Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?!!!

posted 21 May 2016, 16:50 by Dean Allan   [ updated 21 May 2016, 18:42 ]
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Isn't it funny how things present themselves just when you need them to?

A couple of days ago "Evil Dean" came out of retirement due to pent up frustration over an ongoing problem we have had inside the BookPals project.

The problem has been that we cannot get one particular report inside BookPals to work properly and I made a comment to our developer about his inability to fix the problem that ended up in a heated discussion which served no positive purpose at all to the business. 

I have been mulling over this discussion and how it could potentially hurt the project and then I listened to a podcast episode of Think Act Get by James Schramko and Ezra Firestone called Mistakes.

Think Act Get is a fantastic podcast based around the premise what you Think is how you Act which results in what you Get in life and in this episode James and Ezra were discussing how to think about mistakes when they happen and what to do to work through them.

During their discussion, James introduced a concept called The Five Why's where when you and/or your team make mistakes you analyse the mistake by asking "Why?" while stepping through each stage of the process that led to the mistake. 

After listening to this episode I started thinking about the problem we have in the BookPals project and how I had reacted to it by asking myself Five Why's.

Let me share them with you - 

Question - "Why are you angry?"
Answer - "Because we can't get the report right"

Question - "Why can't we get the report right?"
Answer - "Because the numbers won't display correctly"

Question - "Why won't the numbers display correctly?"
Answer - "Because the totals from previous months aren't being captured in the report"

Question - "Why are totals from previous months not being captured in the report?"
Answer - "Because we are using the wrong date range filter to run the report"

Question - "Why are you using the wrong date range filter to run the report?"
Answer - "Because you haven't told the developer that we are running the wrong date range filter!!!"

Needless to say, after looking at the problem in the context of the Five Why's it was very easy to apologise to the developer and get the matter resolved - particularly when it identified that I was the problem!!! LOL

Have a listen to the Think Act Get podcast episode about Mistakes to see if it can help you work through issues you are dealing with and thanks James and Ezra - this episode could not have come at a better time.