problem solving | TechWell

problem solving

When the Solution Is Worse Than the Problem

Almost everyone can think of solutions that proved to be worse than the problems they were intended to solve. Somehow, we often fall short in anticipating what can possibly go wrong. That’s why wise problem-solvers strive to minimize unintended consequences by asking: What haven’t we thought of?

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Why Problems Are Good

Many large enterprise technology systems have suffered incidents that had significant impact to the customers as well as the firm itself. But experienced IT professionals know that learning from our mistakes is good, and so, too, is harnessing the lessons learned from a serious incident or problem.

Bob Aiello's picture
Bob Aiello
What Do You Do When You’re Stuck on a Problem?

Some problems we can resolve on our own in a couple of minutes. Some take more time, or we can’t resolve them alone. What do you do then? Johanna Rothman suggests scheduling a timebox to find a solution alone, then if that doesn't work, using one of the ideas in this story to "unstick" yourself.

Johanna Rothman's picture
Johanna Rothman
The Importance of Asking Good Questions

Kids ask questions nonstop. When they become adults, they ask fewer questions, and sometimes none at all. Yet questions are the best way to gain insight, develop understanding, and solve problems. If you feel reluctant to ask questions in the workplace, overcome that fear and start asking away.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Beware of Serial Status Meetings

Standup meetings are great in many instances. But if you're calling serial status meetings, you may find that people will stop attending. To engage employees and address issues quicker, you may want to try lean coffee or a problem-solving meeting. Read on for tips on involving your team.

Johanna Rothman's picture
Johanna Rothman
Take a More Agile Approach to Problem Solving

Your managers want you to estimate features or projects months or even years in advance. But the work changes—or the code changes, or the people on the project change. What you thought might be a reasonable estimate four weeks ago looks wacko when you revisit it in six months. What can you do?

Johanna Rothman's picture
Johanna Rothman
The Communication Trap Posed by Certainty

Certainty is a potentially dangerous mental flaw when we assume we know what others are thinking. It’s in situations of absolute certainty that we’re most likely to be wrong. When you're facing a problem, ask yourself if you’re sure you understand what the problem is—and ask for clarification.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
When You Should (or Shouldn’t) Complain at Work

Opinions vary as to whether complaining is a positive or negative thing. On the positive side, complaining can help you crowdsource solutions for your problem. But when done with negative intent, complaining is just annoying and detrimental. Learn how to tell the difference before you grumble.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten