Don’t rush into finding the right solution, if you haven’t find what the right problem is.

It’s not a secret that for some of us, in rushing to get the things done we’re aiming for a quick solution that we believe will turn the tides into our favour. At times, we even simply copied how others solve their problems, without even thinking if we have the same problem to solve.

While sometimes this problem solving method works, it does not guarantee a lasting result. It is also the reason why, tail chasers rarely managed to get past than the animal which tail they’re after; because they just imitate what worked, not what worked the best for their own situation.

Does it requires more time to spend? Sure it is! However a time well spent is not the shortest time spent, but time spent in meaningful manner. Hence in problem solving cases, it applies by not rushing to find the right solution, but instead it equals with slowing down and take detour route if you need to: spend a necessary amount of time to first determine what are the real problems we’re facing. Because once the real problem pinpointed, then we can focus our efforts to deal with it.

In simple, there are three essential stages involved: defining, analyzing and solving.

  1. Defining the problem occurs when the cause of imbalance in the operations functions is determined
  2. Analyzing is the act of careful examination of the threatening challenge and the possible alternatives that deal with the challenge
  3. Solving is implementing the action that offers maximum efficiency in eliminating the challenge

To put into action plan, here are the steps that might help you to go through the overall process:

  1. Finding the right problem to solve
  2. Defining the problem
  3. Analysing the problem
  4. Developing possibilities
  5. Selecting the best solution
  6. Implementing
  7. Evaluating and learning

For detailed explanation and how to apply them, please visit the materials for further reading below:

  1. Finding the Right Problem (pdf) – Veronica E. Ramirez
  2. Seven Step Problem Solving Technique (web) – The Happy Manager


Image: Ron Tandberg, The Age 11/11/2004 btw of Daniel Bowen’s blog.

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