in Leading Projects

Solution Perspective

Skip asks a very vital question "How do you react with bad things happen?" – an excellent post that empasizes the importance of solution perspective in job/business.

The world of IT and management is full of problems – technology and engineering challenges, unforeseen delays, people issues and many more. The way they are dealt with largely determines the growth of an organization.

Skip says,

There are really two major approaches people take when bad things happen.

Focusing on the problem.  "Why did this happen to me?"  "Who caused this?"  "I can't do anything about it, it has happened."  It's easy to start assigning blame for problems.  It's also easy for people to use problems as a crutch as something that is out of their control.  They are wrong on both counts!

Getting to the solution.  "What can we learn from this?"  "How do we fix things that have happened?" "How do we prevent this from happening again?"  Analyze the problem, but don't get fixated on it.   Ask the right questions to get to solutions.  People are looking to you to fix things, not just to point out the obvious!

As managers, we must strive to get our team to think the solutions-way. Team members usually have tendency to escalate each and every small problem to their managers. Team should be aligned to also think of solutions when they have a problem. When I was a team member, I used to escalate a problem to my manager with atleast five different possible ways of handling it. This not only saved managers time, it also helped me in finding ways to tackle difficult situations on job.

"How do we fix things that have happened?" and "How do we prevent this from happening again?" are the two most important questions that are very central to disciplines of project management, quality assurance and software process improvement.