Solving a problem is hard, but harder is finding the correct problem to solve

Photo by Bonneval Sebastien

Recurrent retrospective sessions help to set a continuous improvement workflow. Those guide your team to find opportunity areas and test solutions. But, how can you design and facilitate those spaces? Read more · 1 min read

What if you don’t have a team? Try different ways to represent the problem. The more perspectives you get, the more chances to find a better solution. Frame the mess from different angles, using diagrams.

Tools of the week

More free resources at jantonioavalos.com/resources

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1. Explain to your team the rules for a safe space

  • Every opinion is valid
  • It’s not personal. Focus on facts, not blaming someone.
  • Open-minded listening to detect opportunities

2. Choose the questions template for a better perspective

  • Quick retrospectives define the team’s key focuses of attention
  • Mad, Sad, Glad format to understand your team’s emotional health and consider changes
  • Start, Stop, Continue template to focus the team on new habits by defining what to do or don’t
  • Sailboat framework helps to define the vision for the team and anticipate problems ahead
  • The 4 L’s look at the current situation from a factual perspective

3. Schedule action items with owners and follow-up dates

They will help as calendar remainders and keep track on people and tasks progress.

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Here are some diagrams you can use to frame a problem from different angles:

  • Block diagrams to illustrate concepts built by objects, their attributes and interrelationships.
  • Flow diagrams to describe the steps on a process, their connections and flow conditions.
  • Venn diagrams to highlight how different concepts or objects relate or connect.
  • Hierarchy diagrams to draw the relation between people, places and concepts.
  • Mind maps illustrates the connections between concepts, objects, ideas, channels, people, and places within a particular context.

More tools and a whole process explained at:

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Side-projects are never a priority. Do you remember those internal tools, book clubs, podcasts, blogs or health routines that were never done?

After those energetic starts, use these 4 steps to prepare a shared-place and ensure progress:

  1. Create a single-source-of-truth for knowledge and activities. Use a Wiki and Kanban apps.
  2. Set recurrent reviews and block execution times. Use a shared calendar and a task focus app.
  3. Prepare agendas with expected outcome and track tasks with a person and deadline assigned.
  4. Build relationships instead of transactions and ensure points of contact per topic. Use a simple personal CRM and schedule 1:1s with every person in your team.

Notion has a wide community with tips and free templates for every step:

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J. Antonio Avalos

J. Antonio Avalos

Product Manager & Certified UX Architect. I write about productivity, strategy and communication skills for creatives | jantonioavalos.com