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Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Value a “Fresh Set Of Eyes” (FSOE)

I recently posted the below on the SANS Internet Storm Center.

The Value a “Fresh Set Of Eyes” (FSOE)

Ever notice that being close to a particular problem has an inherent disadvantage? Often working on a problem for a long time, combined with being very close to the problem leads to less than holistic perspective. You think about the problem as you go to bed at night and again when you wake up in the morning, but you find yourself stuck and need a dose of fresh thinking. I have found a strategy to account for this “syndrome" and want to share what works and also learn from your experience as well.

As a new team member, we are conditioned to sit back, open our ears and close our mouths in order to understand the current environment. Often times questioning things, with a healthy dose of respect for the work that has already occurred, can be quite beneficial to the team. Brutal honesty and crystal clarity is needed during this exercise. As mentioned in The Best Medicine for Your Business: A Fresh Set of Eyes “Odds are, an easy solution will be staring you in the face, but you just can’t see it”.

Every time I have been the “new guy” on a project, team or organization I have been uniquely qualified to provided a fresh perspective. I was not burdened with the baggage or the bias of how it had always been done and often was able to bring some clarity to problems that have existed for a very long time. Another approach I found effective is to ask others who are not on the team to review the project status report and share with you their unfiltered impressions. Can they arrive at the intended conclusion without a lengthy briefing? A great question to seek the answer to is - How much ramp up time do they need in order to understand your message and make a decision? Armed with a “new guy or gal”, your team may find they are surprisingly equipped to get past a current challenge and move on to a higher priority problem, such as delivering effective security metrics or making your security dashboard add business value. 

What is an example of a time that you were able to offer a fresh set of eyes? Use the comments area below to share what works.