November 21

How do you know when an idea is right? One distinct challenge of creative work is its subjective nature. Two people can have very different perspectives on the quality of a particular idea. Without a framework for making a decision, it’s difficult to have a meaningful conversation about which ideas are best.

One framework that I’ve taught creative pros uses three qualities of the idea, rated on a scale of one to ten, then discussed with the team. (This also works for solo projects, by the way.)

Effective: How effectively does the idea solve the problem you set out to solve?

Practical: How practical would it be to execute the idea, given present resources (time, budget, etc.)?

Interesting and Cool: How much energy do you or the team have about executing the idea? Is it something you could get excited about, or does it feel underwhelming?

Once you’ve rated the idea for these qualities on a scale of one to ten, you can begin to have a more productive chat about ways in which you might make the idea more palatable.

How could we make it more effective?

Could we scale it down to make it more practical?

How could we make it more interesting to us?

Using a framework to evaluate an idea makes a very subjective process (choosing an idea) into a more objective exercise.

Question: Is there an idea you’re evaluating right now that could benefit from the EPIC framework?

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