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Do, Re-do, Undo

When creating something, it’s easier to think in the affirmative.  We think in a vector of taking actions and building things, and can forget that over time undoing those same decisions can be just as important.  Do, Redo & Undo asks a group to focus on this, and to think through the implications of dismantling and altering.


Ask the group to consider the following question: “Thinking about the organisation as it is today. If nothing changed about the way the organisation operated and it continued as it is today in the planned change what mistakes can and will be made?”

Best Case Scenario

Using post its, the groups brainstorm a set of items on sticky notes and pools them to create a starting set of scenarios to explore “undoing and redoing” Worst Case Scenario. In generating the initial list in Post it, the group has identified at least one Worst Case Scenario. Their task now is to address the items by focusing on three possible solutions:

Do: Change the design or plan to avoid the problem altogether. This takes the issue off the table.

Redo: Provide a means for altering action while its being taken. This may be a course correction or a buffering of the situations impact.

Undo: Provide a means for completely redoing an action and returning to previously known state. This completely abandons the scenario. Ask when they consider their response that if you knew that you can think about this as well as anybody else what would your ideas be? If there is a large number of worst case scenarios you may wish to prioritize them by likelihood and then focus on the hotspots.

There is an implied order of preference in Do, Redo & Undo. A problem that can be entirely eliminated by changing the plan avoids needing a “redo” or “undo” solution. As the group works through Do, Redo & Undo, they should capture their solutions and revisit the original Best-Case Scenario. Their draft of solutions should accompany the design of planned change as it matures, eventually proving itself in the real world.