In order to reframe my perspective on a problem, I will often ask myself how can I complete the same task with half the amount of resources. This may include cutting the budget or the staff assigned to the project in half or reducing the amount of time that something is due.

Imposing extreme constraints on a project can have the effect of getting people to focus very quickly on the essence of the problem, defining it, and then developing a solution. The result is often a product that likely wouldn’t have been created if the team had still been working under the usual constraints. Existing tools, processes, or procedures tend to get thrown out the window during this kind of exercise, but that can often help people to think outside of their comfort zone.

There are various tools and methods that can be found in design and management articles to describe how to effectively solve problems. It can also be tough to challenge the status quo in an organization, but sometimes just having the courage to ask, “What if…?” is all that it takes to spark a positive change.

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