When solving a problem, if you do not have full context to the issues, your perspective will be skewed to a point where the chances of establishing a clear, effective solution are low. You might end up “solving a problem” that doesn’t even exist or, worse, is not a problem at all. This really comes into play when reviewing business requirements. It’s the teams responsibility to not just read the requirements, but understand the context they were written. Most requirement documents are fairly light and 2 dimensional. They assume you understand the motivation behind the requirement… why each one is being asked for. Perspective and context changes meaning.
When I was a kid, I loved the Garfield comic strip. Now, not so much. But take a look at Garfield Minus Garfield. As the site says:
Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.
Now, my kids love Garfield. But this new missing context Garfield brings a new perspective to this strip that I find amusing. It really illustrates the point.