Problem Solving Steps

10 key steps for effective problem solving

  1. Clarify the Problem
  2. Define the scope by understanding knowns and unknowns
  3. Gather information and identify constraints
  4. Investigate Root Causes of the problem and test for relevance
  5. Identify and develop solutions
  6. Evaluate Solutions against your key decision criteria
  7. Decide on one or more solutions
  8. Validate with key stakeholders
  9. Plan and Implement the solution
  10. Follow-up, measure expected benefits, and collect feedback

Key considerations

  • Does the problem depict the current situation accurately?
  • Can we measure the gap between where we are and where we want to be?
  • What is the stakeholder perception about the problem? 
  • Can the hypotheses be tested? (surveys, interviews, process flows, pareto analyses, etc.)
  • Have you considered alternate scenarios?
  • Is the cause of the is within your sphere of influence?

Designing the Solution

  • Design the solution when considering needs vs. wants, long-term vs. short-term impact, interim steps, risks and costs
  • Develop solutions using Brainstorming, Benchmarking, Best practices, and various modeling techniques
  • Ask 5 x Whys