Careful planning and teamwork are critical when problem-solving. A business unable to solve problems is not going to last very long. No matter how disruptive they may claim to be. When solving problems, it’s important not to make it up as you go along or worse, expecting an issue to go away by itself. So we offer 10 ways to catch and solve business problems quicker.
And like most things in life, the critical bit of problem-solving is the part you do before you any take action at all. The following is a 10 step process to catch and solve business problems quicker:
1. Provide clarity and understanding of the problem
Never assume everyone in your team and sphere of influence understands the problem the same way you do. Anyone asked to take the bins out when there is an important football game on the TV can vouch for that. Before you do anything, agree a written definition of the business problem.
2. Dissect the problem
Big problems are usually built with many different aspects and causes. It would help if you spent some time identifying and listing all the facets of the problem.
3. Categorise problem into baskets
To see the problem from different angles, group the elements of the problem into defined baskets. Place the features of the issue into the baskets that make sense to you. These could be people, money, processes, marketing, but they can be anything. These categories are up to you, what comes into your mind. Don’t limit thoughts to a defined list.
4. Identify the critical priority categories
Work with your team to rank the baskets that influence the overall problem. Are there any baskets you can combine or split even further?
5. Analyse the Problem
Now that you’ve identified the basket of the elements of the problem you need to look into each basket. Looking deeper into these baskets will reveal inconsistencies, out of place items that need to be reconciled, reworked and resolve any inaccurate information.
6 Identify Solutions
If you have followed this process, some solutions may have become very obvious. So identifying the possible solutions should be reasonably straightforward. But don’t reject any possible solutions just yet. However daft they may sound. Great questions will isolated great solutions.
7. Effort and resources
Plot each potential solution onto a 2×2 matrix to define how easy it will be to implement a solution. And then plot how much impact the possible solution will have on the problem. Then pick the most straightforward solutions which offer the best results. You now know the best solutions.
8. Plan the implementation
Now identify the specific and action steps you need to do to implement each of your solutions. Take the answers and develop a to do list and order them into a chronological order.
9. Who is going to do it?
Now you know what you need to do, you have to assign people who are going to resolve the problem using the newly acquired solutions. Define the owner of each step of the solution. And place their name into your action plan.
10. Build your time-sensitive action plan
Each action within the plan has an agreed delivery date.
This article suggested a 10 step process to catch and solve business problems quicker. The first seven steps offered the opportunity for teamwork. However, we live in the real world, and to get the job done we need set responsibility, targets and goals. So from step 8 to 10 offered accountability, effectiveness and agreed timings. Timings to make sure you solve your problems.