5-Step Problem Solving Process
Life is a paradox of solving problems. Whether in business or politics, people confront varying challenges daily? Thus, there is need to have a straightforward way of solving such issues whenever they arise. A good approach in problem solving ensures that you identify the cause of the problem and if your preferred solutions are the best. When solving a problem, the solutions should have minimal negative solutions at all times.
Identify the problem: You cannot solve a problem that does not exist. As such, you should define the problem with clarity. For better understanding, it is paramount for you to look at the problem from different angles. For example, as the manager, visualize what you CEO, customers, and close associates would consider a problem. This will offer you a broad spectrum of solutions to the problem at hand. Another person’s perspective could be the best alternative in reaching an acceptable and realistic solution. At this level, it is necessary to look at causality. What is the root cause of the problem? By this, you will be able to define the problem with a lot of clarity.
Recognize issues: The second step of problem solving is indentifying the real issues surrounding the problem. Here, you get into the nitty-gritty of the problem by breaking the issues into subcomponents, which you can manage with a lot of ease. By breaking down a big issue into smaller components, you are able to identify its root cause with precision.
Generate and prioritize hypothesis: After identifying the issues to address, start thinking about how to solve them. It is unadvisable to start assigning solutions to each of the issues but rather identify various alternatives, which appear applicable and feasible. Such possible solutions transform into hypothesis, which the manager has to prioritize, do an analysis and carry out an evaluation process. After having the hypothesis, do no not disapprove every hypothesis. Instead, work with the ones that offer the best solutions, by weighing pros against cons. Divert your energies to most meaningful ideas and pursue them.
Analysis: This stage focuses on approving or disapproving your hypothesis outlined in step 3 of problem solving. At this stage, you determine the potential of every option to narrow down to the most likeable solution. It is worth noting that a great idea might not manifest at this stage but this does not mean that your alternatives are obsolete. Analysis the entire process will not guarantee you the best outcome. Of great significance is to conduct the right analysis for the process.
Advance your response: After a successful analysis, you need to convince the world that your recommendation works. To do this, change your hypothesis into recommendations that can be put into practice as part of problem solving. No one is interested in humongous analysis. Simply focus on proving your case using facts you may have gathered in previous stages of problem solving. Above all, the recommendations should appear in an appealing storyline to the audience. Where possible, help your audience to digest the analysis by defining the problem, explain the need to solve it and prove your approach.
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