How to Use the PSI Framework is a guest post by Nader Mowlaee
PSI stands for more than just “pounds per square inch” when inflating tires. It also stands for a meaningful way to enhance your value to a potential new or existing employer, especially during job interviews.
The PSI framework is also a great method you can use on the job to sell a project, product or idea to just about anyone. It’s an amazing tool to convince engineering leaders and managers that there is a problem needing to be addressed and that your solution is the best way to fix the issue.
P – Problem
The first step in the PSI framework is to identify a problem. You must fully understand the issue at hand from multiple angles. Quantify all the facts first in order to present a comprehensive problem, before you think about finding a workable solution. Learn as much as you can about it through different methods like surveys, online research, speaking with senior engineers on your team or even other departments, such as those who work on the manufacturing floor or the production staff who may have experienced similar problems or challenges.
“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe.”
– Abraham Lincoln.
This is an excellent example showing why we must prepare as much as possible to ‘define the problem’, before attempting to solve it. Following this process will prepare you for the next step of the PSI framework and show the necessity of your solution, and the need for you as the problem-solver.
S – Solution
Every problem has a solution, and in this case, it’s up to you to come up with it! The solution is typically what is being sold in the PSI equation. Your solution will have to fix the problem and provide positive results. It could be a product for a specific customer or market group, a new manufacturing process, or strategy that can eliminate a long-lasting problem over time.
Present your solution as a detailed plan in order to fully sell the idea to executive leaders. Include as much information and data as possible such as a timeline with milestones, any technical specifications and perhaps even personnel assignments. Quantify the results your solution can create and relate them back to the problem at hand; when possible, give examples and tell stories of previous success. Include an FAQ section so that your audience can see you’ve prepared well for your presentation, pitch, or job interview.
I – Impact
The impact statement describes how the solution will solve the problem, benefit the parties involved, and improve the overall situation. In an engineering job interview setting, this could include raising profits per product by using less expensive materials, improving the quality of a product by re-designing a part or component, speeding up manufacturing processes, or improving customer loyalty and satisfaction.
While writing your report using the PSI Framework, include all data and available information about the short-term impact of implementing your suggested solution, as well as the long-term effects of using that solution. You can also show what might happen if the problem remains which will support the idea that your solution is needed.
Present your PSI framework in a written report, slide presentation, or video, at job interviews. This framework can be used to sell just about anything, whether it is an idea for office improvement, a product for consumers, or your abilities to perform a job well and prove you’re the best candidate to be hired for an open engineering position.
About Nader Mowlaee:
Nader is a career coach who believes you can get everything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want. His mission is to enable engineers to break away from their fears and create the ideal lives and careers they desire. You can learn more about Nader through his LinkedIn account.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on the PSI Framework.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success