CADDManager on January 29th, 2014
This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Critical Conversations

You notice something.  Then you become concerned.  Then it becomes an “Issue”.  That is the progression…  but how does it move from one to the next?

These are the steps of items evolving beyond annoyance, anomaly or abstraction.  These are the items that have others moving beyond concern to very concerned, to an issue.  The conversations that others start with you begins with “We have an issue with…” and move quickly from there to possibly even more advanced levels.

How things move from Noticed to a Concern

If you notice something, you keep your eye on it and address it when it first looks to be a concern.  Others typically do not bring you things that they notice.  They may mention them in conversation, but it is typically not the topic of the discussion.  they may concur when you mention something.  They may validate your perceptions, but they seldom bring things up that they have noticed.

After investigating things you notice, if they are bigger than you think or have greater impact, they move to concerns.  You can move them ahead on this progression of awareness. When things that you notice move to things that cause concern, that is when you go talk to others. It has moved from being noticed and is now a concern.

But when do people come and talk to you about troubling items?  People mostly bring things to your attention when they have moved from being noticed to being a concern. This is when you hear about things that you have not noticed.  It happens when it becomes a concern to someone else.  They come and talk to you about it.  This is the same progression that happened like your own advancement from noting to concern.  The awareness just happened to someone else.

How things move from Concern to Issue

Moving from concern to issue happens when something along the pathway of correction fails to work.  It happens when corrective measures are not started.  There are a few ways that this happens.

Things get to the issue level by being ignored.  Face it, sometimes things just fall through the cracks. They get pushed to the back of the list when they should have been “noticed” and move to the front.  They get bumped behind something that seemed more urgent when they should have been seen as a “concern”.  They should have been fixed sooner than this.

Things get to an issue level when you are not made aware of them.  You may not even know that people have noticed some area of trouble, or when they have identified it as a concern.  They come to you when they are already broken. No one makes you aware of the concern until it is too late for you to head off the problem.

Things get to an issue level when your corrective measures are not enough. You may have seen it coming and started repairing the files or projects effected, but it is not enough to get out ahead of the problem.  The impact has started and you are not able to contain the effects.

Next up…  When Issues Descend into Failure

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