The Symptom

 Problem solving is done better when the symptom is articulated separately from the cause and the impact. The symptom should be articulated as the experience of the person reporting the problem, and his or her opinion about where the process/system failed to meet his or her expectations. There may be some steps leading up to the failure, and maybe an outcome (what happened after the failure.

Analysis of what is necessary to reproduce the symptom is valuable. Validation that they symptom can be reproduced following some steps is extremely valuable.

The context, or business process that the reporter was executing is important. A description of what should have happened instead is also valuable. These are part of the symptom.

— the cause is separate from the symptom. When reporting the problem, speculation with respect to the cause is simply that, speculation.
— the impact is separate from the symptom. When reporting the problem, the impact is only to be understood in the context in which the problem was reported. 

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