Rules To Problem Solving

Written by Richard Lowe

I've been working inrepparttar world of computers for 23 years, and I've learned a lot about problems during that time. I've found a few rules which, if followed, make it easier to find, understand, correct and verify problems.

Rule #1: Don't assume you understandrepparttar 131979 problem. This is one ofrepparttar 131980 classic mistakes of problem solving - you think you understand what's going on, but you didn't look deep enough or get enough information to really get it. Before starting to solve any problem, be sure you spend some time and be absolutely sure you understand exactly what's going in.

Rule #2: Don't assume thatrepparttar 131981 person who reportedrepparttar 131982 problem understandsrepparttar 131983 problem either. Inrepparttar 131984 computer field, I've found that users will report problems in many different, often bizarre ways. Sometimes they will describe it in such a manner that it appears to make sense, but actually what they are describing has no relation torepparttar 131985 problem at all. Remember, most people do not understand computers andrepparttar 131986 related technology at all, so they tend to piece together descriptions based upon what they have heard, what they think they know and what people have told them.

Rule #3: Duplicaterepparttar 131987 problem. Always, always, always duplicate any problem before you start working on finding a solution. Why? See Rule #4. In addition, if you can make a problem occur again, there is a much better change that you really do understand what's going on (rule #1).

Rule #4: You cannot know you have solved a problem unless you followed Rule #3. The only way to be sure that a problem is solved is to fix it, then exactly replicate what happened. The sequence is simple: duplicaterepparttar 131988 problem, fixrepparttar 131989 problem, then try and duplicate it again. If you've exactly replicatedrepparttar 131990 issue, then you can be reasonably sure you've fixed it.

Rule #5: Don't assume someone else understandsrepparttar 131991 problem. If you need to delegaterepparttar 131992 problem to another person, or if you are receiving instructions from another person to solverepparttar 131993 problem yourself, do not ever assume they understand what they are talking about. Always follow Rule #3 to be sure YOU understandrepparttar 131994 problem. Do not take anyone else's word for it. If you delegaterepparttar 131995 problem, make surerepparttar 131996 person you give it to follows Rule #3.

Rule #6: Don't assume you have just one problem. Sometimes things are more complicated than they seem. It's never a good idea to assume that there is just one problem to be solved. Throughoutrepparttar 131997 entire problem solving process, keep your eyes open and find any additional problems that you may see.

Rule #7: Don't assume there is more than one problem. Also, don't makerepparttar 131998 assumption there is more than one problem either. How do you follow rules #6 and #7? Just base your conclusions upon what exists, not upon your assumptions or what others have told you.

Rule #8: Don't assume there is a problem at all. Just because someone reports a problem does not mean there is actually a real problem. I remember when I got very upset because my car was making a strange noise. I brought it torepparttar 131999 mechanic and had him spend hours checking my car to fixrepparttar 132000 noise. As it turned out,repparttar 132001 noise was normal and was not a problem. Hours wasted when there was no problem at all. Ifrepparttar 132002 mechanic had followed Rules #2, #3 and #8, I would have been out ofrepparttar 132003 shop in a few minutes.

Awards Programs: Handling The Winners

Written by Richard Lowe

Someone has sent in their site to be reviewed as part of your awards program. If you've done everything correctly, this should happen several times per week or even per day. You could review them as they arrive, or you could set them aside and do it once a week or on some other schedule. This is completely up to you.

Okay, so you reviewrepparttar site and it meets all ofrepparttar 131976 criteria for your program. The site has good content,repparttar 131977 links (at least those you checked) seem to work,repparttar 131978 HTML looks okay and, well, it's just a pretty good site. What do you do now?

This depends upon how you are running your program. I've seen some sites which simply send a very quick email withrepparttar 131979 awards graphics and a simple link - and that's all. Not very satisfying, really.

Then again, I've received awards from other programs which go all out. I remember receiving a long email which informed me I was a winner, went into all ofrepparttar 131980 exact criteria which I passed and failed, and left no doubt in my mind as to why I receivedrepparttar 131981 award and rating that I got. So what do you need to do at a minimum?

- You need to informrepparttar 131982 winner that he has received your award.

- Congratulate him or her for their accomplishment.

- Attach their awards graphic or inform them as to it's location.

- Request a link back if that's something you desire from your program.

This isrepparttar 131983 bare minimum, and it will serverepparttar 131984 purpose nicely. Personally, I like to send an email which congratulatesrepparttar 131985 winner and says some good things about his site. For example, I might mention thatrepparttar 131986 page about their pet was especially cute,repparttar 131987 article on how they survived some disease was meaningful orrepparttar 131988 gardening tips were especially useful. The point is simple - by including such details I'm showing that I did actually look atrepparttar 131989 site, which makesrepparttar 131990 award more meaningful.

I prefer sending plain text messages as opposed to stationary or HTML. Yes, I know that stationary looks great, but not everyone can read them. All email clients can read text messages.

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