The Creative Problem Solving Process (CPS), also known as the Osborn-Parnes CPS process, was developed by Alex Osborn and Dr. Sidney J. Parnes in the 1950s. CPS is a structured method for generating novel and useful solutions to problems. CPS follows three process stages, which match a person's natural creative process, and six explicit steps.
CPS is flexible, and its use depends on the situation. The steps can be (and often are) used in a linear fashion, from start to finish, but it is not necessary to use all the steps. For example, if one already has a clearly defined problem, the process would begin at Idea Finding.
What distinguishes the Osborn-Parnes CPS process from other "creative problem solving" methods is the use of both divergent and convergent thinking during each process step, and not just when generating ideas to solve the problem. Each step begins with divergent thinking, a broad search for many alternatives. This is followed by convergent thinking, the process of evaluating and selecting.