Monday, January 16, 2012

Successful Problem Solving

"Bring me solutions, not problems." ~  supervisor comment to employee

In a recent workshop, the presenter shared with attendees a great principle for getting ahead.  Don't just identify problems for your company or your boss.  Solve the problem.    Great advice, but usually not easy to do :-)

From my experience in R&D, here's a process that I've seen successful problem solvers use:

  1. Define the problem.  The first step is to define the problem in a way to maximize the possibility of a good solution. Too often the problem is defined too narrowly or already with a specific solution in mind.
  2. Do research and get knowledgeable input for ideas.  Often a solution or variation a solution already exists.  Rather than create a solution from scratch, investigate what's been done before from reputable resources.
  3. Evaluate options.  Look at the pros and cons of each idea and identify the ones with the highest probability to work.
  4. Choose an approach and test.  Do a small experiment to test the selected solution.  If it works, go to the next step.  If it doesn't work, try the next solution.
  5. Expand.  Once a solution demonstrates success, roll it out to the rest of the organization.
In my experience, this process improves the probability of finding a workable solution.  However, being right a little more than average can go along way in the business world.

For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday  for a new segment.

This is not financial or career advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2012 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment: said...

Happy New Year. Thank you for all your positive writing and sharing!

It is very important to see that you achieved what you wanted and now willing to help others!