Along my journey I picked up a tool called Structured Problem Solving. It’s simply a rational and repeatable process to engage a problem and find a solution.
In coaching, I help clients apply tools like this to be come better leaders.
Here are the steps of Structured Problem Solving
- Define the problem: It is crucial to understand the problem and articulate it crisply in one sentence. Often times when a problem is defined clearly, the solution becomes readily apparent.
- Identify solution options:
Brainstorm a list of possible solutions, crisply defining the distinctions between each. This may take some iteration to hone them, but it’s worth the investment.
- Evaluate solution options: First identify the criteria by which each option will be evaluated. Then review each option and note how well it meets the criteria.
- Decide which solution to use: Review all notes on the options and how it met the criteria. Pick the one that best meets the most important criteria. No one option will be perfect, so look for closest.
- Implement the solution: Identify then take the necessary steps to implement the selected solution. This is where taking action comes into play – it’s powerful!
- Monitor the outcome: Define how you will measure successful resolution of the problem. Observe if the solution chosen is adequately addressing the problem.
- Make adjustments if needed: After giving it enough time, make adjustments to the solution to fine-tune and improve if needed.
By following a structured and consistent approach, you will know what to do when a problem arises. And you will concentrate energy on solutions instead of just admiring the problem
For your success,
p.s. Problems are expected in business. Leaders address problems head on and find solutions.