What’s the problem we’re actually trying to solve?

Out at Shine's various client sites, our teams often meet to discuss the pros and cons of various technical solutions. And in the past, there was one particular Shine manager who, if he was in attendance, would regularly pipe up and ask the question: what's the problem we're actually trying to solve here? Whilst it was kind of annoying at the time, it's now grown to be one of the most common questions I ask in solution design meetings. In this post I'm going to talk about why it's so important, why we tend to shy away from asking it, and how you can go about answering it.