The importance of solving the right problem

At my job, I am something of a general problem-solver. I build spreadsheets, tiny web apps, up to imaging servers with custom software.

Our guy in data destruction (responsible for wiping the drives to ensure they’re reasonably secured) was having some problems keeping track of inventory when he counted it up, so I worked with him to make a little inventory clicker application that runs on an iPad we stuck magnets to – the joy of e-recycling!

He said that it works great, it looks great, it does exactly what he needed!

There’s just one problem – he never uses it. As it turns out, he just never remembers to use it, because it’s so far from his routine. Alarms might’ve worked, except the iPad is silent, likely due to a busted speaker.

Still, we solved the wrong problem first; the software doesn’t mean a thing if it doesn’t get used.

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