Solutions not problems


It’s very easy to indentify when something is wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small one person task or a large project being undertaken by a whole team of people, finding issues is normally…  no, I would say, always possible; even easy to do. By spotting a problem you are nothing new. You are not doing anything different you do not stand out in any way. Solutions on the other hand are a rare commodity.

During my spell as the technical team lead at Headscape I tried to install something of a motto into the team. “Everything is possible, there is always a way.” And a few variations on that theme. When a project manager, or a client would approach me with a new piece of functionality or a new project or even just the beginnings of a new idea I tried to always approach it from the point of view that whatever they were asking for was possible to achieve. It was my job / my teams job to find the solution.

It sounds quite obvious really. We are a “solutions” business. Our job is essentially to solve our clients problems (even if they don’t see it that way). But this is not a concept that everyone has grasped. I’ve been involved in a number of teams who almost seemed to pride themselves on indentifying why a particular request wasn’t possible or was a silly idea.  Often talking themselves out of work in the process. In fact, thinking about it now, I wonder if that was the aim of the exercise. *smile*

Now I’m involved in project management I don’t want to hear about problems. Problems don’t help me. I want to hear about solutions.  Obviously there are often many issues with a particular request or piece of work. I’m not suggesting we just run along like a collection of blind robots and try to implement any idea that comes our way. But rather than just listing all the reasons why a given piece of functionality is a silly idea, think it through and offer an alternative solution.

If you approach every situation “knowing” that everything is possible and that there is always a solution then, in my experience, you will find it. And in a room full of people who are very capable of, and often very eager to, point out the issues you will stand out as the person who offers solutions.

It is very easy to find problems. The key is to find the solutions.

5 thoughts on “Solutions not problems

  1. Good post. We need to write ‘Nothing is impossible’ in big letters on a wall in the main studio, lest we ever forget! Probably got some orange paint hanging around here somewhere..
    Clever solutions to problems are often inspiring.

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