Improving Problem Solving Skills

However, for a more comprehensive process, you can use Simplex, Appreciative Inquiry or Soft Systems Methodology (SSM).

These provide detailed steps that you can use to solve a problem effectively.

For example, consider this problem statement: "We have to find a way of disciplining of people who do substandard work." This doesn't allow you the opportunity of discovering the real reasons for under-performance.

The CATWOE checklist provides a powerful reminder to look at many elements that may contribute to the problem, and to expand your thinking around it.

Simplex involves an eight-stage process: problem finding, fact finding, defining the problem, idea finding, selecting and evaluating, planning, selling the idea, and acting.

These steps build upon the basic process described earlier, and they create a cycle of problem finding and solving that will continually improve your organization.

Using established tools and techniques will help you improve your approach to solving the problems that your team and your organization face.

You'll be more successful at solving problems and, because of this, more successful at what you do.

Quite often, what may seem to be a single problem turns out to be a whole series of problems.

Going back to our example, substandard work could be caused by insufficient skills, but excessive workloads could also be contributing, as could excessively short lead times and poor motivation.


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