Simplified four phases guide to problem solving process that can be useful in practice

Simplified four phases guide to problem solving process that can be useful in practice

Problem

Organization from time to time are faced with a lots of problem cases militating against their growth & development and a lots of funds are diverted for improvement purpose so as to maintain a positive impact inorder to achieve customer satisfaction and protect project business as a whole. The aim of this article is to identify four phases guide to problem solving process in practice in order to find a solution to problems that militates against progress in organization

There are four basic phases in the process presented here:

  1. Target the problem. You choose a single problem to work on, then describe it in writing.
  2. Evaluate root causes. You learn more about the causes of the problem from data.
  3. Select a solution. You choose a solution and a plan for implementing it.
  4. Take action. You implement the plan, monitor the results and adjust the plan, as needed.

You can think of this process as ’Test’:

  • Target problem
  • Evaluate root cause
  • Select a solution
  • Take action.

Phase one: Target the problem

  • Goal

-To target a single problem and describe it clearly in writing vividly.

  • Importance

Enables you to lay a solid foundation for the problem-solving process. Without a clear statement of the problem, you are not likely to arrive at a satisfactory solution.

How you know when you’ve comleted Phase one?

  • When you have:
  1.  Targeted just one problem
  2. Made sure the problem:

– is worth working on,
– is important enough to you (or the group) that the effort   involved in solving it will be worthwhile.
-is appropriate.

3. Made sure that you (or your group) has the interest and influence necessary to solve the problem.

Phase two: Evaluate Root Cause

  • Goals

– To develop data showing the extent or seriousness of the problem
– To identify the most influential causes of the problem

  • Importance

Help you avoid two common pitfalls:

  1. Assuring you know what causes the problem
  2. Fixing a problem temporarily, without addressing the factors that caused the problem to begin with. (That would be like taking aspirin for recurring headaches, without going to the doctor to find out why you keep getting headaches.)

How you know when you’ve completed Phase two?

  • When:
  1. You know the current extent of the problem.
  2. You understand enough about the problem and its contributing causes to solve all or part of it for good.

Phase three: Select solution

  • Goal

– To develop:

A solution, and an action plan to implement the solution.

  • Importance

Make sure your group not only agrees on a solution but also has a concrete action plan for implementing it. Without an action plan, even the most brilliant solution can go to waste for lack of implementation.

How you know when you’ve completed Phase three?

  • When:
  1. You’ve agreed on a single solution
  2. The solution meets these three test. i.e:

a) Will prevent recurrence

b) Has benefits worth the time and cost

c) Can win organizational support.

3. You have an implementation plan.

Phase four: Take action

  • Goal

– To gather the support you need to implement the plan, and
– To implement the plan successfully.

  • Importance

Ensures that you get support for your plan before you implement it. Also ensures that you track the progress of implementation and gather data to spot problems and adjust your plan accordingly.

How you know when you’ve completed Phase four?

  • When:
  1. You have informed all relevant people and groups about your solution and won their support.
  2. You have fully executed the plan.
  3. You have indicators of progress in place, and have checked them regulary to track progress and spotlight any roadblocks.

Thank you.

About the author: Abraham Dunmade

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