Week 1 – Dimensioning the Framing and Scoping of Work

  • Erik

    November 6, 2023 at 8:35 am

    I’m not sure if this is the right place for this comment, so let me know if there’s a better place for this kind of sharing @Chris and @Sarah

    I learned so much from last week’s meeting. Here are a couple of observations I had.

    I think I almost always start a project or endeavor having “pre-framed” the problem – beginning with a set of expectations and assumptions, and maybe even a solution or direction. In order words, I am already focused on tactics.

    I believe that my challenge is actually in “reframing” a problem. This also strikes me as more difficult because:

    1. I have to “get out of the way” so I can see other perspectives.

    2. I have to spend time in ambiguity / uncertainty (uncomfortable at best) rather than deliverables or results.

    3. As we have discussed in the past, we live in a culture of expertise, where having the answers and being brilliant are highly prized, and making mistakes, saying you don’t know, or having “stupid ideas” is frowned on, or even punished.

    Again, appreciate you all.

    • Chris

      November 6, 2023 at 8:48 am

      This is the perfect place to put your comment, Erik! And thank you for sharing it.

      It is common that a lot of challenges in our work come from folks discussing directions/solutions when they really don’t share the same framing of the problem. In essence, they disagree about what problem needs to be solved, not really possible ideas of what to do.

      Our typical 16-week consulting projects had 4-6 weeks of research and framing the challenge & opportunity. Then we would bring the client team in to use their expertise to “solve” the crisp, focused scope.

      I’ve found organizations have a harder time now taking the time to frame their challenges. Perhaps the whole lean/design sprint/minimal viable product has everyone believing that understanding the problem better doesn’t matter…

    • Sarah

      November 6, 2023 at 9:33 am

      Thanks for dropping your thought here Erik! I really appreciate the reframe about reframing (LOL). Reading this I’m struck that I absolutely do this same thing! Maybe something you and I can support each other with.

      I often feel pressure to “get to the answer”, which contributes to my rushing through or skipping over framing/reframing AND engaging a broader stakeholder audience.

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