Problem Solving4:26 with Dan Gorgone
If you can't work through unexpected problems, you won't be successful as a designer, developer, a project manager, or any profession. Solving problems can be amazing learning experiences, and make you even better at whatever you do.
Chances are, if you've been designing and developing websites and apps, 0:00 you've had the opportunity to think of ways to solve different problems. 0:04 Whether it comes from a client's business concern or your own technical issues, 0:08 solving problems gives you a chance to take a step forward in a project and learn a lesson for the future. 0:13 But even if you haven't, first step in problem solving is accepting that there is a problem. 0:20 Clients, colleagues, and others may come to you with some kind of issue. 0:26 They may fire off of a frightened, or angry, or freaked out message asking you to fix something yesterday. 0:31 The reason they're coming to you is that they believe you have the expertise to deal with the issue. 0:37 So, whether it's you're responsibility or not, by all means, deal with it. Don't ignore their cries for help, 0:43 and don't file it away. Before anything happens with an issue, you also need to understand the next steps. 0:50 Many places are flexible enough that you can jump right in and solve an issue. 0:56 But, if you work in a company with a specific help process that needs to be followed, point those people in the right direction. 1:01 Tell them what they need to do—contact this person in this department or 1:09 please fill out this support form so we have all the information. 1:14 It might not sound like help, but in companies that rely on a help process like this, 1:17 it's vital to keep data organized so nothing falls through the cracks. 1:22 If you can jump right in, start by getting details about the problem at hand. 1:26 When problems are bit more complex or require some work to solve, you have to gather information and prioritize. 1:31 Again, this comes back to time management flexibility. Does this require your immediate attention? 1:38 Is the issue they brought up really the actual problem? Some problems are actually symptoms of a different issue, 1:45 and this is where your experience can come into play. 1:53 Remember, your clients and colleagues don't always know what's really wrong or how to fix it. 1:56 That's why they came to you in the first place. 2:01 So, take the time to understand the situation. Not all problems require the same fix. 2:04 Details can vary from project to project, and it's important that we do what we can to provide the best care 2:12 when it's our responsibility to fix things. 2:19 At all times, keep communicating. Help create some expectations. 2:21 The problems are usually communicated because something's broken or there's some kind of urgency with the issue or both. 2:27 People need to know when something can be fixed, 2:35 as they often have to report back to others like upset customers or nervous managers. 2:38 Now, if you're working through a problem, always keep in mind what the desired end result should be. 2:45 A crisis is not a time to improve a process midstream or implement an unrelated fix that no one was asking for. 2:51 Stay focused. Deal with the most important part of the issue first. 2:59 If you have further thoughts, report back to your team about how these problems can be avoided in the future 3:04 but do that at a later time. 3:10 With any luck, you'll find an issue and propose a fix that can save others from the same frantic call or Email that you got 3:12 and support people, and customers won't have to deal with the same drama again. 3:20 In the end, be honest. Not all problems can be fixed with a quick code change or rebooting your computer. 3:25 Sometimes, things truly are broken. 3:33 If something is beyond your capabilities or the scope of your job, give as much effort as you can 3:36 and as much as you can afford to give and then point them in the right direction. 3:43 Sometimes a solution may be just one more step away. 3:48 All you have to do is push things along and then have the right person come along and deal with it. 3:52 So, how does this benefit you? 4:00 If you can't work through unexpected problems, you won't be successful as a designer, 4:02 a developer, a project manager, or really any professional. 4:08 Even if the problem is insurmountable, the fact that you tried to fix it means so much more than not trying at all 4:12 but solving problems can be amazing learning experiences 4:18 and will make you even better at whatever you do. 4:22
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