In Praise of Resource Scoping

When assessing your environment, problem or your goal, meticulously scout the tools at your disposal. When you’re learning a new job, a new project or a programming language’s tools for example, it pays to have a grasp of your options. Researching what documentation, guides, tools or libraries are at your disposal will help you accomplish your goal. That sounds obvious but here’s what I mean.

Seek out resources. Bookmark links and support info in an Excel spreadsheet with a handful of columns, for example. Soon, you’ll amass a collection tools and guides to get things done. Most companies or products have “resource centers”, mountains of internal documentation, tools and blogs. At many organizations, people have likely made tools for something they needed in the past then moved on. Often these tools can be leveraged for anyone who cares enough to seek out, read about and learn how to use them. Dig for these tools too. Find resources by googling products you use. Subscribe to their status pages. Look for other tools that may help you in a pinch like GoToWebinar’s system check to help someone figure out what’s wrong with their browser. I love these types of browser-based troubleshooting software. These are ways to gain a better understanding of technologies that might affect or improve your productivity or day to day goals.

I think of “resource scoping” as crawling these types of resources for every tool, guide and support contact that might good to know. The effort you put in to scope available resources is worth the time spent. Check out the “resource scoping” I did in this post I wrote focused on tools for writers!