Six Step Problem Solving Process

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Although the steps all have distinct names, there is no clear demarcation between them.

For example, “identifying” and “diagnosing” a problem are two steps that may frequently overlap.

Step Five: Implement the Solution Choosing a solution does not immediately solve a problem. Effective groups, however, plan additional feedback mechanisms to detect the need for midcourse corrections and to ensure that the problem is solved without creating new problems.

Putting a solution into action may prove as difficult as deciding on one. Collecting data and reporting on what has been accomplished also keeps a group credible with its constituents.

Problem Solving Overview SIX-STEP PROBLEM SOLVING MODEL Problem solving models are used to address many issues that come up on a daily basis in the workplace. While many of you have probably already engaged in solving problems, you have probably used many different approaches in order to achieve a solution.

Issues and operational problems in a committee can be solved more easily and with better results by using a problem solving model, i.e.The implementation stage requires action planning: What must be done? Finally, reflecting on its own processes and results keeps a group effective.It also brings the problem-solving process full circle, as reflecting on results helps a group identify its next step. Let’s look at each of the steps a little more closely.Step One: Define the Problem The first step, identifying the problem, is a broad review of the current situation — a fitting together of information, like pieces of a puzzle.It keeps the process more scientific and less susceptible to individual biases and perceptions.To help manage the group process The six steps in the problem solving model provide a focus for the group and help set the agenda: everybody can work on following the model, rather than use their individual approaches all at the same time.Your efforts over the next two steps can thus be directed to finding solutions that address the roots of a documented problem, not merely its random symptoms. © 2008 3 Problem Solving Overview Step Three: Develop Alternative Solutions Once you have defined a problem, your “knee-jerk” reaction may be to jump toward a particular solution.However, creative problem solving requires you to explore a full range of viable solutions before reaching a conclusion.Groups use tools such as brainstorming, interviewing, and completing questionnaires to gather this information.As you go through this step, you will find yourselves raising, reviewing, and discarding statements of the problem as you sort out what are merely symptoms of the problem and then look behind those symptoms to make a tentative definition of the underlying problem.


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