Kepner-tregoe – what changed?

My MacBook has been behaving very annoyingly for a day or two, flipping the audio output between speakers and monitor apparently randomly. I struggled to work out why and was starting to become frustrated as the internet failed to provide answers. There were some helpful suggestions I tried, but without success. Sensing frustration approaching, I stepped back from the problem and got on with things.

Late on today, I had a video call with my boss and the problem occurred again. It suddenly dawned on then where the issue was and why there wouldn’t be many answers on the internet. The key question I needed to have asked, as so often with software problems, was simply “what’s different when this happens”. More broadly, “what’s changed”.

Many moons ago, a dear friend went on a Kepner-Tregoe course to look at problem management and he enthused about it as if he’d had a revelation. The KT method is quite old and has been superseded by newer buzzwords, acronyms and processes, which at their heart have very similar principles:

  • What happened?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How should we act?
  • What will be the result?

The flip side of this when we want to see something happen, is to consider carefully what we must change to bring that about and what other consequences there might be.

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