Mindset required to solve clear problems
A few weeks ago we discussed the mindsets required to tackle muddy and fuzzy problems. In this one, we would like to talk about the mindset required while solving Clear Problems.
Clear Problems are not about just having clarity on what needs to be done. It is also about having clarity on what it took to get to a clear problem. To address a Clear Problem, it is more important to have a solid understanding of everything that happened to reach the “clear” stage – the iterations, the failures and everything in between. While working on clear problems, you need to reflect on the learnings from previous iterations and use these learnings to design the solution in a manner that it scales.
Clear Problems tend to usually involve client IT organizations along with the business users. A Decision Scientist working on a “clear” project needs to have an appreciation for both the process rigor that IT organizations adhere to and the urgency that the business groups generally demand. He/she needs to be able to work seamlessly with both these groups.
“Clear” projects also tend to be longer in duration. One needs a process mindset while working on a “clear” project. Every element of the process needs to be meticulously planned. Strong project management skills are required to be able to take a long-term project and break them into byte-sized chunks for the teams to work on. Decision Scientists working on Clear Projects need to front load the design, plan, constantly evaluate and replan throughout the project.
No matter how clear you are while starting a clear project, change is inevitable. Business needs change. Technology might demand change. IT organizations might ask for a different security implementation. Therefore it is key that a Decision Scientist working on a clear project anticipates and plans for change, rather than resist it.