We all have them. Solving problems is the way of life. Everyone goes through them.
At the end of the day we must leave some problems unsolved, but why is that? It’s either because the problem is too big and we are not able to solve it in one day, or we are weak person and we subside every authentic solution to avoid facing it.
I’ve discovered 9 steps method to solve any type of problem. Let’s start by defining the problem.
Step 1 – spend time defining the problem
In medicine they say “precise diagnose is half way through the healing process”.
We need to ask ourselves “What’s the actual problem?”
It is unbelievable how many employees in companies (or group of people) can be affected by a sudden problem, but how different the problem affects each and every one of them.
Every individual grasps the problem different and has different definition and opinion of solving that problem.
It’s up to us to clarify the problem and to make sure everyone agrees with our definition before we start solving it.
Step 2 – ask yourself “Is that really a problem?”
Remember, there are things you cannot influence on.
They are not problems, but circumstances and conditions. If the interest rate goes up, or if the mortgage loans market collapses, that’s not a problem. That’s not something we can solve. Instead of solving it, it needs to be grasped as a fact and we need to find different way to complete the work.
Also, very often, something may look like a problem or a barricade, but it can be disguised opportunity.
Instead of solving the problem, we are flexible to work towards something different – that can benefit both, us and our organization.
Step 3 – ask yourself: “What else represents the problem?”
Beware of the problems that have only one solution. The more definitions (solutions) one problem has, the greater lurking around it and finding the best possible solution.
If one company sales are under the desirable level, we can ask the following questions: “What’s the problem?”
First we may respond obviously: “Our sales are under the desirable level”. Second question will be: “What else represents the problem?” The answer will be: “Our competitor’s sales are too high.”
Take a look at the difference.
If the problem is that our sales are under the desirable level, the solution can be more advertisement and promotion of our products.
If the resolution states that our competitor’s sales are too high, the solution can be prone in improving our product, most probably in the manufacturing line, lowering the price, or engaging in different operation.
By asking a sequence of questions and finding following answers for every one of them, we can find the correct definition of the problem, of which we can induct feasible solution.
Step 4 – ask yourselves “When did this problem occur?”
We need to try to resolve the causes of the problem so we can make sure it never occurs again.
If some difficulties constantly occur in our life, or in our company, that’s a sign that our company is not well organized, or that we don’t navigate that area in our life.
There are errors in the compound of our systems and causes occurrence of one exact problem. We need to discover why the problem shows up all the time and cut the root of it.
Step 5 – ask yourselves “What are the possible solutions?”
As many possible solutions we think of, as probable will be that we are going to find the “authentic one.”
It appears that the quantity of solutions, is in direct proportion with the quality of solutions that we think of during the resolution of the problem.
Again, beware of the problems that have only one solution.
Step 6 – ask yourselves: “What’s the best solution in this moment?”
Sometimes, any kind of solution would be better than no solution.
One average solution vigorously implemented is often better than a great solution that cannot be implemented because of its complexity, or because no one can resolve the solution.
Generally, 80% of all problems need to be resolved ASAP and only 20% of the problems need to be postponed (like the Pareto Principle).
If we must postpone the resolution of any problem, we need to define the deadline for the solution, and during the time between the deadlines we have to make a decision based on the information’s that we have available in that moment.
Step 7 – make a decision
Select a decision, whatever it is, and decide what you are going to do with it. Always ask yourselves: “What’s the next step? What are we going to do now?”
Step 8 – assign responsibilities
Whose responsibility is going to be the implementation of the solution of all the separate parts?
Frequently happens to assemble a group of people in case to resolve some problem and select agreement on the solution. But if the group assembles again after two weeks and nothings seems to be done, what’s the problem?
The problem is that no one was in charge of implementation of the decision.
Step 9 – determine the measure of efficiency of the solution
What are we trying to accomplish with that decision and how are we going to measure the results? How do we know it’s efficient? How precisely we define the results that we want to accomplish with the decision, the percentage of success goes up.
The guidance of the steps above can guide you through shifting your mind set and defining each problem to its core. After all, we solve problems to attain our vision and find the natural way to happiness.