Test - Refine - Implement

Test - Refine - Implement

With the best possible solution identified...
Will you apply it fully - or first, test and refine?

Problem solving: part 3 - We have clearly defined our problem and created multiple options to find our best possible solution, now we must implement that solution. However, this is not the end our problem solving task - without testing we cannot truly know that our best possible solution will really solve the problem we are trying to fix.

When we create a new solution to a new problem and assume that it will work. Going all out to implement it, we find the hidden flaws and pitfalls. Unknown failings in the 'solution' become apparent - costing time, money, and energy, and potentially damaging our brand and customer relations.

Smart leaders know that a new solution
should be tested and prototyped.

A good prototype should quickly and cheaply test the validity of an idea without risking the whole. In 1956 Christopher Cockerell proved his Hovercraft theory by combing an empty cat food tin, a coffee tin, and a vacuum cleaner. He was then able to create a small working model, just 2ft in diameter tethered to a stake in the lawn, to approach potential investors.

Once you are confident that your solution will fix your problem, begin implementing it gradually. Test its validity as you go.

For example:
  • When installing new software in your office, start with just one computer and work with it for a week. Does it interfere with other programmes, or cause a massive system failure?
  • When hiring a new staff member give them a trial period and test their capabilities against the job specification.
  • Before investing in new equipment, borrow it and trial - Does it really do what you want?
Testing before a complete implementation is especially important when introducing a new service to your clients. Offer the new service to selected clients at a reduced rate, and ask for feedback - listen to what needs to be changed to perfect and refine your results.

Find all this and more in our monthly newsletter...

No comments:

Post a Comment