Don’t get hung up on something minor

Don't get hung up on something minor

I'm a problem solver. I love to solve problems. Which is great until it's not.

One trap for problem solvers like me is trying to solve a problem that really doesn't need to be solved. I see this happen a lot in data management, especially as it pertains to creating business rules or trying to automate processes that don't need to be automated.

For example, recently I was working with a client trying to address an issue with chapter management. The organization has over 3,000 chapter members in 50+ chapters, and one issue, in particular, was vexing us. After some lengthy discussion, a staff person mentioned that the issue in question affects fewer than 100 of their 3,000 chapter members. And so it quickly became clear that we didn't need to go to all kinds of trouble to program something in the member portal; for this particular issue, the association would just have the chapter members contact the association directly for help. Done and done.

But we had spent the better part of 20 minutes trying to solve a problem that didn't really need to be solved. And that's the trap we have to avoid.

So early on in any discussion, ask yourself (and everyone involved), "Is this really a problem that needs a solution?" Because the answer might be "no!"

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

"Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to."

January 10, 2019

In Dan Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness, he writes: “Experience is unobservable to everyone except …

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Know Your Audience Before You Speak

December 20, 2018

This one may seem obvious, but when you’re speaking to anyone, whether it’s one person, …

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"Behavior is a function of the person in their environment."

December 13, 2018

Lewin’s equation says “behavior is a function of the person in their environment.” (He was …

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Signal-to-noise ratio

December 5, 2018

Signal-to-noise ratio Signal-to-noise ratio, formally used, applies to electricity and engineering, and refers to how …

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Consultants bring perspective

November 28, 2018

Consultants bring perspective At a recent speaking engagement, I was asked what I think is …

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Garbage in, gospel out

November 22, 2018

Garbage in, gospel out We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out.” If the …

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Dramatic change does not happen overnight

November 15, 2018

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Like most things in life, dramatic change does not …

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Implementation Intention

November 8, 2018

Implementation Intention Editor’s note: I have a new email newsletter, sent weekly, called Wes’s Wednesday …

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