Problem solving in 5 questions

Published on Jun 06, 2020  |  2 minute read

Not all problems are created equal. On any website and in any business there will be an endless list of things that can be improved. Before doing anything, I find Nicholas C. Zakas’ list of five questions helpful for prioritizing if they should be fixed, by who, and how high of a priority it is.

  1. Is this really a problem?
  2. Does the problem need to be solved?
  3. Does the problem need to be solved now?
  4. Does the problem need to be solved by me?
  5. Is there a simpler problem I can solve instead?

Each question is designed to reveal something about the problem that allows you to go to the next step, or if you’re lucky, just avoid the problem altogether.

Nicholas C. Zakas

Nicolas has a detailed article called How I think about solving problems that’s well worth a read. It contains some nuance to each question which is helpful to understand.

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