Problems, not Solutions, Part 2

In a conversation with some coworkers a few days ago I said something that sounded clever. I’m writing it down so I don’t forget it.

“If you’re a manager and you want your team to solve a problem, but you prescribe a solution, chances are your team will implement the solution without actually solving the problem.”

I’ve only ever encountered this pathology from the point of view of an engineer, and recently I’ve noticed myself getting much better at pushing back when a particular solution is forced upon me. Obedience is a curse that we all need to unlearn. Whenever anyone on my team blindly goes and does something just because their boss (or their boss) told them so, we all pay the price of needing to maintain more code that usually only half solves the problem. The project gets slowed down because people are spending time focussing on satisfying specific requests rather than just solving the problem in the most appropriate way.

I only hope I remember this advice if I ever find myself in a management position.

Link to Part 1