An Invaluable, Practical Guide for Everyone Involved
in Product and Systems Development
The fledgling problem solver invariably rushes in
with solutions before taking time to define the problem being solved. Even experienced
solvers, when subjected to social pressure, yield to this demand for haste. When
they do, many solutions are found, but not necessarily to the problem at hand.
Whether you are a novice or a veteran, this powerful little book will make you
a more effective problem solver. Anyone involved in product and systems development
will appreciate this practical illustrated guide, which was first published in
1982 and has since become a cult classic.
Offering such insights as "A
problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived,"
and "In spite of appearances, people seldom know what they want until you
give them what they ask for," authors Don Gause and Jerry Weinberg provide
an entertaining look at ways to improve one's thinking power. The book playfully
instructs the reader first to identify the problem, second to determine the problem's
owner, third to identify where the problem came from, and fourth to determine
whether or not to solve it.
Delightfully illustrated with 55 line drawings,
the book conveys a message that will change the way you think about projects and
"This is one of the funniest, yet helpful books in print. The
authors do a great job in making difficulties into anecdotes while providing helpful
and valuable advice."
Charles Ashbacher posted on Amazon.com
"In a highly readable evolution,
the authors present insights on problem identification and practical approaches
which will be of immeasurable aid to the manager.
"Although the material
is serious, the treatment is neither stodgy nor unnecessarily technical. It is
a down-to-earth approach to the managerial problems of the '90s."
Van Speybroeck Data Processing Digest
wonderful and whimsical book from Gerald Weinberg and Donald Gause."
Kornfeld Sound Bytes
"Full of great
little tips and tricks. . . . at just over 150 pages it is easy to digest. It
serves as a great introduction to problem solving.
"If there is one
thing I learned from Are Your Lights On? it is that people don't do a very
good job at problem solving. Like usability, while problem solving seems so obvious
in retrospect, it is actually quite difficult. . . .
Gause and Gerald Weinberg point out, each solution is the source of the next problem.
It is very likely that you are only working on a few links in an entire chain
of problems. The scope of your problem must be chosen with great care.
Your Lights On? is a great book and I highly recommend it."
S. Rhodes WebWord.com
of our training and experience is focused on how to get the answer; how to find
a solution to a well-defined problem. In real life, most of our time is spent
trying to fit the current mess around us into something that looks like a problem
we might know how to solve. In Are Your Lights On? Gause and Weinberg offer
one of the few books (and fortunately one of the best) on ways that you might
go about investigating, understanding, and defining what you are dealing with
to turn the present mess into a problem that can, in fact, be solved."
McGee consultant and author of the weblog McGee's Musings
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