Lichtenberg Principle - The procedure in brief

The procedure follows the pattern set out below.

  1. An appropriately composed, broadly-based, balanced and competent analysis group is set up. The ensuing group sessions make full use of the participants’ pooled expertise and experience, intuition and inspiration and not least of the group synergies: in short, the full range of the brainpower of the assembled company. At the outset, agreement is reached by the group as to its point of departure, its goal and the specific analysis procedure.
  2. A brainstorming process allows the group first to identify spontaneously - and without any ”no-go” areas - all possible uncertainties. These are then grouped and detailed according to set rules under a smaller number of discrete and mutually independent main headings.
  3. The group then tackles the requisite subjective estimates, avoiding biased optimism and other pitfalls. A scientifically developed set of rules is applied to avoid such systematic errors in these estimates.
  4. The statistical calculations for the first result are completed without contravening the natural laws of uncertainty (the Bayesian statistical theory). It is at this juncture that a successful new procedure which is both simple and sufficiently accurate has been developed.
  5. This first result identifies a ”top ten” list of the greatest local sources of uncertainty. The next stage is to work systematically top-down from the overall picture which this list gives. The aim is to detail successively the areas of greatest local uncertainty or to provide greater clarification of them. After each successive step the existing top ten list is updated and now provides the ideal basis from which to identify the next step in the clarification process. The well-known 20-80 rule comes emphatically into effect here and therefore only relatively few steps are typically required before all the predominant sources of uncertainty have been addressed. This makes the analysis task both practicable and comprehensible.

Based on these principles a number of practical procedures have been developed for a range of practical situations. For in-depth description of these procedures, please see this article or the practical handbook

Steen Lichtenberg

Dr. Steen Lichtenberg

1930 - 2019 †
Lichtenberg Principle - The procedure in brief
Brainstorming results in an analysis group is organised and evaluated. During successive steps are the uncertainties optimally clarified.