Late in September, the Upstate NY Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) held a day-long meeting entitled "The Accidental Manager: Project Management and Leadership Strategies for Information Professionals." The morning speaker was Penelope J. M. Klein
Executive Director, Central New York Library Resources Council. As she talked about project management, Klein mentioned the technique of looking at a project from several different viewpoints. The technique she discussed is taught in the book Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono. Each hat is a different color and a different role. For example, red hat thinking is emotional, while black hat thinking looks at the negative aspects of the project.
Klein said it can be helpful to declare that, within a specific discussion, everyone is going to wear a specific color hat. You might, for example, have a green hat meeting, where everyone thinks of alternatives or a yellow hat meeting where everyone examines the positive effects of project.
Six Thinking Hats looks like a good book for a project team to read together, then use. Someone knowledgeable with the technique might be able to use it even with people who aren't familiar with it, by setting some basic ground rules.
Looks like this is a book I'll have to make time to read...