August 28, 2016

About problems and hammers


There aren’t many problems that looks the same up close.

Sure, we need a product, but this one’s new. Then a project plan, but surely this one is very different from the last one. And a resourcing plan? But, yep, we’ve got different talents (and jobs) here to what we had there. And the financial plan, and the ops, and the …

Of course. It’s all specific.

It’s not that the problems aren’t the same – they pretty much are. It’s not that the available tools aren’t the same – they are too.

It’s that it’s too easy to confuse the tool with the answer. Not a means to an end, but an end shaped like a hammer. Blindly doing exactly what you did before, because if it worked once, it’ll work again.

Maybe, but probably not.

Problems are specific. Solutions are specific.

Skippy strategy: Before you pull out that hammer again – think.