May
3

Problem analysis

By kellabyte  //  Firehose  //  1 Comment

In my short time in the industry so far, it feels like we hop from one fad to another. Each one has its merits and associated pros and cons, it probably wouldn’t be popular if it didn’t provide any value.

I can’t think of a quicker path to failure than thinking about the solution before the problem. I’m not great at problem analysis yet but it’s something I’m constantly reminding myself to do.

I consider problem analysis a fairly creative process. I try to brainstorm with my team (and invite other team members in for diverse opinions). Sometimes we spike some research to gain more understanding (time boxed). We write down the problems challenges and prioritize the areas with the most risk. We write down all possible options and try to identify their strengths and weaknesses and eliminate potential options that don’t align well with the problem. The obvious ones to eliminate are the ones where the risk collides with the weaknesses.

I think it’s crazy town to try and twist a problem into a potentially wrong solution. It’s my belief that if you keep choosing the same option every time, you’re guaranteed to be wrong some of the time.

Why would I do that?

  • http://baruzzo.wordpress.com/ Andrea Baruzzo

    One big problem with problem analysis is to keep the right perspective during the investigations, i.e. assuming nothing about the solution aspects in the first stages of analysis. Developers tend to filter things looking at them from an implementation setting. The attitude to observe the problem requires skills and a continuous effort to understand (and in some cases formalize) the problem model before to start design and coding. Which are the application fields of your work?