The Right Tool For The Right Job

There are a plethora of tools that you can use to get your job done. There are schedulers, budgeting tools, kanban boards, burndown charts, automation tools, and scripting languages. You can make the same graph in javascript, Excel, or Python. And you can query a database from any language you choose. 

With so much choice, it can be challenging to settle on the tool that you will use for a specific task. We often default to the tool that we feel the most comfortable with. We might know the solution, and it may work with the tool that we select, but it may not be the best choice for the problem at hand. Here are three questions to ask yourself to make sure you choose the right tool for the job.

  1. Is the problem easy to explain, or readily understood, but someone else, other than yourself, in the organization?
  2. After you have implemented your change (with the tool that you chose), would that other person be able to quickly learn how to tweak the automation? 
  3. If you had to explain your tool-choice to 7 consultants, would most of them (at least 5) understand how you solved the problem with the tool that you did? (These imaginary consultants don’t have to agree that it is the best way, they just have to understand.)

There are many ‘right’ tools for the job at hand. Most important is that the tools you choose can be used, understood, and replicated by other people. A group of people understanding the path that was taken will help ensure that you have fulsome conversations and have considered all of the possibilities.