This post was developed by my technical genius, Phil Romov. Phil has worked for me for almost five years and has solved pretty much every programming problem we’ve ever thrown at him.

Recently Phil was working on a fairly complex custom system we’ve built for a client. The system in question worked fine once upon a time, but then order quantity doubled, creating an exponentially more complex set of data and slowing down processing time. Phil tried to fix the program but didn’t get very far ? he wasn’t getting the results he expected and he was frustrated.

How did the fix arrive? He stepped away from the keyboard and we started talking. We went back to first principles, outlining what the program did and what we were trying to fix. The result – a new approach altogether, which proved successful.

The lesson: Very often, technical people in a company are the only people who understand what they are working on, but when solutions that have worked before are failing they can get VERY frustrated. Management’s response is usually a reminder that “you better get it done.”

An actual human conversation is often far more effective than an admonition and reiteration of the deadline. So when your programmers and other tech-oriented team members hit that brick wall, it may be time for them to peel themselves away from the monitor, take their hands off the keyboard, and have an actual discussion about what needs to get accomplished.

 

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