When describing a solution to be considered to solve a problem, describe also the factors that need to be in place for it to succeed and the factors that need to be absent for it to succeed. This is called describing the environment for it's success. In order to mend a burst pipe, the pipe may need to be replaced. So you need to know the measurements of the pipe in order to buy a new one. There must also be no water flowing when mending it. So the water mains needs to be closed or the pipe plugged somewhere else. Some factors will be absolute. It needs to be there or it cannot be there. However, one of the most critical factors is relative and that factor is time.

There are solutions that exist within a timeframe. When or the time a solution is going to be executed could be as important as the solution itself. Consider this and make a note of it when gathering solutions for the problem. Think about the time required to execute the solution versus when the problem has to be solved. Does the solution take too long? Is there time to correct another problem that may come up along the way?

Another question to ask ourselves is when is the best time to implement the solution. Does it depend on certain passing of time? Are there pre-requisites that must exist before a solution becomes possible? Are those time-specific?

Consider also the time when the environment contributes or does not hinder a particular solution solving the problem. Different solutions may work at different times. Conditions at different times may be right for a solution to work. This is part of the environment for the solution's success.

When dealing with time-sensitive solutions think about it terms of actual time. If that cannot be measured, it adds a uncertainty to the solution. Adding the uncertainty of a solution to the uncertainty created by the problem does not get you closer to solving the problem. It's like digging a bigger hole to solve the problem caused by a small hole. Avoid it if possible.

Remember, the best solution are usually the simplest.

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