A Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving

Things happen and problems arise; it’s what makes life, well, life. How you react to those problems and handle them is what can define your career. It’s important to have a system in place and understand the right way to handle situations. Use these steps to effectively and efficiently take care of problems.

  1. Problem Solving Find the Right Problems to Solve.
    Follow the Pareto Principle which states that 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of causes. The key is to find that 20% to eliminate as many problems as possible. Make a list and try to evaluate the cause. List them in order of importance and try to find common causes. This will help you solve more problems in less amount of time.
  2. Define the Problem
    You can’t solve the problem is you can’t define it. Define the problem, why it is a problem, and the cause of the problem will help you clarify what you’re trying to accomplish.
  3. Analyze the Problem
    It’s easy, when problems arise, to get overwhelmed and lose sight of the issue. Taking time to thoroughly analyze the problem, state facts, and break down the complexity of the situation will allow you to get to the root of the issue and provide a solution. Often times, the solution is simpler than you think.
  4. Develop Opportunities
    Don’t look at problems as something that is holding you back. Instead, look at them as opportunities to grow, develop, and become more efficient and effective. Allow your creativity to flow when brainstorming possible solutions. This will help you see opportunities that you may have missed before.
  5. Select the Best Solution
    This is where decision-making is critical. Weigh each option and consider the value, risk, and effects that each choice will bring. Create a chart and list pros and cons of each option to select the optimal solution.
  6. Implement
    Be sure to have a plan to roll out your solution as well as an alternative plan in case things don’t go as expected. Flexibility is key in implementing a solution. Be able to change route when needed to meet your goals and objectives.
  7. Evaluate and Learn
    Take time to look back at your problem-solving process. Be sure to look at how each step was carried out and how effective the solution was. It’s critical to learn from this process so you can better solve future problems.

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