problem solving | TechWell

problem solving

Software team member going down a list of process steps Don’t Become a Slave to Process

More mature organizations are usually very process-disciplined, especially when teams are distributed. However, it’s dangerous to become overly reliant on process. People can become too complacent, accepting a process just to avoid having to make decisions. Here are some ways to keep your processes fresh and valuable.

Richard Estra's picture
Richard Estra
Cute dog wearing a disguise with a fake nose and glasses Beware Confidence Masquerading as Competence

Self-confidence is essential to tackling difficult problems. Where we need to be careful is not being falsely overconfident. What’s behind that overconfidence can either help or hinder your solving issues and achieving a good result. Here's how to make sure that confidence is backed up by competence in your team.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Agile team members putting together puzzle pieces Solving Problems and Seeking Solutions on an Agile Team

While teams are composed of individuals, all of whom solve problems and make decisions, people on consistently successful teams understand that they can be more effective when the focus is on the team, not the individual. Making the best decisions collectively delivers the most value to customers in the long run.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
Team members having a productive conversation in a meeting 3 Ideas to Prevent ‘All Talk and No Action’ Meetings

When many people are speaking in a meeting but it never translates into meaningful actions later on, it can leave us frustrated. But with some planning and collaboration, we can facilitate ways to make it easier for people to communicate better. Here are three ideas for a little less conversation, a little more action.

Barbara Kephart's picture
Barbara Kephart
Smiling woman holding a large box, photo by bruce mars Thinking Inside the Box before Venturing Outside It

In their rush to solve a problem, teams often overlook conventional methods in favor of out-of-the-box ideas. But sometimes, the old standbys—thinking first, reviewing criteria, and asking questions—work the best. Before jumping to creative tactics, start by examining the possibilities readily available inside the box.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
A pair of eyeglasses in front of a computer with code on the screen Does Testing Truly Improve Software?

Without revealing problems, there is no problem-solving, since we can't solve something we aren’t aware of. Each solved problem is one fewer problem in the software—and the software is improved each time a problem is removed. But it's not testing alone that improves software. So when does that happen?

Ingo Philipp's picture
Ingo Philipp
Man holding a light bulb Revitalize Your Problem-Solving by Conducting a Solution Analysis

When you're solving a problem, it's a good idea to analyze a solution you come up with before implementing it. One way to do that is to ask what’s good about a proposed solution and what’s bad about it, focusing in particular on the impact of the solution. This way you can be sure you've thought everything through.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Problem management Are You Problem Solving When You Should Try Problem Managing?

Usually in our projects, our goal is problem-solving. We find the root cause of a problem and experiment until we eradicate it. But is solving always the right path? Sometimes, our problems are temporary and only require a patch. In those cases, problem managing is probably the better choice.

Johanna Rothman's picture
Johanna Rothman