DESCRIPTION: Employees in any organization find themselves solving problems on a daily basis. The ability to identify the problem, pinpoint the true cause and identify a workable solution is essential for personal, professional, and organizational success.
Problem-Making and Decision-Making course
Problem-solving and decision-making are two of the strongest qualities of a good leader. A strong leader is someone who knows how to come up with creative solutions to solve problems as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Steps to effective problem-solving :
- Identify the problem – This step includes getting to the bottom of any situation and understanding where the problem stems from.
- Analyze the problem -This step helps identify the urgency of the problem which generally has three stages:
The emergent stage is where the problem is just beginning to happen. It does affect those in question immediately but can cause harm to the business operations in the long run.
The mature stage is where this problem is causing more than just minor damage. Usually, consequences during this stage at much more than the emergent stage.
The third stage is the crisis stage, when the problem is so serious it must be corrected immediately. At this stage, damage can be done to the company’s operations, reputation, finances, etc. that may hamper the long-term plans of the business.
- Describe the problem – This step includes diagnosing the problem to be able to define it. This stage is to get clarity and to dig deeper into what the issue really is.
- Look for root causes – This step involves understanding what caused this problem, who is responsible for this problem, when did it first emerge, how and why did it happen, how can it be resolved, and more.
- Develop alternative solutions – Every problem must have a bunch of solutions in case one of them fails. Planning for contingency is as important as coming up with solutions. So, it is best to develop a list of alternative solutions that you and your team can assess and decide which one will be the best for the particular problem. Then it is important to estimate efficiency, cost, long-term value, and resources you have to solve the problem.
- Implement the solution – This step is about chalking out the final implementation plan. Implementation means that each employee is aware of his/her tasks and knows their timelines for execution. Also, an organization should have a system in place to track whether or not the solution has corrected the problem.
- Measure the results – This step is all about measuring the success and failure of a certain solution. This also helps us learn from one’s mistakes and not repeat them in the future. Measuring the results means answering questions such as: Did it work? Was this a good solution?
- Define your role in problem solving
- Identify barriers to effective problem solving
- Apply a six-step problem-solving process
- Select appropriate tool(s) to effectively problem solve