# Quick Hitter #1: Ad-hoc vs Structured Problem-Solving

### Both methods are required to be an effective problem solver

This is the first of many “Quick Hitters” (QH) I plan to publish. One of my favorite comedians uses the phrase, “Quick Hitter”, and I’m reusing it for this type of post. A “Quick Hitter” will be brief and contain a single perspective, learning, thought, or insight on a specific topic.

# TL;DR

We tend to bias towards structured problem-solving, however, ad-hoc problem-solving is required in the real world. You need to use both methods to be an effective problem solver. If you are biased towards one or another, learn the other and when to use it.

# Key Takeaways

It isn’t about whether ad-hoc vs. structured problem-solving is better; both are necessary, and neither is right nor wrong. We tend to bias towards a structured method as the only way because it’s logical and defensible when we’re questioned.

If you are biased towards action and GSD, you might be more of an ad-hoc problem solver. If you are interested in de-risking your situation and ensuring you get it right you might be a more structured problem solver.

An ad-hoc problem solver will need to be structured at some point and vice versa. The adage “in the absence of data, take action” lends itself to the ad-hoc method. From there, you can use that data and use the structured method.

The best problem solvers understand that both approaches are necessary in our complex world. If you’re purely structured, you end up with analysis paralysis, if you’re too ad-hoc, you introduce a greater chance of being wrong.

# Conclusion

Your goal is to be *biased for action* AND *right a lot*. In a given moment this seems like a necessary trade-off to make. However, when you understand **both** are necessary for good problem-solving, you can implement both methods consciously and appropriately.

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