Are Your Lights On?

Are Your Lights On?

by Donald C Gause, Gerald Weinberg, Sally Cox
     
 

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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… See more details below

Overview

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 by Sally Cox, the book conveys a message that will change the way you think about projects and problems.

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Editorial Reviews

Barry Kornfeld
Another wonderful and whimsical book from Gerald Weinberg and Donald Gause."
Charles Ashbacher
/the premise of this book: How do you figure out what is really wrong, and also what is just as important, what solutions are viable options? 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.
Jim McGee
Most 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. This is one of the few books (and fortunately one of the best) on ways 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
Jim Van Speybroeck
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 managerial problems.
John S. Rhodes
If there is 1 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. As AYLO points out, each solution is the source of the next problem. It is 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. Are Your Lights On? is a great book—I highly recommend it

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012304674
Publisher:
Gerald Weinberg
Publication date:
04/14/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
691,923
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the four-volume Quality Software Management series.


I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble.


Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for mu writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is The book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

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