University Human Resources
8-step problem solving process, organizational effectiveness.
121 University Services Building, Suite 50 Iowa City , IA 52242-1911 United States
Step 1: Define the Problem
- What is the problem?
- How did you discover the problem?
- When did the problem start and how long has this problem been going on?
- Is there enough data available to contain the problem and prevent it from getting passed to the next process step? If yes, contain the problem.
Step 2: Clarify the Problem
- What data is available or needed to help clarify, or fully understand the problem?
- Is it a top priority to resolve the problem at this point in time?
- Are additional resources required to clarify the problem? If yes, elevate the problem to your leader to help locate the right resources and form a team.
- Consider a Lean Event (Do-it, Burst, RPI, Project).
- ∙Ensure the problem is contained and does not get passed to the next process step.
Step 3: Define the Goals
- What is your end goal or desired future state?
- What will you accomplish if you fix this problem?
- What is the desired timeline for solving this problem?
Step 4: Identify Root Cause of the Problem
- Identify possible causes of the problem.
- Prioritize possible root causes of the problem.
- What information or data is there to validate the root cause?
Step 5: Develop Action Plan
- Generate a list of actions required to address the root cause and prevent problem from getting to others.
- Assign an owner and timeline to each action.
- Status actions to ensure completion.
Step 6: Execute Action Plan
- Implement action plan to address the root cause.
- Verify actions are completed.
Step 7: Evaluate the Results
- Monitor and Collect Data.
- Did you meet your goals defined in step 3? If not, repeate th 8-Step Process.
- Were there any unforeseen consequences?
- If problem is resolved, remove activities that were added previously to contain the problem.
Step 8: Continuously Improve
- Look for additional opportunities to implement solution.
- Ensure problem will not come back and communicate lessons learned.
- If needed, repeat the 8-Step Problem Solving Process to drive further improvements.
What is a quality management process: essential elements and practical examples, fundamentals of lean methodology explained with examples, free ebook: top 25 interview questions and answers: quality management, six sigma vs lean six sigma which certification to choose, quality management in project management, what is measurement system analysis: understanding measurement process variation, six sigma certification: all you need to know in 2023, what is six sigma: everything you need to know about it, understanding takt time and cycle time vs. lead time, implementing the 5s methodology: the first steps toward workplace efficiency, what is problem solving steps, techniques, & best practices explained.
Table of Contents
Problem solving is the art of identifying problems and implementing the best possible solutions. Revisiting your problem-solving skills may be the missing piece to leveraging the performance of your business, achieving Lean success, or unlocking your professional potential.
Ask any colleague if they’re an effective problem-solver and their likely answer will be, “Of course! I solve problems every day.”
Problem solving is part of most job descriptions, sure. But not everyone can do it consistently.
The Problem-Solving Process
Problem solving is the process of defining a problem, identifying its root cause, prioritizing and selecting potential solutions, and implementing the chosen solution.
There’s no one-size-fits-all problem-solving process. Often, it’s a unique methodology that aligns your short- and long-term objectives with the resources at your disposal. Nonetheless, many paradigms center problem solving as a pathway for achieving one’s goals faster and smarter.
One example is the Six Sigma framework , which emphasizes eliminating errors and refining the customer experience, thereby improving business outcomes. Developed originally by Motorola, the Six Sigma process identifies problems from the perspective of customer satisfaction and improving product delivery.
Lean management, a similar method, is about streamlining company processes over time so they become “leaner” while producing better outcomes.
Trendy business management lingo aside, both of these frameworks teach us that investing in your problem solving process for personal and professional arenas will bring better productivity.
Learn Six Sigma and Get Upto USD 114600 PA
How to Solve Problems: 5 Steps
1. precisely identify problems.
As obvious as it seems, identifying the problem is the first step in the problem-solving process. Pinpointing a problem at the beginning of the process will guide your research, collaboration, and solutions in the right direction.
At this stage, your task is to identify the scope and substance of the problem. Ask yourself a series of questions:
- What’s the problem?
- How many subsets of issues are underneath this problem?
- What subject areas, departments of work, or functions of business can best define this problem?
Although some problems are naturally large in scope, precision is key. Write out the problems as statements in planning sheets . Should information or feedback during a later step alter the scope of your problem, revise the statements.
Framing the problem at this stage will help you stay focused if distractions come up in later stages. Furthermore, how you frame a problem will aid your search for a solution. A strategy of building Lean success, for instance, will emphasize identifying and improving upon inefficient systems.
2. Collect Information and Plan
The second step is to collect information and plan the brainstorming process. This is another foundational step to road mapping your problem-solving process. Data, after all, is useful in identifying the scope and substance of your problems.
Collecting information on the exact details of the problem, however, is done to narrow the brainstorming portion to help you evaluate the outcomes later. Don’t overwhelm yourself with unnecessary information — use the problem statements that you identified in step one as a north star in your research process.
This stage should also include some planning. Ask yourself:
- What parties will ultimately decide a solution?
- Whose voices and ideas should be heard in the brainstorming process?
- What resources are at your disposal for implementing a solution?
Establish a plan and timeline for steps 3-5.
3. Brainstorm Solutions
Brainstorming solutions is the bread and butter of the problem-solving process. At this stage, focus on generating creative ideas. As long as the solution directly addresses the problem statements and achieves your goals, don’t immediately rule it out.
Moreover, solutions are rarely a one-step answer and are more like a roadmap with a set of actions. As you brainstorm ideas, map out these solutions visually and include any relevant factors such as costs involved, action steps, and involved parties.
With Lean success in mind, stay focused on solutions that minimize waste and improve the flow of business ecosystems.
Boost Your Salary By Learning New QM Skills
4. Decide and Implement
The most critical stage is selecting a solution. Easier said than done. Consider the criteria that has arisen in previous steps as you decide on a solution that meets your needs.
Once you select a course of action, implement it.
Practicing due diligence in earlier stages of the process will ensure that your chosen course of action has been evaluated from all angles. Often, efficient implementation requires us to act correctly and successfully the first time, rather than being hurried and sloppy. Further compilations will create more problems, bringing you back to step 1.
Exercise humility and evaluate your solution honestly. Did you achieve the results you hoped for? What would you do differently next time?
As some experts note, formulating feedback channels into your evaluation helps solidify future success. A framework like Lean success, for example, will use certain key performance indicators (KPIs) like quality, delivery success, reducing errors, and more. Establish metrics aligned with company goals to assess your solutions.
Master skills like measurement system analysis, lean principles, hypothesis testing, process analysis and DFSS tools with our Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training Course . Sign-up today!
Train to Solve Problems With Lean Today
Become a quality expert with Simplilearn’s Lean Six Sigma Green Belt . This Lean Six Sigma certification program will help you gain key skills to excel in digital transformation projects while improving quality and ultimate business results.
In this course, you will learn about two critical operations management methodologies – Lean practices and Six Sigma to accelerate business improvement.
About the Author
Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.
Certified ScrumMaster ® (CSM)
Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
*Lifetime access to high-quality, self-paced e-learning content.
Agile problem solving techniques: PMI-ACP Agile Certification Training
Introduction to Machine Learning: A Beginner's Guide
Webinar Wrap-up: Mastering Problem Solving: Career Tips for Digital Transformation Jobs
An Ultimate Guide That Helps You to Develop and Improve Problem Solving in Programming
Free eBook: 21 Resources to Find the Data You Need
ITIL Problem Workaround – A Leader’s Guide to Manage Problems
Your One-Stop Solution to Understand Coin Change Problem
- PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- What's So Cool About Manufacturing®
The 8-Step Problem-Solving Method
- November 22, 2022
Table Of Contents
What is the 8-step problem-solving method, the 8 steps and the problem-solving process.
- The Culture of Problem-Solving
- Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA)
- Gain Problem-Solving Support
As a manufacturing professional, you know how important it is to stay organized, keep your goals in mind and strive for success. But with all of the responsibilities and daily tasks piling up, it takes effort to find and stick to a process that can keep you on track.
Luckily, there’s a tried and trusted way to achieve success in the manufacturing industry.
The eight-step problem-solving process is a structured method that guides you through the various steps of solving issues. Unlike other problem-solving processes that are often broad, the eight-step method takes you through each individual step, from identifying the problem to taking actionable steps to success.
Instead of changing a few things at a middling level that will probably break down again later, you can unearth the roots of problems and build success from the ground up.
For a fundamental breakdown of how to fix problems and lead your manufacturing team to success, here are the eight steps of the problem-solving process.
1. Identify the Problem
The first step in the process is to identify the problem. Identify why this is a problem, how you discovered it and how it impacts your business. Also note when the problem started and how long it has been going on.
If the problem is small, you can try to contain it and may not need additional steps to fix it. However, if the problem is complex, move forward through the process.
2. Define the Problem
The next step involves breaking down the problem and defining what it is. It’s important to be as clear as you can with this step — a vague problem will hinder the process, whereas a clearly defined issue will allow you to take actionable steps to fix it.
Analyze factors like how high of a priority it is to solve the problem. You can also look to data and other resources to clarify or help you understand the concern.
3. Make a Goal
Create an end goal. Envision what fixing this problem would look like and feel like. What would it accomplish? How would it help you? Map out all the ways fixing this problem would benefit you and use it for motivation to achieve your goal. Set a timeline to figure how long it will take to accomplish that goal.
4. Find the Root of the Problem
Often problems are byproducts of deeper, more central problems, so make sure you dig deep enough to find out what is really causing the issue. If the problem is large and complex, break it down into individual parts.
Gather information and use it to identify the deeper issues of the problem and validate what you think the real concern may be. Take time at this step to really focus on the deep problem — executing this step effectively will save you a lot of time down the road.
5. Develop Actionable Steps
Create a list of realistic steps you can take to combat the problem. You can start with a large list and combine or subtract steps, but it’s important you come up with various ways to attack the problem. Use this action plan to draw up a strategy to get at the root of the problem. Each step should be specific and detail-focused — any steps that are vague or tedious will only take up time and cause confusion.
6. Execute Steps
Now that the plan is in place, all you have to do is follow through on your actionable steps. Illustrate the steps you’re taking to your team, explain why you’re taking them and delegate any steps that another employee has to perform to execute your plan.
Communication is key in this step. In most cases, you won’t be executing the plan all by yourself, so make sure you’re expressing the goals and motives of each step with your team so they can see how it connects to the bigger picture.
7. Observe and Evaluate
Monitor your strategy carefully and see how it relates to the original problem. Is it working? Is it only creating more problems? Gather data, talk to your team and be thorough and objective in your evaluation. You might have to readjust your plan as you gain new information, or you may meet your goals and the plan will be successful.
8. Continue the Process
If the plan worked, find ways to continue integrating these steps into your team’s daily routine. If they didn’t work, go back to the goal-setting process or identify some more aspects of the problem — there may be a deeper concern you missed the first time around. Communicate to your team about how the plan went.
In the future, continue using the eight-step process to solve issues and build momentum with your team.
The Culture of the Problem-Solving Process
It’s important to build a culture of problem-solving in your manufacturing plant. It can be easy to fall into the trap of “Band-Aid” solutions — quick fixes without digging into the deeper problems.
It’s believed that the eight-step problem-solving process was actually created by the Toyota Motor Corporation to achieve their admired production standards.
From the lore of Toyota, we get some great eight-step problem-solving examples. Taiichi Ohno , the father of the Toyota Production System, observed his workers fixing only the first level of cause when their machines stopped working. To combat this, he developed a problem-solving method to methodically break down each problem of the machine until he found the root cause. Only then could he truly fix the machine.
It’s one of many eight-step problem-solving examples, and it shows the importance of creating a process to increase productivity.
Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) and the 8-Step Problem-Solving Process Differences
The eight-step problem-solving process is an expanded version of the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle . The first five steps of the 8-step process fall under the planning step, while steps six, seven and eight all correspond to the do, check and act steps. The eight-step process is a more detailed, methodical version of PDCA problem-solving, and converts a vague cycle into something a bit more specific and actionable.
Gain the Problem-Solving Support You Need With MANTEC
MANTEC is the best resource center for manufacturing companies in South Central Pennsylvania. We’re a non-profit that solves any problems a manufacturing facility could have, including sales and marketing , process improvement , manufacturing technology and workforce engagement .
Our expert staff has had vast experience in the manufacturing industry, and we can provide the guidance you need to get your business running at top efficiency. Our services are affordable and extremely valuable. Contact us today!
Manufacturers need to build agility into their businesses and processes to respond and recover faster…
Understanding market trends and consumer behaviors become more critical as the world becomes increasingly digitized.…
Benefits of Six Sigma Certification
- Solutions Overview
- Defining Your Strategic Vision
- Sales & Marketing Assessment
- New Product Launch
- Market Entry & International Trade
- Exploring Diversification Guide
- ISO Certification
- Team Based Problem Solving
- Process Improvement Guide
- Strategic Automation Integration Guide
- Employee Onboarding
- Skills Evaluation & Needs Assessment
- Jobs Skills, Compliance & Leadership Training
- Human Resources Support
- Improving Recruitment & Retention Guide
- Sales & Marketing
- Process Improvement
- Manufacturing Technology
- Workforce Engagement
- All Professional Development
- Round Tables
- Peer Groups
- Industry Related
- Online Training from Tooling-U
- Supplier Scouting
- Case Studies
- 2023 What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?® Awards Event
- Complete and submit this form and a MANTEC specialty advisor will contact you.
- Name * First Last
- Company Name *
- Describe how MANTEC can help
- Hidden reCAPTCHA
- Comments This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Let Me Know About Upcoming Events!
- Complete and submit this form to receive email notifications for MANTEC events.
- Phone This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Assess My Business
- How easily can people understand who we are, what we do, and why we do it?
- Does your company use technology to collect data on the production floor?
- How often do you provide coaching, mentoring, and encouraging opportunities to increase employee engagement?
Submit your information and one of our Specialty Advisors will be in touch with your assessment survey. Based on your survey results MANTEC can provide you with the expert help that you need to reach your goals!
- Name This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Assess My Sales & Marketing
- Does everyone in your company know and understand your strategy, and how it fits into your mission, vision, and values?
- How often are management's decisions based on alignment with strategy?
Submit your information and one of our Specialty Advisors will be in touch with your assessment. Based on those results MANTEC can provide you with the expert help that you need to reach your goals!
Assess my process improvement.
- Does your company have metrics in place that are reviewed regularly to monitor progress on improving critical profit drivers?
- Is data used to make most decisions in the organization?
- Do you have a formal or informal quality management system?
- Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Assess My Manufacturing Technology
- Do you have production equipment capable of being upgraded for integration?
- Has your organization implemented cyber-security solutions?
Assess My Workforce Engagement
- How often does your company provide coaching, mentoring, and advancement opportunities to increase employee engagement?
- Do you use tools/systems/assessments/defined to ensure employee success?
- Does your organization have a formal comprehensive HR Strategy that is aligned to the business strategy?
Get the Recruitment & Retention Guide!
- Yes, please email a download link for “Improving Recruitment & Retention: A Guide for Manufacturers.”
Get the Exploring Diversification Guide!
- Yes, please email a download link for “Exploring Diversification: A Manufacturers Guide.”
Get the Strategic Automation Integration Guide!
- Yes, please email a download link for “Strategic Automation Integration: A Guide for Manufacturers.”
Get the Process Improvement Guide!
- Yes, please email a download link for “Process Improvement: A Manufacturers Guide.”
What is the 9 Step Problem Solving Model?
Last updated on July 3rd, 2023
Being the leader or the manager does not just make you responsible for all that happen, whether it is a success or a loss. It also brings on you the albatross to handle problems and then solve it tactically. Problem solving is a vital skill that develops with time and experience yet you cannot master it, for every time the problem, situation and its solutions will be different from the earlier one.
Let’s have a look at the below provided 9 step problem solving model , to gain know-how of the trouble construing fundamentals:
1. Understanding the Issue
Comprehending the situation to the fullest is important. Not simply by listening or reading but looking into the depth of the situation. The question or the obstacle has to be understood from every angle, so that there are no discrepancies for the future.
2. Taking Opinions of Others, Who are Involved
You might have the authority or are in position to take the decision, but collecting opinions of those who are directly or indirectly involved in the scenario will help you in taking a card-carrying decision. The experience of others always proves helpful.
3. Gauging the Actual Problem
Often what might seem to be the real issue has hidden layers beneath, so if you take a deeper plunge in to the circumstances, you might be able to decipher, where the real bend lies.
4. Recognizing the Applicable Solutions
There are different solutions to every issue, one needs to analyze and enlist all of them. It helps in better decision making. If you have options in front of you and you are willing to consider them, then certainly there are chances of improved managerial efficiency.
5. Analyzing Flipside Options
Do not count your eggs before they hatch. So always give a thought to what will be the effect if the action that you have decided to take, does not work out.
6. Keeping the Other Option Close at Hand
You do not have to place all of them at the table yet keeping your other cards at reach, is counted as an intelligent move.
7. Collecting Nods from Others
This will keep you on the safer side. It also prevents the pointing of fingers at you or being called autocratic. By doing this you are also able to count the pros and cons of the decision that you have zeroed on.
8. Executing the Resolution
It is a crucial step. Bringing to action what has been decided, especially when there is a problem already at hand. Be calculative yet take your chances, after all that is what a leader should do best.
9. Reviewing the Outcome
This is the final step and the decisive one. Whether the applied concept works or not, you get a lesson both ways. If it does then, how to apply it in future and if the output is negative then, identifying your shortcomings and improving them for a positive effect.
In PowerPoint you can model this process by using a SmartArt graphic or shapes . In the sample above we are showing you how to design a 9 steps process in PowerPoint using a block cycle diagram or a multidirectional diagram cycle shape that is intended to be used to represent a continuing sequence of stages, tasks, or events that can occur in any direction.
You can find many examples online to be used as reference, for example the nine step problem solving model for classic airlines or nine step problem solving model used on Marketing or 9 step or 7 step decision making process online. So, here are the touchstones for you to take support from and implement according to your framework.
Share this post:
Leave a comment cancel reply.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Sign up to our newsletter
We will send you our curated collections to your email weekly. No spam, promise!
5 Steps to Make your Problem-Solving Process Easier
No matter what kind of job you have, the chances of a problem arising at some point is almost inevitable. If the problem isn’t taken care of immediately with proper action, it could potentially get worse. No one wants to be in a hostile work environment, so it’s crucial to be aware of how to properly solve an issue.
What is Problem Solving?
Before we can even begin to explain what problem-solving is, we need to define what a problem is. A problem is any type of disturbance from normality that is hindering progress. A problem can be time-consuming and energy wasting. They can be as little as a disagreement, to as big as a miscommunication that costs millions of dollars to fix.
One problem-solving technique is determining whether it prevents you from reaching your goal. No matter the issue’s size, it can be solved by identifying it, gathering possible solutions, choosing the best possible one, and implementing it. That’s commonly known as the problem-solving process. If a company neglects any problems in the workplace, they could potentially get worse and cause significant problems.
Problem-solving can be the difference between a business succeeding or failing. According to Forbes.com , some common barriers that will prevent companies from being successful problem-solvers include the inability to see a problem, lack of respect, and failure to include all parts involved with the problem, among others.
Problem-solvers need some specific skills, like being able to do research and make both rational and emotionally intelligent decisions. Risk management is another skill that’s imperative to making a successful decision. Your team should all be able to work together in the problem-solving process.
In fact, in 2013, the Association of American Colleges and Universities released a report claiming that 93 percent of employers agree, “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.”
Here are a few more problem-solving skills:
- Team building
- Effective communication
- Active listening
There are many benefits to problem-solving in an organization. For one thing, it creates a hostility-free environment that encourages everyone to speak their mind when a problem occurs. Resolving problems together as a team can foster team building. Problem-solving can also empower a workforce and make its members more confident. If an entire organization can problem-solve efficiently, they can spend their time more wisely.
5 Steps to Better Problem-Solving
Step 1: identify the problem.
As obvious as it may sound, the first step in the problem-solving process is to identify the root of the issue. However, the problem isn’t always easily identifiable and might require some extra analysis to get the source. One way you can identify a problem is by using Toyota’s “Five Whys” technique . In the event of a problem, ask yourself the five whys:
By asking yourself these questions, you’ll discover where the problem is coming from. If that isn’t enough, here are three steps you can take to better identify a problem:
Explore the situation : Expand on the problem to try to get to the bottom of it. If an individual is the problem’s source, try putting yourself in their shoes.
Draft a problem statement : Reduce the problem into the simplest of terms and put it down on paper. This can help you gather and organize your thoughts.
Try to answer the question : “Why is this current situation a problem?” Once you’ve boiled it down to one source, you’ll be able to better assess the situation.
Let’s use a coffee shop as an example. Say the coffee shop has slowly been losing business in the last quarter, despite being very successful in the past few months. The owner wants to better understand why they’re suddenly losing business.
First, they explore the situation and look at all the possible reasons for why this is happening. They look at their employees, their daily routines, and training procedures. They also observe the local competition and the regional factors, like the fact that they’re located in a college town.
After looking at every single possible reason, the owner figures out what’s causing the problem and writes it down: It’s the summer and most of their student clientele are away for the summer. Finally, the owner answers the question, “Why is this current situation a problem?” Then after further evaluation, they realize the problem is a limited market and that they must expand to get more business.
Step 2: Generate Potential Solutions
The next step is to create a list of possible solutions. Start by brainstorming some potential answers, either individually or in a group setting. The latter is recommended, because when you have more input, you get more perspectives that can lead to unique solutions.
Here are some other methods to create solutions:
Means-End Analysis : An artificial intelligence analysis that finds the best possible way of attaining a goal.
Plan Do Study Act Model : Also known as the PDSA Model. This is the shorthand version of the problem-solving method, where you start with planning, test the theory, study the results, and act based upon observations . This process is done several times.
Root Cause Analysis : This method is used to get to the root of the problem. Its four steps are to identify the problem, establish a timeline, distinguish between root causes and other factors, and create a cause graph.
Lean Prioritization Method : This method is created within a two-by-two matrix, with the X and Y-axis ranging from low to high. The X-axis is labeled as “effort”, while the Y-axis is labeled “value.” Inside the matrix, label the four squares with:
- And time sinks
Evaluate the problems and situations and put them in the appropriate categories to figure out where to focus your attention.
Step 3: Choose One Solution
Once a list of possible solutions has been made, it’s time to put your decision-making skills to the test. To find the best solution for the problem, analyze every possible resolution and decide which is best for your situation.
Before making a decision, consider the potential solution’s efficacy, practicality, timeliness, resources, and cost. Narrow your choices down with the process of elimination and with a risk manager’s input. Like brainstorming, choosing a solution doesn’t have to be done alone.
Step 4: Implement the Solution You’ve Chosen
Now that you’ve chosen a solution, it’s time to implement it throughout the necessary departments, areas, or people. On average, it takes about 66 days for a new habit to become automatic, according to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. In other words, change doesn’t happen overnight. To make a new change to any business, planning, patience, and persistence are all required.
Planning : Timing is everything. When a company implements a new strategy, they often take a lot of time to implement the new idea. Decide on clear goals, address any issues or possible obstacles, and create a plan. It’s also critical to practice proper communication skills across the entire organization so that everyone knows what’s expected.
Patience : Change is scary and not everyone is going to accept it, that’s why it’s important to stay patient throughout this process. Try implementing the plan little by little so that employees aren’t overwhelmed. Encourage each other and make sure everyone understands the intention behind this change, and that everyone is participating in making it possible.
Persistence : Continuous application and monitoring of these changes are crucial. Make sure all of your employees are practicing the changes every week so they become the norm.
Step 5: Evaluate Results
The final part of the problem-solving process is to analyze the results. This can be done after a couple of weeks, months, or years, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. It’s important to remember why this problem started in the first place and how it affected the company. Ask yourself any of the following questions to better evaluate results:
- Are any of our processes being interrupted by the previous problem?
- Have any new problems arisen since we started this process?
- Is there a possibility the issue can return?
- Is everyone aware of the original problem, the solution created, and why it was created?
- Do you need to change any policy, procedure, or personnel to avoid this from happening again?
Sometimes, it’s necessary to start the process completely over. To make the problem-solving process easier, it’s best to simplify the solution as much as possible. Try to focus on the solution rather than the problem. Be positive, open-minded, and willing to make the change. With enough practice, any problem can be solved.
Problems will always occur no matter what situation you’re in, so it’s important to know how to conquer them before they get out of hand. Do you want to learn more about the process of problem-solving and how you can apply it to fix your company’s issues?
You can learn about different strategies that will help alleviate any workplace problems in KnowledgeCity’s course on Problem Solving in 5 Easy Steps . Use this information to take control of any problems that crop up at work.
- About the author
- Latest posts
Thanks for this terrific article! I am a mentor to undergraduate students and I was researching problem solving philosophies, methodologies, and techniques. This was a perfect resource! I like the way that you provided practical examples and also provided various methodologies and systems for problem solving. I think that’s always good to provide people options as certain methodologies may be best geared for certain disciplines, industries, or situations.
I took special note of these key quotes:
“because the more input, the better, simply because different perspectives can lead to different solutions.”
“It’s important to remember why this problem started in the first place and how it was affecting the company.”
Thanks again for making this great information publicly available.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Join 80,000+ Fellow HR Professionals. Get expert recruiting and training tips straight to your inbox, and become a better HR manager.
- Prime Membership
- Team Training
- Career Path New
- No products in the basket.
7 Steps to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills
Our lives are full of problems. And the biggest problem is finding an effective solution to any problem. Seems funny, right? But it’s true. Every day, from your personal to professional life, you have to deal with different kinds of problems, and it’s not unnatural that sometimes you struggle to solve them. Though in the end, you find a solution, it takes too much effort and time. Don’t you think it would be better if you could find the solution in the first place? That’s where problem-solving skills would help you a way out.
Problem-solving skills are vital to have in professional life. Many issues arise in the workplace and giving a quick touch up on them is an unwritten duty for you. In a professional setting, it doesn’t matter that much what solution you find to a problem. Rather it matters how you find that solution and how much time it takes. In this case, another skill which is Problem Solving Skills merges up with problem-solving skills. Both are important for your regular duties in the workplace and your job growth, especially when you’re in a leadership or management position.
7 Key Steps to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills
However, everyone is by born a problem solver. But the thing that counts is how efficiently the problem is being solved. That’s why you should nurture problem-solving skills to become an ultimate problem solver. In this article, you’re going to explore seven effective steps that will help you improve your problem-solving skills. So, without further ado, let’s dig deeper.
Step 1: Define The Problem
The first thing that comes when solving a problem is identifying and defining the problem. Without knowing the problem, you can’t move further. So, have a clear understanding of the problem for which you’re going to find a solution. Define the problem and make it precise. Since you won’t be working alone, describe the context, and make sure it is understandable by others who are involved in the decision-making process. However, different people have different perspectives on what a problem is, and you should keep it in your mind.
Step 2: Analyse The Problem
The second step to solving a problem is analysing the problem. It helps you understand the nature of the problem and find the possible ways out. Develop some creative problem-solving questions in this stage, such as why it is a problem, why it is required to solve it, how to find the solution, what barriers and opportunities lie within the problem, what effect it will cause if the problem isn’t resolved, etc.
Develop these questions and assign answers to them. In the end, you’ll find a clear picture of the whole situation. This will help you prepare your strategy to solve the problem.
Step 3: Develop Potential Solutions
Once you’re done with analysing the problem, you have to look for potential solutions to the problem. Note that I said solutions, not a solution. It’s essential to come up with multiple viable solutions to a problem. Because you don’t know yet what outcomes the action is going to bring about. That’s why you should have alternatives in all possible ways to solve the problem so that you can compare them and pick the best one.
In this regard, you have to set a standard with which you will compare the expected outcomes of the potential solutions. However, don’t use the standard to judge the solutions, instead, use it only for coming up with ideas.
Step 4: Evaluate The Options
After listing down the potential solutions to the problem, your next task is to analyse and evaluate the options. This will help you determine the most effective and suitable solution to the problem. Now it comes how to evaluate the options. Do it almost in the same way you’ve analysed the problem before. This means asking some questions and comparing the answers for different options. So, the creative problem-solving questions that you’ll make to evaluate the problem may look like the followings:
- Is the solution easily achievable?
- How much effort and resources it will take?
- Does it fit the organizational processes and cultures?
- What are the pros and cons of the solution?
- What is the possible outcome of this solution?
- Is it well suited to the time and budget?
Prepare the answers for each of the options and compare them. Then eliminate those which don’t pass the criteria and tailor the list for further action.
Step 5: Select The Best Option
After evaluating all the possible solutions and tailoring the list, you have a concise list of solutions to the problem. Now you have to choose the best solution among these options. Select the solution that is best fitted to the organizational cultures and goals, and meets all the criteria that you set for evaluating the options. In this case, your experience, courage, and decision-making skills will help you to determine the option.
However, you may consult your peers as it would give you different insights into the situation. After selecting the best-suited solution, make the necessary documentation, and submit to the authority for approval.
Step 6: Implement The Solution
You’ve selected the solution to the problem and got it approved by the higher authority. Now it’s time to go for action and showcase your problem-solving skills. So, at first, you have to prepare a detailed work plan putting all the necessary things into it. You have to ensure that every one of your team understands the plan and what are their responsibilities to make the plan fruitful. So, you should communicate well with everyone involved in the plan.
Also, your plan should include actions to be taken if something goes wrong or doesn’t go just like as you thought it would. This is important to make a concrete plan. After setting the plan, arrange everything you require and put your solution into action, and wait for the results.
Step 7: Measure The Results
Your duty isn’t finished with the implementation of your solution. You have to keep track to measure the results and make sure the plan is performing well to solve the problem. Great leaders always keep follow-ups and proper documentation of their actions. It’s helpful in their future challenges and acts as a guideline for their successors. Moreover, it will help you show a scalable and notable outcome of your plan to the authority.
Now it’s time to wrap up. Following these seven simple steps will strengthen your problem-solving skills and make you an efficient problem solver in your organization. However, problem-solving is a vast topic, and there are even more things to explore about it which aren’t possible to include in a single article. If you want to explore more and develop your problem-solving skills, it will be better to take training on this.
But how can you attend formal training when you’ve lots of duties to do? In this case, you can consider taking online training where you can learn anytime from anywhere, and most importantly, without juggling your regular schedule. To help you in this regard, Training Express is offering an online course on problem-solving skills where you’ll be learning from experts. So what are you waiting for? Have a look at this.
17 kitchen hazards and how to avoid them
How to carry out working at height risk assessment
The Role of Technology in Modern Healthcare Resumes
What is safeguarding vulnerable adults? [With Examples]
UK Food Packaging Symbols and their meaning explained
Hairdresser’s Health and Safety
0 responses on "7 steps to improve your problem solving skills", leave a message cancel reply.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
- Available Courses
- Hospitality 19
- Accounting & Finance Primary 9
- Health and Safety 326
- Electronics 23
- Teaching & Academics Primary 16
- Personal Development 1138
- Construction 38
- Food Hygiene 98
- Career Bundles 68
- Quality Licence Scheme Endorsed 100
- Safeguarding 66
- Marketing 28
- Employability 245
- First Aid 67
- Healthcare 57
- Business Skills 259
- IT & Software 32
- Management 318
- Child Psychology 32
- Health and Social Care 194
Upgrade to get unlimited access to all courses for only £49.00 per year, get 5 courses, only at £19.99.
Original Course Bundle Price £49.95
No more than 50 active courses at any one time. Membership renews after 12 months. Cancel anytime from your account. Certain courses are not included. Can't be used in conjunction with any other offer.