Thursday, November 20, 2014

Solve Any Problem Using 10 Step Process

People who throw themselves at their problems often become frantic and confused. They take a haphazard approach to thinking, and then they are amazed when they find themselves floundering and making no progress.


Everyone talks about problem solving, but how do you do that? 

Here is a simple 10 step process to apply problem solving in a way anyone can apply. Give them away – print them out – put them on your desk. Use them.

1.Investigate and gather information – to see if it is really even a problem.

Instead of using the word problem, use the word situation, or call it a challenge or an opportunity. The more positive your language is, the more confident and optimistic you will be when approaching any difficulty. The more creative and insightful you will be in identifying creative solutions and breakthrough ideas

2.Define problem – write it down on paper (when we do this we get a different perspective) determine the cause if possible.

What exactly is the challenge you are facing? What is causing you the stress and anxiety? What is causing you to worry? Why are you unhappy? Write it out clearly in detail.

3.Brainstorm as many possible solutions you can think of, use other people, ask them – quantity is key, not quality – examples of how we stop this.
Ask, “What else is the problem?” Don’t be satisfied with a superficial answer. Look for the root cause of the problem rather than get sidetracked by the symptom. Approach the problem from several different directions.

4. Apply 80/20 rule to step 3 the ideas– at this point in time find which ideas might work and produce the biggest results with the lease amount of effort.
What exaclty must the solution accomplish? What ingredients must the solution contain? What would your ideal solution to this problem look like? Define the parameters clearly.

5.Pick one, decision using the 80/20 rule
Pick the best solution by comparing your various possible solutions against your problem, on the one hand, and your ideal solution, on the other. What is the best thing to do at this time under the circumstances?

6. Act on step 5 – do not let time elaps – key characteristic of successful people is they are decisive. Successful people have a clear goal, a lifetime goal, of where they want to go. Because of the clear picture of where they want to go, they know if their decision fits in or not. Unsuccessful people don’t know if their decision fits into their picture because they don’t have one. They don’t have goals

7. Follow up – inspect – we get what we inspect, not what we expect
Set measures on your decision. How will you know that you are making progress? How will you measure success? How will you compare the success of this solution against the success of another solution?

8. Evaluate your progress to date
Accept complete responsibility for implementing the decision. Many of the most creative ideas never materialize because no one is specifically assigned the responsibility of carrying out the decision.

9. Do 1-8 for parts of the problem not resolved or if problem is not resolved.
A decision without a deadline is a meaningless discussion. If it is a major decision and will take some time to implement, set a series of short-term deadlines and a schedule for reporting.

10. Document what you did – so you do not have to do this again.
Get busy. Get going. Develop a sense of urgency. The faster you move in the direction of your clearly defined goals, the more creative you will be. The more energy you will have. The more you will learn. And the faster you will develop your capacity to achieve even more in the future.

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