- Pitfalls in Problem Redefinition
- Techniques for Problem Restatement
- The Importance of Grammar
- Simplicity Pays Off
- Positive is Preferable
- Active Voice Facilitates
- I recommend an indirect approach, which is to restate the problem in
as many different ways as we can think of. We simply shift our mental gears into a
divergent mode (more easily said than done, I realize) and start pumping out restatements
without evaluating them.
- The key here, as in all divergent thinking, is letting the ideas flow
freely, without attempting to justify them.
- Sometimes restating the problem is difficult because the original
statement was poorly articulated. All the more reason, then, to more clearly define it.
- One can generally gain most of the benefits of restating a problem in
five or ten minutes. However, those minutes are quality time where analysis is concerned.
- Sometimes restating a problem points to a solution, though usually it
shows there is more than one problem and helps identity them.
- Most important of all, restatements should, whenever possible be put
into writing so we - and our consumer, if the problem is owned by someone else - can study
them. A record copy of the agreed-upon problem statement should be retained for reference
as our analysis proceeds. Retaining it not only enables us to check from time to time to
see if our analysis is on target.