Difference between revisions of "XY problem / question"

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XY problems, often XY ''questions'', usually come in the form of a question towards a specific answer (call it Y), rather a question about the the problem (call it X).
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In talking about getting something done, it is useful to ask "How can we do X, to get to Y?"
  
(Named for a book mentioning that "How can I use X to do Y?" both explains why you asked, and may be a more direct route to getting it done if the other person agrees with the approach.)
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Because it both explains why you asked, and may be a more direct route to getting it done if the other person agrees with the approach.
  
  
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XY problems come in the form of "Could we do X?"
  
"could we do Y?", "how do I get Y to do this thing?" and many variants.
 
  
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In isolation it's a perfectly valid question, might be a poor way to get to Y.
  
That question is about something awfully specific,
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Which you don't know because Y never got mentioned.
and hints at being a puzzle piece in their personal take on a unexplained problem/solution - which may not be the most elegant solution.
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And it may be a long time before you end up at ''why'' they asked it,
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and discussing
  
 
Which isn't even that bad, but it may take a ''long'' time before you end up at ''why'' they asked it.
 
  
  
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That question is about something awfully specific,
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and hints at being a puzzle piece in their personal take on a unexplained problem/solution - which may not be the most elegant solution.
  
  

Latest revision as of 20:41, 10 October 2019