Knowledge learnt on a subject does not bestow an ability to immediately solve a given problem on that topic. Previous learning provides a base from which a new solution can be formed, it does not provide a complete picture.
Creatives may attempt to solve a problem by comparing similar solutions and regurgitating them with a tweak or superficial twist. This is not solving a problem correctly, it is more likened to hammering a jigsaw piece that nearly fits in to a hole it was not meant to go.
Examine the problem as it has been presented to you. Discus with the stakeholder what they wish to see as a satisfactory outcome. During this discussion question why the outcome is desired. What benefit(s) does the outcome provide the stakeholder and what is motivating them to desire this result.
Take a journey with the stakeholder in to understanding why they desire this outcome and their motivations will educate you about their business needs.
Fully equipped with a more complete picture of the task assigned. Assess if the problem once solved fully addresses the stakeholders needs or you if you must work with them to reframe the problem based on any new knowledge uncovered.
Asking questions not framed within the context defined, could yield unreliable data which may skew a projects trajectory, or lead to incorrect conclusions.
Businesses seldom keep individuals employed that do not spend their money wisely and without a clear return on their investment.
Defining success criteria in this way enables the project to focus on what really needs addressing for the stakeholder and ensures time and effort spent by all parties is beneficial.
Finally it provides a clear path for a stakeholder to trace their ‘Risk vs. Return on Investment’. They help define the problem with you and can see the time and effort dedicating to applying the solution.