


    Using AI techniques to aid hypermedia design BIBAFull-Text 100-104
      Elena I. Gaura; Robert M. Newman
    Artificial intelligence techniques have found a number of applications in hypermedia, mostly in two specific areas, user interface, particularly adaptive ones and information search and retrieval. There have been fewer cases of application of these techniques to aid the authoring process. This paper studies the applicability of some AI techniques to the authoring process, in particular, helping designers understand and control the structure of a presentation.
    Designing UML diagrams for technical documentation BIBAFull-Text 105-112
      Neil MacKinnon; Steve Murphy
    This paper presents a framework for improving the presentation of Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams, as applied in technical documentation produced at the IBM Toronto Software Laboratory. UML diagrams are a key part of program design. They can enhance understanding of complex programming concepts, and assist in problem analysis and solution design. In turn, UML diagrams can add significant value to documentation, helping the user to understand not only the solution but also the reasons for using that particular solution. Too often, however, UML diagrams are created in isolation by a developer, with little or no thought as to how they will be presented in documentation, be it online, in a PDF file, or in a printed book. This compartmentalization does not allow for the possibility that a diagram that was useful in the design phase of a project will not necessarily bring value to documentation if its stated processes or goals are unclear. Poorly designed UML diagrams can also have a negative impact on both project scheduling and costs. For example, production delays can arise because of increased back-and-forth time among developers, writers, and designers, and translation costs can escalate if a diagram contains text that must be translated.
       This paper presents a method for ensuring a collaborative process for UML diagram design. It provides specific tasks for each of the three key roles in developing UML diagrams for documentation: program developer, technical writer, and graphic designer. It makes the program developer aware of design principles that might otherwise be overlooked. It shows the technical writer ways to improve the design of the diagram, and offers a method for converting files to a common format that can then be utilized by the graphic designer. Finally, it provides the graphic designer with a methodology for quickly producing a clear, error-free final image that is manageable in size. By following the guidelines presented here, developers, writers, and designers can work together to produce clean, concise UML diagrams that will bring value and clarity to technical information. This clearly defined process will help eliminate miscommunication, shorten development schedules, and reduce production and translation costs.
    Formal design of SMIL presentations BIBAFull-Text 113-116
      Robert M. Newman; Elena I. Gaura
    SMIL (Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language) is an XML language for the distribution of synchronised video, sound and other media in presentations, and is likely to be the preferred format for distribution of multimedia presentations that include synchronised and streamed media. Previous work has argued that conventional hypermedia design methods provide insufficient design rigour to allow their use with confidence for safety and mission critical applications. It was shown how formal methods, derived from the theory of computer science, could be applied to the design of hypermedia presentations to provide a rigorous design technique. Two limitations of this work are discussed. The first is its restriction to closed systems. Although it was argued that most safety critical hypermedia systems are closed, this is not the case with many 'mission critical' applications, particularly those in e-business. The second limitation is the application of the technique to a relatively small number of media. Again, safety critical applications tend to be conservative in their use of media, but it would be advantageous for many other application areas if this constraint were not there.
       This paper discusses how this work may be extended in two key areas to remove these limitations. The first allows the method to be used the design of SMIL presentations, providing a means of rigorous design for synchronised and streamed media, necessary in these media are to be used in safety and mission critical applications, and is achieved by a detailed extension of the underlying models on which the method is based to cover the operation of SMIL.

    Getting and giving information

    What is this text about? BIBAFull-Text 117-124
      Nicolas Hernandez; Brigitte Grau
    Most work in text retrieval aims at presenting the information held by several texts in order to give entry clues towards these texts and to allow a navigation between them. Besides, a lesser interest is dedicated to the definition of principles for accessing content of single documents. As most information retrieval systems return documents from an initial request made of words, a usual solution consists of presenting document titles and highlighting words of the request inside a passage or in the whole document. Such a presentation does not allow a rapid reading and systems cannot satisfy themselves with it. Our studies lead us to provide indicative and informative view of texts as in summarization systems. We offer the user different levels of abstraction of a text: the first is a global overview, where global topics are indicated and positioned in the text. The second level of abstraction goes deeper in the topic description by adding local topics and information about the argumentative role of the segments. In this paper, we will detail the extraction of thematic descriptors and meta-descriptors that relies on recurrence -- respectively in a text or in the corpus -- and how their characterization provides the segment structuring.
    An adaptive viewing application for the web on personal digital assistants BIBAFull-Text 125-132
      Kwang Bok Lee; Roger A. Grice
    With the proliferation of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), people are using such small devices to access the web; however, the web is not accommodating such access. Here, for small devices' users, we present an efficient method for extracting readable documents from XML-based files, which will be used for information streams for mobile Internet access. We designed a selector for handling information streams to extract the customized information based on the user request for the small screen devices. The selector's attributes can be adapted from an XML document, and then used for translating information streams into the new file that will be displayed on the devices. Also, the selector has visual menu interfaces so that users can easily choose each attribute according to their preferences. This is developed to devise an efficient method for the small screen computers' problems. Furthermore, we prepared usability testing for the application in order to find usability problems, and then we offer further progress to improve the usability of working on devices. The prototype and implementation of this approach will be also provided in this paper.
    Information retrieval in technical documents: from the user's query to the information-unit tagging BIBAFull-Text 133-139
      Celine Paganelli; Evelyne Mounier
    Information retrieval systems within voluminous textual documents raise specific problems, such as the choice of the retrieval-unit and the relevance of each response. For the selection of the retrieval-unit, several solutions have been proposed, such as the exploitation of the document logical structure. In most cases, a measure of the retrieval-unit relevance is assessed using criteria, such as the number of occurrences of query terms in the document and their position in the document.
       Few systems are user centered designed and are adapted to the task they are supposed to assist: usually, these systems are based on paper-aid documentation electronically recorded with a standard information retrieval module. Sysrit (technical information retrieval system), a system under development, is aimed at users expert in the search of technical documents. The conception of Sysrit is based on observations made on these users. In this system, a technical document is automatically segmented into paragraphs (called information units. In order to improve the relevance of the responses given to the users, Sysrit proposes to tag the information units. Indeed, we make the assumption that a response is all the more relevant since it belongs to the same category as the query.
       We show that queries and information units can be first categorized in two types: the object (which corresponds to object descriptions) and the pro type (which concerns procedural descriptions). A detailed study of the object type shows that it is heterogeneous and covers different sub-types: objects descriptions (do), definitions (dfi) and specifications descriptions (df). Upon experimental validation with expert users, we first proposed to categorize the type of each information unit as either object or pro., and second to sub-categorize the object units as do, dfi or df. We here focus on queries more than on information units. A corpus analysis and a validation by expert users confirm that this categorization can also be used to characterize queries. Moreover, the results of this analysis enable us to propose rules in order to automatically recognize and tag each type of queries.


    How interdisciplinary teams created company-wide section 508 accessibility guidelines for writers BIBKFull-Text 140-142
      Sue Jackson
    Keywords: accessibility, section 508, writing guidelines
    Computer documentation for senior citizens BIBAFull-Text 143-146
      Scott Tilley
    The fastest growing market segment of new computer users is senior citizens. For many seniors, the computer is a puzzling device whose inner workings will forever remain a mystery. A lack of understanding of how a computer works doesn't necessarily mean that seniors' interest in using a computer is diminished. But it does mean that most of the documentation written to help them learn computing skills and use common applications is inappropriate. Based on a series of free seminars conducted in the first half of 2003, three issues were identified as key requirements of computer documentation for seniors that addresses their unique circumstances: basic vocabulary, just enough explanation, and exception-oriented guidelines.
    Hands-free documentation BIBAFull-Text 147-154
      Karen Ward; David G. Novick
    In this paper, we introduce an analysis of the requirements and design choices for hands-free documentation. Hands-busy tasks such as cooking or car repair may require substantial interruption of the task: moving the pan off the burner and wiping hands, or crawling out from underneath the car. We review the need for hands-free documentation and explore the role of task in the use of documentation. Our central analysis examines the roles and characteristics of input and output modalities of hands-free documentation. In particular, we review the use of speech as an input modality, and then visual means and speech as possible output modalities. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for the design of hands-free documentation and suggest future work. The design implications include issues of navigating through the documentation, determining the user's task and task-step, establishing mutual understanding of the state of the task, and determining when to start conveying information to the user.

    Roles of end-users

    Feature guides: improving usability for end users BIBAFull-Text 155-159
      Richard Hendricks
    In this paper, we describe the efforts of Juniper Networks to implement a Feature Guide documentation manual and discuss the usability merits of this documentation method.
    Making it personal: information that adapts to the reader BIBAFull-Text 160-166
      John Russell
    This paper examines the considerations for presenting customized and personalized information within an online documentation library. It discusses what techniques are practical for such a library, within the constraints of delivery technology and user behavior. It illustrates techniques for implementing such features, and discusses lessons learned from using these features in a real product library.
    Actively involving our information development teams with clients BIBAFull-Text 167-170
      Theodore Rivera; Adam Tate; Scott A. Will
    In this paper, we address the question: "How can you produce high-quality information if you've never directly interacted with the people who will use the information?"

    Understanding users II

    Technologizing change: rhetoric of software implementation at a university campus BIBAFull-Text 171-177
      Brenton Faber
    This paper reports on a study of new software implementation at a university. Seven emails distributed by a central Office of Information Technology were examined for semantic (content) meaning and syntactic (grammatical) function. Semantic findings show a high degree of topical shift. Syntactic findings show a high number of clauses and complements. The analysis also shows how determiners were used to construct "new" information as "given" (presupposition). The paper argues that discursive stability was created by technologizing the rhetoric of implementation. The study concludes by suggesting that a heavy reliance on dependent clauses, along with other features, may be indicative of technologized discourse.
    Knowledge circulation in a telecommunications company: a preliminary survey BIBAFull-Text 178-183
      Clay Spinuzzi
    How does knowledge circulate in complex, interdisciplinary organizations? How can we support that circulation of knowledge through documentation, information systems, and information design? Technical communicators have become interested in these questions lately, particularly with the recent turn to social, cultural, and interpretive theoretical frameworks. In particular, we have become interested in how workers create and share knowledge, how they impart expertise, how they surmount area differences, and how they use communication technologies (from computer databases to messaging systems to handwritten notes) to facilitate their work communication. But studies of knowledge circulation in technical communication have typically focused on individuals or small groups rather than entire organizations. Few major workplace studies have been done with an emphasis on knowledge circulation, especially as it occurs across many functional areas, such as might be found in a medium-sized company.
       In this paper, I overview the complex circulation of knowledge at a midsized (300+ worker) regional telecommunications company. Through interviews with 84 workers across the company (part of a larger study that also involves observational and archival research), I explore how workers produce and record new knowledge; how they draw on resources and strategies to examine knowledge coming in from other parts of the company; how they learn and draw on specialized social languages in the course of this knowledge work; and how they encounter difficulties due to various organizational factors.
       I conclude by discussing implications for how we design and document information systems that support knowledge circulation and point to how the results of this analysis will be triangulated and integrated with other data.
    A qualitative assessment of the efficacy of UML diagrams as a form of graphical documentation in aiding program understanding BIBAFull-Text 184-191
      Scott Tilley; Shihong Huang
    Graphical documentation is often characterized as an effective aid in program understanding. However, it is an open question exactly which types of graphical documentation are most suitable for which types of program understanding tasks (and in which specific usage contexts). The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is the de facto standard for modeling modern software applications. This paper describes an experiment to assess the qualitative efficacy of UML diagrams in aiding program understanding. The experiment had participants analyze a series of UML diagrams and answer a detailed questionnaire concerning a hypothetical software system. Results from the experiment suggest that the UML's efficacy in support of program understanding is limited by factors such as ill-defined syntax and semantics, spatial layout, and domain knowledge.

    Managing the process

    Liability for defective documentation BIBAFull-Text 192-197
      Cem Kaner
    Several companies are careless about the accuracy of their user manuals and online help, leading readers to believe that a product has characteristics that it lacks. Under American law, buyers of goods have a right to expect a manufacturer to stand behind its claims. False claims in documentation might subject the manufacturer to liability for breach of warranty, fraud, or deceptive trade practices. Warranty law has been evolving recently, with the development of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act and revisions to the Uniform Commercial Code.
    The software concordance: a new software document management environment BIBAFull-Text 198-205
      Tien N. Nguyen; Ethan V. Munson
    In this paper, we describe the efforts of Juniper Networks to implement a Feature Guide documentation manual and discuss the usability merits of this documentation method.
    Setting performance expectations for technical communicators BIBAFull-Text 206-209
      Vanadis Crawford
    This paper describes the importance of setting unique performance expectations for technical communicators along with a process to define and manage these expectations. Technical communicators are all individuals responsible for producing traditional documentation in book format as well as those individuals producing product integrated information, web-based information, and computer-based learning solutions.
       The process described is one we used for the Tivoli brand of IBM software.
    Managing innovation: 15 minutes of fame BIBAFull-Text 210-213
      Leah Ann Seifert; Vanadis Crawford
    In this paper we will describe a methodology used to encourage innovation and break-through thinking within our organization. This methodology is easily implemented in any team or organization with little impact to productivity.