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Engineering Series: Why Engineers Are the Secret Weapon for Consultancies and Agencies

Like most engineers, I have an insatiable appetite for discovering what makes things tick. My weekends are often filled with mostly successful attempts to restore broken appliances, toys, network connections, and computers. Most people spend their days trying to avoid problems. My inner engineer seeks problems out. Though I have not practiced as an electrical engineer for quite some time, the most important engineering skill that I learned I still use every day – how to solve problems.

Problem Solving

Solving problems is a skill that every person in an organization should possess – whether technical or creative, entry-level or executive, intern or company veteran. Every company will encounter problems. What separates resilient companies from successful ones is how the members of the company approach challenges and resolve them using a strategic strategy approach. This is where I believe that engineers have an unfair advantage. Engineers are taught to use facts and data to determine how things should work and then apply these theories to the real world to test their validity. This removes ego and emotion from the equation. The only thing that matters is whether a probable result occurs.

While there are many ways to codify approaches to solving problems, they are simply variations of the scientific method (see below).

  1. Make an observation
  2. Formulate a question
  3. Perform research
  4. Make a hypothesis
  5. Make a prediction according to the hypothesis
  6. Test
  7. Observe Results. Fix hypothesis.
  8. Repeat 5-6-7 until hypothesis matches result

This process is straightforward and can be used to solve technical problems, creative problems, and business problems. The magic in this approach isn’t the steps but how they are executed. The advantage engineers have is the amount of repetition in using this technique in solving problems through years of practice.

Applying the scientific method in problem-solving also requires creativity in making the right observations, asking the right questions, and doing the right research to formulate the right hypotheses. This is what sets Walk West apart from other digital consultancies. We are careful to make uncommon observations that lead to incisive questions and purposeful research. This enables us to create solutions that are built from technical ingenuity and creative artistry. Solutions that are not only functional but beautiful. I was drawn to Walk West by the opportunity to work with gifted designers and marketers. What cemented things for me in my decision to join Walk West was the culture of problem-solving led by an engineer who happens to be our CEO.

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