I am a big fan of trying to keep solutions simple.
There is no need to over complicate life, yet often that is the way things go.
Technology is a wonderful example of how, just sometimes, we can over complicate life.
The answer to a business challenge is often as simple as a change in process, or a very simple manual calculation (pretty sure calculators still work) yet too often manager leap to designing complex technology solutions, which of course add bells and whistles (because you are developing it anyway)!
If I can easily get the answer to my question without a lot of grief, is it worth the effort and cost of developing a complex solution?
Maybe it is the old story of the gentleman with one tool, a hammer … and it seems that the answer to all of his challenges somehow always incorporates a hammer!
The concept can apply to almost any aspect of our lives.
Let’s look at a typical sales problem.
If your business is having trouble meeting its sales numbers the proposed solution often involves strategy sessions, new compensation plans, hiring initiatives and months of planning. Very often the best answer is a little more fundamental … hard work, effort, attitude, maybe a little training and picking up the phone to make things happen!
Don’t get me wrong … I love technology and I am a huge fan of developing a strategy which you then execute.
I just don’t believe that it is always that complex!
Here are a few questions you might ask yourself next time you are wrestling with how to solve a problem:
1. Do I truly understand the problem … or am I looking at the symptoms?
2. Have other people already solved this problem? (Ask!)
3. What is the most basic solution?
4. Does adding technology, or strategy sessions, make the solution appreciably better?
5. Is there a measurable return on my investment if I opt for the more complex solution? Will the solution be “better enough” to warrant the costs?
6. What happens if I don’t fix the problem? Just sometimes the “problem” is really a niggle, rather than something worthy of your time.
7. Are all of the pieces of the puzzle working effectively … and the results are not right? Or is it possible that the “problem” is more fundamental?
8. Have I really given the situation some thought, or have I jumped to conclusions?
9. Who do I know that can help me work through the potential answers?
10. If I owned the business would I want me to spend time on this issue?
Keep it simple people!
“Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.”