Solutions, not problems

As I mentioned previously, I'm used to have 2 signs hanging on my office wall. One of them says "Perfection is the enemy of completion".

The second sign says "Solutions, not problems".

It's a Project Manager's task to spot problems as they happen, or even to predict problems that are bound to happen.

However, nobody is interested in problems. What they want - and need - is solutions.

So, unless you are dealing with an emergency, you do not want to report a problem unless you have some sort of idea or direction of a solution.

Actually, even in the case of an emergency you will want to report a solution, though it is usually is the kickoff meeting for the Crisis Control.

The best way to find a solution is to talk to those who will have to solve the problem, and ask them for ideas.

Once you have a clear definition of the problem and possible solutions, then you want to escalate the problem and its solution to whoever needs (and wants) to know.

Why escalate the problem? Because (as we discussed already), Managers hate surprises. Problems and their solutions will affect the schedule, and managers need to be informed of this.

How to make up lost time caused by this problem is another problem; one for which you want to find a solution.

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