The Straw Man Concept

Build it Up, Knock it Down, and Create a Solid Final Solution

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A straw man is a rough prototype.

When the three little piggies built a house of straw, what happened? That's right, the big bad wolf blew it away! 

The same could be said of a straw man proposal. This is the name given to a first draft proposition that can be put together rapidly with incomplete data, so that you can create a temporary solution to a problem while you are working on something better. 

A "straw man" can be very useful, as long as people know that it has been designed to be pulled apart. When you begin a project or start looking into a problem, you often have incomplete information to work with. Rather than wait while you gather all the facts and data, a "straw man" lets you get going straight away with an incomplete solution, with the intention of finding a much better one, as you gain experience. Indeed, the criticism and testing that it receives provides vital feedback that can be used to develop a final outcome that is rock solid.

Suppose your revenue is falling and you have to come up with a better sales strategy. Using the straw man idea you might do the following:...

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