I recently wrote about taking time upfront to get an assignment right. To ask for more than a single briefing on the context and impetus for a given initiative. To not take for granted that the process or artifact your colleague or client is seeking is the right tool for the job.
A recent Harvard Business Review article reinforces this idea and has a perfect quote from Albert Einstein:
- Establish the need for a solution
- Justify the need
- Contextualize the problem
- Write the problem statement
Too often companies go directly from months (if not years) of sub-optimized performance to panicked/hair-on-fire need for a project to address