Issue Resolution – Determining a Solution

February 19, 2014 | , ,

This blog is the second in a series of posts designed to help technical leads get over the hurdles that inevitably pop up during any complex implementation; a series that was started with Understanding the Problem.

Once the problem is sufficiently understood, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get down to business.

  1. Involve the stakeholders. Once the affected project teams have been identified, quick and targeted interviews with subject matter experts should be held to collect the informational ingredients needed to cook up a solution. Identify gaps in understanding and engage the resources that can close them as quickly as possible.
  2. Build and present a proposed solution. It’s show time. Now that the input has been collected from the stakeholders, it is time to plot the course. There will likely be multiple acceptable solutions to any problem with distinct strengths and weaknesses for each. Creating a fact-based Design Options Analysis document is a great way to present each candidate solution while explicitly calling out impacts to time and budget. Remember, Stick to the Facts!

Always make sure that your potential solutions walk the line between reality and perfection.  For some guidance in this area, check out our article on how to Think strategically, proceed practically.

With the list of solutions now in hand, it’s time to present to the project sponsors. If you are properly equipped, this will actually end up being one of the simpler steps in the issue resolution process. Constructing a standard, focused document to list potential solutions and their impacts will greatly simplify the decision making process. Include diagrams and tables wherever possible… it is almost always more effective to show than to tell, particularly in cases where the audience may be less technically inclined. Endorse one of the potential solutions as the recommended approach, to help direct the conversation and avoid endless debate.

Above all else, be consistent with your approach and deliverables!  Settling on standard document formats and sticking to them makes each successive issue that much easier to solve as business and technical users will become more and more comfortable with the process.  With the right artifacts and a solid process, you’ll be “celebrating your success” in no time.

I will save the celebration for my next article!

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is a solution architect and technical lead at Systems Flow, Inc. His past experience includes a range of positions at small startup and large software companies. From requirements, design and development through relationship management, training and implementation, Bill has led all phases of the project lifecycle. This experience has spanned multiple verticals, including financial services, life sciences, integrated justice and manufacturing. Bill holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Brown University. For more information, see Bill's LinkedIn profile.


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