PMI Chart (the letters stand for plus, minus, interesting) is a brainstorming, decision making and critical thinking tool which can be a useful method of analyzing and reaching agreed understandings on complex issues and make a more balanced decision. It is used to encourage the examination of ideas, concepts, and experiences from more than one perspective.

A PMI strategy can help you to:

  • Brainstorm ideas by encouraging the members of the group to look at a proposed idea from multiple viewpoints, rather than taking a side and holding their ground.
  • Provides a broader view of the group’s views on the topic.
  • identify strengths and weaknesses for a problem for future improvement
  • make decisions quickly by analyzing and weighing the pros and cons

PMI Chart Template

Edit this PMI chart template

What is PMI Chart?

PMI was developed by Dr. Edward de Bono, a proponent of lateral and critical thinking. Learners can use the chart in discussion activities.  A PMI Chart is useful in a debate over a difficult decision because these types of decisions bring up many plusses and minuses. However, views and ideas will likely arise which don’t classify as either a plus or a minus, and these would be placed in the interesting column. Its power isn’t in the information itself, but the discussion that arises from the entries in the columns.

4 Steps for Creating PMI Chart

To complete you make a chart of three columns – “Plus”, “Minus” and “Interesting.”

  1. Considering the Positive points of a Situation – identify all of the positive things you can think of. Don’t critique yourself along the way, simply spill out all the positive points that you can think of.
  2. Considering the minus points of a Situation – identify all of the negative things you can think of. Again, don’t critique yourself.  Simply spill out all the negative points you can think of.
  3. Considering the Interesting Points of a Situation – identify all the interesting points that you can think of. Rather than positive or negative, they are simply points of interest that you should direct your attention to.
  4. Making a Balanced Decision – make balanced decisions because you’ve reviewed and organized three important perspectives of the situation: the positives, the negatives, and the interesting.

Example: Increase Product Price

PMI Chart Template

Edit this PMI chart example