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How PacMan Helps in Problem Solving

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Let’s face it. For many of us working in technology innovation, PacMan was the thing to do at an arcade after school. If we were lucky, we had an Atari standing by to bring the yellow chomper into our homes, attracting our friends to camp out on our sofas for hours on end.

At our recent open house in July, our developers fired up an Atari 400. Excelion Partners’ Application Solutions Director, Ryan Moore, is the proud owner of the vintage console. It’s remained in the development lab since the event, providing quick mental breaks for the team.

“I talk about the old games with my app development peers. Decades later, we have a deeper appreciation that goes beyond what we enjoyed in our youth. We find inspiration in considering the obstacles the pioneers faced when making the first golden age of gaming a reality,” says Moore.

It’s the pioneering mindset (combined with a little technological fun) that drives the digital innovation team at Excelion to solve intense and complex problems.

In technology innovation, problems are divided in four categories. The first, level one, are problems that are well-defined and usually solved with process-improvement methods (i.e. Lean and Six Sigma). The second level may not have a solution pathway. These problems require invention, using both exploration and experimentation (think Einstein meets Edison).

Level three problems, in the innovation space, are the exact opposite of level two. They force teams to consider new applications for existing technologies. Our Purposeful Ideation sessions are well-suited for level three problems. Our team pushes beyond where the traditional solutions reside in the digital innovation arena.

Finally, there’s level four, where the problem and solution are undefined. The objective is to explore unknown territories. Research, journey mapping and intense ideation sessions are just some of the techniques needed to understand if a path to commercialization exists. We love level four problems!

There you have it. Problems, by their very nature, are not easy to solve. Still stumped? Contact us to visit our lab if you need access to our problem solving abilities, or a game of PacMan.

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