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How to solve problems that no one else sees except you?

Maksim Shalamov
10-07-2020 09:55
How to solve problems that no one else sees except you?

You see the problem

Have you ever been in a situation when you see the problem, know what to do with it but it seems that the whole company with its complicated processes is against it? Someone just doesn’t see a problem, the other doesn’t understand the importance, someone acts according to some process (which can be misleading). You are constantly trying and at the end think that you’re there by yourself without any help or reason. Let’s look at this situation closely.
I know what I am talking about since it’s in my nature to try to fix an issue. Normally I prefer to act and solve a problem once and for all. However, sometimes things are not as you want them to be. You need to know that the bigger a company is, the more restricting you rules it has. It’s not a reason to give up, you just need to be persistent, patient and find a right approach. Be ready that some things cannot be done quickly or the way you want it to be initially. Let’s talk about what you need to remember when you’re planning to solve a problem.

Communicate with people

Firstly, you need another person’s opinion. Your decision is likely to affect the others – your team, business department, your bosses, processes and so on. At this point you need to make a list of all the people involved. You need to talk to each one of them, hear their opinion and look at the reaction towards your decision. Sometimes notifying and educating others about your position helps. Getting through the steps together and hearing third-party advice sometimes is going to give you extra support in the future, when you are going to implement such things. However, sometimes you are going to face some radically different point of view or opposition. It happens when people don’t see anything wrong with a process as they are currently working with. Sometimes this process can even be their idea.

Search for relevant company rules

Secondly, you may be in search of rules to undermine your decision. If there are such, you need to discuss the flexibility of these rules with the responsible part (it may not even be your immediate supervisor). It may happen that you are not breaching anything.
So, at this point you have a list of all the people and processes standing between you and your decision implementation. Now you have two options. You can both make a decision and be responsible for that, or you just can’t. If you can make a decision, think it through one more time considering all the risks. Than act.

Work with opposition

Sometimes you can make a decision, as there is some opposition. Then you need to work in two directions. Firstly think if you argued your thoughts well. Are there any hints in your opponents’ opinion you can use as a base for your words? It may you think the same way but just haven’t understood each other. Considering (and writing down) all this get another round. Now you need to find new arguments to support your idea and ask others’ opinion about your way to solve a problem. Knowing other people possible ideas is useful, as you can find another solution during the discussion. I would recommend asking it during the second meeting. Thus, a people will know you’re serious about the problem. Also a person already knows about an issue. Even if he/she has already forgotten it, another discussion will still make it more productive. You can also raise a point of barter. You will find out if you can do something so your decision is accepted. For example you want to avoid attracting the dev part of your team to the reports making. This way business department can be left without analytics. You make consider letting analysts to see your data or arranging another way of making reports. Sometimes it can be that analysts are not allowed to see a database. There can be personal data (in this case you need to make it anonymous) or analysts write long queries so it effects the work (in this case you may need to arrange another database). So there are various options. You may not see the other side of a problem, so you should try to compromise.
If it’s not working and an issue is grave, you need to be patient take the following steps. You should find new arguments and bend your solution to cover all the rules, if it’s possible. You also need to discuss this issue with your supervisor and opponents quite regularly. Then, every time the production process suffers because of this problem, take a note and tell you bosses about it. Then one of two things will happen. You may find a new decision, which is going to follow all the requirements. It can be a totally different way to fix an issue. You may also need to hand over this part of the job to the opponents. Another possible outcome is the damage of not taking actions. In this case the bosses will step in and eliminate a problem whatsoever.


In conclusion I would like to underline the importance of patience. You need to understand that everyone looks at an issue differently. It may be a problem for you, but a pure marvel for another department. Don’t try to fix everything altogether. Chose a priority and work towards it patiently and consistently. You will be surprised how much you’ve changed as some time goes by.
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