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Thinking Process Application Exam

2007 Thinking Process Review by Dr. Alan H. Leader

Exam Schedule and Registration

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Introductory Comments:

      This is an eight-hour exam focused on a Thinking Process analysis of a case study.

I.  The Thinking Process Exam Expectations

The applicant should have experience at the Jonah level (meaning to have the ability to apply the thinking process effectively in their own lives and to assist others, and have applied the thinking processes on many topics over a period of time.

The applicant has already proved general knowledge of TOC concepts as evidenced by passing the Fundamentals Exam.

The Thinking Process Exam goes well beyond the Thinking Process questions on the Fundamentals Exam which focused on: Knowledge, Comprehension and Basic Application. The Thinking Process Exam focuses on: Analysis (breakdown of information), Synthesis (putting facts together) , Evaluation (judgment of solutions) and the ability to select, apply, and interpret the Thinking Processes in new situations.

The case study used as a basis in the TP exam is significantly longer than the Thinking Processes cases in the Fundamentals exam. The case is complex enough to require significant thinking process skills, yet simple enough to be able to be solved during the limited exam period. The case represents an environment understandable in most parts of the world. It does not require any specific subject matter skill nor prior knowledge of any particular solution.

The applicant will demonstrate competency in all Thinking Process Concepts and Tools. These include: UDEs and Three Ude Cloud, Current Reality Tree (or its close cousin, the slightly abbreviated communications current reality tree), Evaporating Cloud, Future Reality Tree, Negative Branch Reservation, PreRequisite Tree and Transition Tree.

Because of the limited time to take the exam, a full, detailed thinking process analysis of the case is not possible. The applicant will be tested on several elements of the analysis representing major Thinking Process Tools.  

The exam will be graded based upon the applicant's clear, effective, and logical application of the thinking process tools consistent with the elements of the case. The applicant must show proficient use of the thinking process tools. The applicant should use self-scrutiny using the categories of legitimate reservation and ensuring good effect - cause - effect logic.

Upon successful completion of the Applications Exam the applicant must become a fully paid TOCICO Member to receive the full endorsement of the TOCICO, the TOCICO Certificate of Expertise and have their accomplishment recognized on the TOCICO Website.

II.  Thinking Process Exam Contents

The exam consists of two four-hour parts, containing questions totaling 100 points. The questions range from 3 points to 15 points each.

A typical exam contains the following structure and question types:

Case Narrative-the case background providing the relevant current information.

Part One:
      • Question 1. (3 Points)-Goal and Necessary Conditions
      • Question 2. (3 Points)-UDEs
      • Question 3. (9 Points)-Three UDE Cloud
      • Question 4. (7 Points)-Core Conflict
      • Question 5. (15 Points)-Current Reality Tree
      • Question 6. (3 Points)-Criteria for a good solution
      • Question 7. (10 Points)-Injections to a cloud
Part Two:
      • Question 8. (10 Points)-Future Reality Tree
      • Question 9. (4 Points)-Negative Branch Reservation (recognition)
      • Question 10. (6 Points)-Negative Branch Reservation (solution)
      • Question 11. (5 Points)-Prerequisite Tree (obstacles)
      • Question 12. (5 Points)-PrT (intermediate objectives)
      • Question 13. (5 Points)-PrT (I-O Map)
      • Question 14. (5 Points)-Converting an I-O map to a project plan
      • Question 15. (10 Points)-Transition Tree

Total of 100 Points possible. A passing Grade is 70 points.

An Abbreviated Narrative with a Few Questions Typical of the Thinking Process Exam

 Case narrative:  

The market for Home Management Software was robust for a while but sales are now in a downturn.  This is becoming a problem and management is pressing to cut costs. And, with the six recent new hires, the Help Desk over budget.  Management recently said, "Your costs are out of control!  We want you to lay-off six Telephone Service Specialist.” That put an end to John’s thoughts of adding four more specialists.  

 Management views the Help Desk as an overhead function.  John views the Help Desk as an essential service.  He argued that Help Desk support is a necessary condition to increase customer satisfaction and encourage future sales.  And, the Help Desk performance needs to be expanded, not be reduced.  So far, he has prevented the lay-offs.

Sample Questions:  

1. Select an UDE from each of three areas: the company goal, and two necessary conditions.

2. Use these UDEs to construct a three UDE (the Core Conflict).

3. Draw a current reality tree (CRT), or its abbreviated communications form (CCRT), linking the core conflict to the UDEs you observed.

4. State your preferred injection to the core conflict.

5. Use an FRT to demonstrate that this injection will convert the UDEs to DEs.

6. Suggest an NBR that might occur if the injection was implemented.

7. Show how an injection would mitigate that NBR.

8. List 5 obstacles to implementation of the injections in (4) and (6). 9. Use intermediate objectives that would overcome those obstacles.

9. Construct an intermediate objective (I-O) map.

10. Show how this map provides a preliminary implementation project plan.

11. For one of the critical intermediate objectives, construct a transition tree.