Change is always hard, but more recently, lack of clarity has been giving me headaches! It creates such a deep “fog of war” that nobody is able to give a step in a tangible direction or take a holistic approach towards a solution.
I’ve been thinking about problem discovery, and how much is “enough” to go forward. Do we need to define all? Might be too much. Do we need no definition at all? Might be too little, and repeat the errors of the past.
For the past few weeks I’ve been researching for a specific program, but rather than start and try to come up with a solution, I took the first step toward understanding what is the current state, and what has been attempted in the past. Why past attempts didn’t work? What even triggered past attempts?
During my journeys, I’ve noticed that while several groups discussed “the problem”, everyone tried to solve it through the tools available to them at the time, but also not having clarity around the overall issue that was affecting everyone. They solved their localized version of the problem.
How do I provide clarity to these groups? Ways that I’ve been thinking about this, is via creating a document where we compare what we have vs what we want, and detail the hard decisions I feel we need to take towards having a holistic solution. But also where people took bespoke approaches due to tools lacking the features they required.
I hope that by gathering all this information, and presenting it in a way that we can tell as much of a complete picture as possible, we can start from this vision and “big picture” towards being able to deliver in iterations, and incrementally.
The hardest part about clarity is not only about the “vision”, but also in terms of being able to go from this clearly formed vision toward clearly formed iterations. If we don’t have clarity it’s hard to give the first step, or even if this first step is the right one.
You’re in a car, with an intended destination and a map.— Michael McCliment (@cornazano) August 27, 2022
Why is the “bias to action” so often, in practice, “start driving” rather than “look at the map”?
I’ve seen people take the stance of “let’s start”, and that became doing something that resulted in the efforts of the past. The reality is that there is time to think things through, not to a full extent but enough to understand the problem space and determine the steps with the highest leverage towards our goal!
That’s all for this week, and let me know how you provide clarity to your peers or the groups you work with!