Ever wonder why certain problems don’t seem to truly resolve no matter how many times you’ve tried applying solutions to them? Ever wonder why your team has a hard time agreeing on the best solutions to problems? The answer to these questions may lie in the fact that a lot of times, you haven’t identified the root cause of the problem. Instead, you are focusing on solving the symptoms of the real problem.
I.D.S. (Identify, Discuss, Solve) is an exercise that is introduced in the book Traction, by Gino Wickman. The process of this exercise allows teams to work together to identify not just one, but all ideas that they have about what may be causes to the problem. They then find correlations between the different ideas considered (or discuss), until they are able to identify one or two root causes and sort out what may just be symptoms of these root causes. By then focusing on solving the root causes rather than their symptoms, teams are able to reach more effective and permanent solutions to the problems.
Making this a part of the way we do things at Linus has helped us to live out one of our most important core values: Seek the Three Sides of Truth.