In every job it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. It doesn’t matter what your role is, once you get into problem-solving mode you lose track of the bigger picture. But consultants are supposed to be better then that.

You deal with this by always starting with the question ‘why?’. When your customer asks you to help them scale their web site - ask them ‘why do you need to scale it up?’. When they ask you to rewrite their legacy application - ask them ‘why do you need it rewritten?’. When they ask you to integrate their legacy systems - ask them ‘why do they need to be integrated?’. The answers will often surprise you.

When people frame problems they bring along all of the baggage that went into defining the problem. They have biases and misconceptions that a consultant doesn’t. That means that the problem they’re bringing to you might not be the problem they think it is. But if you never question the problem then you’ll be working on the wrong solution.

In every job it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. It doesn’t matter what your role is, once you get into problem-solving mode you lose track of the bigger picture. But consultants are supposed to be better then that.

You deal with this by always starting with the question ‘why?’. When your customer asks you to help them scale their web site - ask them ‘why do you need to scale it up?’. When they ask you to rewrite their legacy application - ask them ‘why do you need it rewritten?’. When they ask you to integrate their legacy systems - ask them ‘why do they need to be integrated?’. The answers will often surprise you.

When people frame problems they bring along all of the baggage that went into defining the problem. They have biases and misconceptions that a consultant doesn’t. That means that the problem they’re bringing to you might not be the problem they think it is. But if you never question the problem then you’ll be working on the wrong solution.