Both “tech savvy” and “developer centric” professionals identify with the “Solution-oriented” mindset. Often times, some of us have difficulty in getting in the mindset of a professional solution-oriented developer. In contrast, those who are tech savvy are often quick to jump into a problem solving mode when confronted with challenges. So what’s the difference? Let’s explore these different perspectives to see if they make sense for your type of development.
The difference between “tech savvy” and “solution oriented” is determined by how you navigate problems or opportunities. In a technical project, where the goal is typically to write code and build systems, those who are tech savvy to understand that a formal IT project management process will be required. Those in a solution-oriented mindset recognize that the project management requirements are unlikely to include formal project management techniques. Rather, the focus is on applying positive attitude and skills to problem solving.
When you enter a problem solving mode, you are usually in an “us vs. them” scenario. You have an objective view of what needs to be done and your best guess as to how to get it done. When in this mindset, you can be more creative because you see potential solutions that others may not see. When in a traditional project management mode, you are forced to select one solution or the next without an objective view. This limits your creativity, because you are forced to choose based on “what is working,” not what could be working. Furthermore, you are more likely to be defensive of any perceived slights toward your group.
The difference between a developer who has a solution-oriented mindset and a designer/developer is that the former are more proactive. Being more proactive requires that you act before you have all the facts and information available. With a developer mindset you start with a few initial solutions and attempt to resolve them through the use of your team members. You don’t “think outside the box.” In a proactive mindset you are more creative because you are looking for ways of implementing solutions that were not considered previously. By being more proactive, the potential solutions are explored and utilized to solve problems.
A project management approach that involves a proactive approach also involves critical thinking skills. A good solution-oriented mindset requires critical thinking skills because you are considering many different solutions to solve a problem. If you’re not thinking critically, you won’t be able to arrive at a solution. You must engage in rigorous problem solving to make the best decision and keep everyone moving forward.
A project manager with a solution-oriented mindset is actually more effective than one who does not have these characteristics. The latter tends to be reactive and tends to get stuck in their comfort zone. The effective manager will be active and think outside the box. They will try new approaches and will implement solutions even if they feel that they are not the best approach to solve a problem.
The difference between a project manager with a solution-oriented mindset and a problem-oriented mindset is actually a personality quality. A problem-oriented person is more emotional and less rational. A solution-oriented person will be logical and more focused on problem solving. When you implement the two in your workplace, you will be more productive and have a better work environment. People will be working more efficiently and with fewer people will be lost in the corporate rat race. You will also find that you spend more time on problem solving and less time on non-problem-solving activities.
When you implement a solution-oriented mindset in your workplace, you will find that your team members are more involved in solving problems and working together. You will also find that the projects that you are managing to run faster and you will be able to achieve more goals. You will be able to make fewer mistakes and make them as precise as possible. You will be able to provide superior results and increase customer satisfaction. You will increase profits and your company’s standing in the market.