Six Steps to Develop an Effective Problem-Solving Process

by Rawzaba Alhalabi Published on November 1, 2017

Problem-solving involves thought and understanding. Although it may appear simple, identifying a problem may be a challenging process.

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes”, says American industrialist Henry Kaiser. According to Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995), a problem is “ doubtful or difficult matter requiring a solution” and “something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with.” Such situations are at the center of what many people do at work every day.

Whether to help a client solve a problem, support a problem-solver, or to discover new problems, problem-solving is a crucial element to the workplace ingredients. Everyone can benefit from effective problem-solving skills that would make people happier. Everyone wins. Hence, this approach is a critical element but how can you do it effectively? You need to find a solution, but not right away. People tend to put the solution at the beginning of the process but they actually needed it at the end of the process.

Here are six steps to an effective problem-solving process:

Identify the issues, understand everyone’s interests, list the possible solutions, make a decision, implement the solution.

By following the whole process, you will be able to enhance your problem-solving skills and increase your patience. Keep in mind that effective problem solving does take some time and attention. You have to always be ready to hit the brakes and slow down. A problem is like a bump road. Take it right and you’ll find yourself in good shape for the straightaway that follows. Take it too fast and you may not be in as good shape.

Case study 1:

According to Real Time Economics, there are industries that have genuinely evolved, with more roles for people with analytical and problem-solving skills. In healthcare, for example, a regulatory change requiring the digitization of health records has led to greater demand for medical records technicians. Technological change in the manufacturing industry has reduced routine factory jobs while demanding more skilled workers who can operate complex machinery.

Case study 2:

Yolanda was having a hard time dealing with difficult clients and dealing with her team at the office, so she decided to take a problem-solving course. “I was very pleased with the 2-day Problem Solving program at RSM.  It is an excellent investment for anyone involved in the strategic decision-making process—be it in their own company or as a consultant charged with supporting organizations facing strategic challenges.“

Yolanda Barreros Gutiérrez, B&C Consulting

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Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put tis informative article together. I onc again findd myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leavfing comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

  • The Six-Step Problem-Solving Process
  • Select the problem to be analyzed
  • Clearly define the problem and establish aprecise problem statement
  • Set a measurable goal for the problem solving effort
  • Establish a process for coordinating with and gaining approval of leadership
  • Identify the processes that impact the problem and select one
  • List the steps in the process as it currently exists
  • Map the Process
  • Validate the map of the process
  • Identify potential cause of the problem
  • Collect and analyze data related to the problem
  • Verify or revise the original problem statement
  • Identify root causes of the problem
  • Collect additional data if needed to verify root causes
  • Establish criteria for selecting a solution
  • Generate potential solutions that will address the root causes of the problem
  • Select a solution
  • Gain approval and supporter the chosen solution
  • Plan the solution
  • Implement the chosen solution on a trial or pilot basis
  • If the Problem Solving Process is being used in conjunction with the Continuous Improvement Process, return to Step 6 of the Continuous Improvement Process
  • If the Problem Solving Process is being used as a standalone, continue to Step 5
  • Gather data on the solution
  • Analyze the data on the solution
  • Achive the desired results?
  • If YES, go to Step 6. 
  • If NO, go back to Step 1.
  • Identify systemic changes and training needs for full implementation
  • Adopt the solution
  • Plan ongoing monitoring of the solution
  • Continue to look for incremental improvements to refine the solution
  • Look for another improvement opportunity

4 comments:

Tim, This is a good guideline for any practitioner to follow. I wish I had this a few weeks ago. A client liked a training deck I prepared but didn't want to confuse anyone with terms like Deming Cycle and such. The final version of PDCA was a 6 step process improvement method that's very similar to yours. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, Chris

Thank you for you brief and easy to understand on each step problem solving above.

Wonderful. Well Explained. Thank you for sharing

I mapped this to PDCA and observed that the first 3 steps correspond to P, the next 3 to D, C and A respectively. This Show that indeed planning is the most important step in PDCA.

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Overview of the Problem-Solving Mental Process

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

problem solving 6 step

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.

problem solving 6 step

  • Identify the Problem
  • Define the Problem
  • Form a Strategy
  • Organize Information
  • Allocate Resources
  • Monitor Progress
  • Evaluate the Results

Frequently Asked Questions

Problem-solving is a mental process that involves discovering, analyzing, and solving problems. The ultimate goal of problem-solving is to overcome obstacles and find a solution that best resolves the issue.

The best strategy for solving a problem depends largely on the unique situation. In some cases, people are better off learning everything they can about the issue and then using factual knowledge to come up with a solution. In other instances, creativity and insight are the best options.

It is not necessary to follow problem-solving steps sequentially, It is common to skip steps or even go back through steps multiple times until the desired solution is reached.

In order to correctly solve a problem, it is often important to follow a series of steps. Researchers sometimes refer to this as the problem-solving cycle. While this cycle is portrayed sequentially, people rarely follow a rigid series of steps to find a solution.

The following steps include developing strategies and organizing knowledge.

1. Identifying the Problem

While it may seem like an obvious step, identifying the problem is not always as simple as it sounds. In some cases, people might mistakenly identify the wrong source of a problem, which will make attempts to solve it inefficient or even useless.

Some strategies that you might use to figure out the source of a problem include :

  • Asking questions about the problem
  • Breaking the problem down into smaller pieces
  • Looking at the problem from different perspectives
  • Conducting research to figure out what relationships exist between different variables

2. Defining the Problem

After the problem has been identified, it is important to fully define the problem so that it can be solved. You can define a problem by operationally defining each aspect of the problem and setting goals for what aspects of the problem you will address

At this point, you should focus on figuring out which aspects of the problems are facts and which are opinions. State the problem clearly and identify the scope of the solution.

3. Forming a Strategy

After the problem has been identified, it is time to start brainstorming potential solutions. This step usually involves generating as many ideas as possible without judging their quality. Once several possibilities have been generated, they can be evaluated and narrowed down.

The next step is to develop a strategy to solve the problem. The approach used will vary depending upon the situation and the individual's unique preferences. Common problem-solving strategies include heuristics and algorithms.

  • Heuristics are mental shortcuts that are often based on solutions that have worked in the past. They can work well if the problem is similar to something you have encountered before and are often the best choice if you need a fast solution.
  • Algorithms are step-by-step strategies that are guaranteed to produce a correct result. While this approach is great for accuracy, it can also consume time and resources.

Heuristics are often best used when time is of the essence, while algorithms are a better choice when a decision needs to be as accurate as possible.

4. Organizing Information

Before coming up with a solution, you need to first organize the available information. What do you know about the problem? What do you not know? The more information that is available the better prepared you will be to come up with an accurate solution.

When approaching a problem, it is important to make sure that you have all the data you need. Making a decision without adequate information can lead to biased or inaccurate results.

5. Allocating Resources

Of course, we don't always have unlimited money, time, and other resources to solve a problem. Before you begin to solve a problem, you need to determine how high priority it is.

If it is an important problem, it is probably worth allocating more resources to solving it. If, however, it is a fairly unimportant problem, then you do not want to spend too much of your available resources on coming up with a solution.

At this stage, it is important to consider all of the factors that might affect the problem at hand. This includes looking at the available resources, deadlines that need to be met, and any possible risks involved in each solution. After careful evaluation, a decision can be made about which solution to pursue.

6. Monitoring Progress

After selecting a problem-solving strategy, it is time to put the plan into action and see if it works. This step might involve trying out different solutions to see which one is the most effective.

It is also important to monitor the situation after implementing a solution to ensure that the problem has been solved and that no new problems have arisen as a result of the proposed solution.

Effective problem-solvers tend to monitor their progress as they work towards a solution. If they are not making good progress toward reaching their goal, they will reevaluate their approach or look for new strategies .

7. Evaluating the Results

After a solution has been reached, it is important to evaluate the results to determine if it is the best possible solution to the problem. This evaluation might be immediate, such as checking the results of a math problem to ensure the answer is correct, or it can be delayed, such as evaluating the success of a therapy program after several months of treatment.

Once a problem has been solved, it is important to take some time to reflect on the process that was used and evaluate the results. This will help you to improve your problem-solving skills and become more efficient at solving future problems.

A Word From Verywell​

It is important to remember that there are many different problem-solving processes with different steps, and this is just one example. Problem-solving in real-world situations requires a great deal of resourcefulness, flexibility, resilience, and continuous interaction with the environment.

Get Advice From The Verywell Mind Podcast

Hosted by therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares how you can stop dwelling in a negative mindset.

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You can become a better problem solving by:

  • Practicing brainstorming and coming up with multiple potential solutions to problems
  • Being open-minded and considering all possible options before making a decision
  • Breaking down problems into smaller, more manageable pieces
  • Asking for help when needed
  • Researching different problem-solving techniques and trying out new ones
  • Learning from mistakes and using them as opportunities to grow

It's important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about what's going on. Try to see things from their perspective as well as your own. Work together to find a resolution that works for both of you. Be willing to compromise and accept that there may not be a perfect solution.

Take breaks if things are getting too heated, and come back to the problem when you feel calm and collected. Don't try to fix every problem on your own—consider asking a therapist or counselor for help and insight.

If you've tried everything and there doesn't seem to be a way to fix the problem, you may have to learn to accept it. This can be difficult, but try to focus on the positive aspects of your life and remember that every situation is temporary. Don't dwell on what's going wrong—instead, think about what's going right. Find support by talking to friends or family. Seek professional help if you're having trouble coping.

Davidson JE, Sternberg RJ, editors.  The Psychology of Problem Solving .  Cambridge University Press; 2003. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511615771

Sarathy V. Real world problem-solving .  Front Hum Neurosci . 2018;12:261. Published 2018 Jun 26. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00261

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Six-Step Problem-Solving Model

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weblink:  http://www.yale.edu/bestpractices/resources/docs/problemsolvingmodel.pdf

This six-step model is designed for the workplace, but is easily adaptable to other settings such as schools and families.  It emphasizes the cyclical , continuous nature of the problem-solving process .  The model describes in detail the following steps:

Step One:   Define the Problem

Step Two:   Determine the Root Cause(s) of the Problem

Step Three:   Develop Alternative Solutions

Step Four:   Select a Solution

Step Five:   Implement the Solution

Step Six:   Evaluate the Outcome

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problem solving 6 step

Six Steps Demystified

The six-step approach offers a framework for creative problem solving. Although each step is critical, it is important that participants don't forget that conducting RESEARCH on a topic sets up a strong foundation. Being knowledgeable about a topic allows for better understanding of the bigger picture and is a key part of identifying problems as well as generating solutions. Successful problem solvers always have conducted research on the topic.

There are two essential Pre-Steps before starting the six-step process.

Research the topic

Read and analyze the future scene

problem solving 6 step

Underlying Problem

Evaluate Solutions

Action Plan

problem solving 6 step

Develop an Action Plan

The solution idea (which receives the highest total from STEP 5) is described in detail within the action plan. Develop your action plan by relating the idea back to the U.P. Demonstrate how your action plan will achieve what you set out to accomplish in STEP 2 (the KVP and Purpose).

Tips: 

Explain in detail the  who, what, how why, where,  and  when  of your action plan. Who will carry out the plan or be involved? What will be done to solve the problem? When will the results begin and will it continue? Where will the plan be implemented? Why will this idea positively impact the future scene? How will the action plan be carried out? How does it positively impact the U.P.? 

New facts to your action plan may be added, as long as each addition represents a subpart of your action plan.

Sample Format:  One approach might be to write five complete paragraphs in elaboration of your action plan.

 An overview of the plans steps and stages of implementation ( Who  and  What ).

Discuss the reasons or logic behind the solution being the best choice ( Why  and  How  the plan solves every aspect of the U.P.).

Discuss potential roadblocks or challenges that will likely confront this action plan, along with ideas or actions for overcoming these obstacles.

Highlight the strengths which Action Plan possess.

Underscore the many positive impacts that the action plan will provide to the whole situation described in the future scene. Provide a justification ( Why  and How ) for each positive impact and benefit derived from the implementation of the action plan.

Pastel Swirl

Produce Solution Ideas to the Underlying Problem

Solutions are detailed plans to solve all aspects of the team’s U.P.

Elaborate by indicating  WHO  will implement the solution idea,  WHAT  will be done,  HOW  the solution idea will work, and  WHY  the solution idea will solve the KVP and Purpose of the U.P.

Elements of the future should be incorporated within these action proposals by utilizing new or special technologies, methods, or procedures that would be effective.

Solution ideas are to be stated as definite proposals (e.g. "will").

Incorporate futuristic aspects in your writing of the solution idea.

Attempt to produce solutions for every relevant category of thought for the future scene as possible.

Generate and Select Criteria to Evaluate Solution Ideas

Brainstorm criteria that question the creative potential and importance of solution ideas. Create criteria which will measure the comparative quality (relevance and/or validity) of your STEP 3 solutions.

Only identify one concern/dimension with each criterion. Avoid the use of "and" in a criterion.

It is helpful to include  superlatives words (e.g. least, most, greatest, fewest, etc.).

You can create advanced criteria by considering various aspects of the future scene or your U.P. (KVP or Purpose) within a criterion.

Include the phrase, "which solution will" and phrase each in the form of a question.

Identify Challenges Related to the Topic or Future Scene

Challenges note important concerns, problems, issues, or challenges that have a strong possibility of occurring within the future scene. 

Written in statement form.

Stated in terms of possibility (e.g. may, could, might).

Must have relation to the future scene by containing terms or phrases that describe the topic, place, and/or individuals detailed in the future scene.

Challenges may either cause the future scene or result from the future scene.

Explain WHAT the challenge is, WHY it is a challenge, and HOW it relates to the future scene.

Phrase your challenges as cause and effect logic statements.

Attempt to find as many challenges as you can for every relevant category of thought for the future scene (about 12 categories should be your goal).

Incorporate ideas or concepts found during your research when writing the selected challenges from your group’s brainstorming whenever possible.

Select an Underlying Problem

The Underlying Problem (U.P.) is a statement of the most important challenge identified in STEP 1. The selected challenge, if solved, might solve many of the other challenges identified in the Future Scene. A challenge causing other concerns to occur in the scenario is much preferred as the U.P. rather than a challenge resulting from the future scene’s situation.

How To Structure A U.P.:   A U.P. should be stated in one question containing the following five basic components.

Condition Phrase: A beginning sentence that describes the most significant challenge selected from STEP 1 that may be causing many other challenges in the future scene. The conditions should describe an effect and a cause arising from the future scene. The conditions are the impetus for the area of concern that the team has chosen for their solution finding. Since and due to (or because) could be a format used to write the condition phrase.

Stem: Phrased as "How might we" or "In what ways might we"

Key Verb Phrase (KVP): One main verb which is active, descriptive, and clear which describes the action that must be done to solve the problem.

Purpose: The what you aim to accomplish by doing the Key Verb Phrase.

Future Scene Parameters (FSP): The geographic location, time, and topic described within the future scene.

The U.P. should address only one issue (one action in the KVP and one goal in the Purpose).

The action stated in your KVP should be clear and the goal or outcome described in your Purpose should be measurable.

Evaluate Solution Ideas to Determine the Better Action Plan

Select your 8 most promising solution ideas and list them in the 8 solution idea blanks of the grid. If you have fewer than 8, list them all. Rank order your solution ideas from 8 (best) to 1 (least effective) relative to each criterion from STEP 4. Ensure that you use each number between 8 and 1 only once in each vertical column. Sum the ratings across the grid to total the ranks given to each solution. The solution with the highest total rank is the solution used to develop your action plan in STEP 6.

It is always helpful to familiarize yourself with the six steps by looking at the full blank booklet and understanding how evaluators review each step through the GIPS Evaluation Scoresheet which can also be found under at the Virtual Center . 

The GIPS Key Tips packet found under at the Virtual Center offers more in-depth explanation of each step. If you have any questions about the six steps never hesitate to reach out to our Evaluation Director, so we can offer more insight. Always remember to review the evaluators' scoresheet after each submission and read the feedback which can offer advice on how to further improve.

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19 Sep 2020

A Project Manager's Short Guide to Effective Problem-Solving in 6 Steps

Role of the Project Manager | By Duncan Haughey | Read time minutes

Young Indian man in a white shirt and a business suit sitting on some steps with a laptop, smiling and typing

For project managers and business analysts like you, effective problem-solving remains an ever-important soft skill that requires you to combine creative thinking and strong analytical skills. The simple six-step process outlined below will help you master effective problem-solving — a skill that will provide you with the ability to bring a new perspective to problems, helping you to design, and implement, effective solutions.

Step #1: Identify the Problem

First, make sure you're dealing with the real problem, not just its symptoms. In information technology, we use root cause analysis to trace back to the origin of a problem. Take the time needed to do this tracing and discover the real reason for a problem by looking at it from different angles. Here are a few tools that can help:

  • Cause and effect diagrams: These diagrams help you gain a solid understanding of what's actually causing the problem.
  • Drill-down technique: This technique helps you split problems into decreasingly smaller parts to gain an increasingly more in-depth understanding of the cause.
  • 5 whys: This approach helps you drill down to a problem's root cause by asking why five times.

Ultimately, all problems fall into three basic cause types:

  • Physical cause: Equipment has had a material failure and stopped working.
  • Human cause: Someone made a mistake or forgot to do something.
  • Organisational cause: A system or process was flawed and/or failed.

Step #2: List All Possible Solutions

Once you understand the problem, it's time to think about possible solutions. If your problem is simple, the solution will often be clear straightaway. But more complex problems may require a formal approach to finding solutions. Here are some potential techniques you could employ:

  • Hold a brainstorming session with your team to identify and explore answers to the problem.
  • Use mind mapping to focus your mind, gain clarity and quickly identify solutions.
  • Ask a coach to employ the GROW model to help you identify the obstacles preventing you from achieving your goal.

Step #3: Evaluate the Solutions

Once you have your list of solutions, evaluate each one by asking a few questions:

  • What are the pros and cons?
  • Which measures will resolve the problem and prevent it from re-occurring?

Step #4: Pick the Best Solution

Weigh the solutions against a good outcome versus risk. Here are a few questions you should be asking to help guide this process:

  • What options can you discard straightaway?
  • Which option will have the best outcome at an acceptable risk level?
  • What is your best option?

Step #5: Document the Selected Solution

Once you've identified the best solution, write it down. This action helps you think through the solution thoroughly and identify any implications of implementing the solution. This step is especially useful when solutions are complex, when they require organising, to ensure a specific process order is followed or when you don't want to rely solely on your memory.

Step #6: Create a Contingency Plan

Circumstances may (and often do!) change, so create a plan of what you will do for any foreseeable futures. Don't be caught unprepared when and if things change.

What Would You Do?

Here are three scenarios you may encounter as a project manager. Faced with these situations, what would you do? Click the down arrow to see answer.

Scenario 1: The Urgent Project You have been asked by your director to plan an urgent project. However, you cannot start the project because a colleague with vital information and expertise is away on an extended holiday, and both are essential for project success. How would you approach this situation?

Scenario 2: the unhappy customer your customer is unhappy with the service you're providing on their project. you have not done anything wrong. the customer has been the cause of several delays through last minute and unexpected changes. how would you approach this situation, scenario 3: the serious mistake halfway through a project, you realise you have made a serious mistake. the situation may require significant extra time to resolve and could cause you to miss an important go-live deadline. how would you deal with this situation to ensure you still met the deadline.

As is usually the case, there's no single right answer to each problem, and the answers provided in the example scenarios are just one possibility. Other solutions exist and may, in some cases, even provide a better outcome.

How would you tackle the problems outlined in these scenarios?

Recommended read: How to Perform a Project Handover by Duncan Haughey.

What's Next?

You may also be interested in, 7 habits of brilliant project managers.

  • Project management is a complex and demanding role. Starting to work on these seven habits can take you to the next level.

Work Breakdown Structure 101

  • Work Breakdown Structure is a tool project managers use to break projects down into manageable pieces. Here's why you need one and how to create your own.

How 20 Minutes Each Morning Can Transform Your Day as a Manager

  • Stressed? It's time to consider doing things a bit differently. See how setting your alarm just 20 minutes earlier could transform your day.

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Article • 4 min read

The Problem-Solving Process

Looking at the basic problem-solving process to help keep you on the right track.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

Problem-solving is an important part of planning and decision-making. The process has much in common with the decision-making process, and in the case of complex decisions, can form part of the process itself.

We face and solve problems every day, in a variety of guises and of differing complexity. Some, such as the resolution of a serious complaint, require a significant amount of time, thought and investigation. Others, such as a printer running out of paper, are so quickly resolved they barely register as a problem at all.

problem solving 6 step

Despite the everyday occurrence of problems, many people lack confidence when it comes to solving them, and as a result may chose to stay with the status quo rather than tackle the issue. Broken down into steps, however, the problem-solving process is very simple. While there are many tools and techniques available to help us solve problems, the outline process remains the same.

The main stages of problem-solving are outlined below, though not all are required for every problem that needs to be solved.

problem solving 6 step

1. Define the Problem

Clarify the problem before trying to solve it. A common mistake with problem-solving is to react to what the problem appears to be, rather than what it actually is. Write down a simple statement of the problem, and then underline the key words. Be certain there are no hidden assumptions in the key words you have underlined. One way of doing this is to use a synonym to replace the key words. For example, ‘We need to encourage higher productivity ’ might become ‘We need to promote superior output ’ which has a different meaning.

2. Analyze the Problem

Ask yourself, and others, the following questions.

  • Where is the problem occurring?
  • When is it occurring?
  • Why is it happening?

Be careful not to jump to ‘who is causing the problem?’. When stressed and faced with a problem it is all too easy to assign blame. This, however, can cause negative feeling and does not help to solve the problem. As an example, if an employee is underperforming, the root of the problem might lie in a number of areas, such as lack of training, workplace bullying or management style. To assign immediate blame to the employee would not therefore resolve the underlying issue.

Once the answers to the where, when and why have been determined, the following questions should also be asked:

  • Where can further information be found?
  • Is this information correct, up-to-date and unbiased?
  • What does this information mean in terms of the available options?

3. Generate Potential Solutions

When generating potential solutions it can be a good idea to have a mixture of ‘right brain’ and ‘left brain’ thinkers. In other words, some people who think laterally and some who think logically. This provides a balance in terms of generating the widest possible variety of solutions while also being realistic about what can be achieved. There are many tools and techniques which can help produce solutions, including thinking about the problem from a number of different perspectives, and brainstorming, where a team or individual write as many possibilities as they can think of to encourage lateral thinking and generate a broad range of potential solutions.

4. Select Best Solution

When selecting the best solution, consider:

  • Is this a long-term solution, or a ‘quick fix’?
  • Is the solution achievable in terms of available resources and time?
  • Are there any risks associated with the chosen solution?
  • Could the solution, in itself, lead to other problems?

This stage in particular demonstrates why problem-solving and decision-making are so closely related.

5. Take Action

In order to implement the chosen solution effectively, consider the following:

  • What will the situation look like when the problem is resolved?
  • What needs to be done to implement the solution? Are there systems or processes that need to be adjusted?
  • What will be the success indicators?
  • What are the timescales for the implementation? Does the scale of the problem/implementation require a project plan?
  • Who is responsible?

Once the answers to all the above questions are written down, they can form the basis of an action plan.

6. Monitor and Review

One of the most important factors in successful problem-solving is continual observation and feedback. Use the success indicators in the action plan to monitor progress on a regular basis. Is everything as expected? Is everything on schedule? Keep an eye on priorities and timelines to prevent them from slipping.

If the indicators are not being met, or if timescales are slipping, consider what can be done. Was the plan realistic? If so, are sufficient resources being made available? Are these resources targeting the correct part of the plan? Or does the plan need to be amended? Regular review and discussion of the action plan is important so small adjustments can be made on a regular basis to help keep everything on track.

Once all the indicators have been met and the problem has been resolved, consider what steps can now be taken to prevent this type of problem recurring? It may be that the chosen solution already prevents a recurrence, however if an interim or partial solution has been chosen it is important not to lose momentum.

Problems, by their very nature, will not always fit neatly into a structured problem-solving process. This process, therefore, is designed as a framework which can be adapted to individual needs and nature.

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What is Problem Solving? (Steps, Techniques, Examples)

By Status.net Editorial Team on May 7, 2023 — 5 minutes to read

What Is Problem Solving?

Definition and importance.

Problem solving is the process of finding solutions to obstacles or challenges you encounter in your life or work. It is a crucial skill that allows you to tackle complex situations, adapt to changes, and overcome difficulties with ease. Mastering this ability will contribute to both your personal and professional growth, leading to more successful outcomes and better decision-making.

Problem-Solving Steps

The problem-solving process typically includes the following steps:

  • Identify the issue : Recognize the problem that needs to be solved.
  • Analyze the situation : Examine the issue in depth, gather all relevant information, and consider any limitations or constraints that may be present.
  • Generate potential solutions : Brainstorm a list of possible solutions to the issue, without immediately judging or evaluating them.
  • Evaluate options : Weigh the pros and cons of each potential solution, considering factors such as feasibility, effectiveness, and potential risks.
  • Select the best solution : Choose the option that best addresses the problem and aligns with your objectives.
  • Implement the solution : Put the selected solution into action and monitor the results to ensure it resolves the issue.
  • Review and learn : Reflect on the problem-solving process, identify any improvements or adjustments that can be made, and apply these learnings to future situations.

Defining the Problem

To start tackling a problem, first, identify and understand it. Analyzing the issue thoroughly helps to clarify its scope and nature. Ask questions to gather information and consider the problem from various angles. Some strategies to define the problem include:

  • Brainstorming with others
  • Asking the 5 Ws and 1 H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How)
  • Analyzing cause and effect
  • Creating a problem statement

Generating Solutions

Once the problem is clearly understood, brainstorm possible solutions. Think creatively and keep an open mind, as well as considering lessons from past experiences. Consider:

  • Creating a list of potential ideas to solve the problem
  • Grouping and categorizing similar solutions
  • Prioritizing potential solutions based on feasibility, cost, and resources required
  • Involving others to share diverse opinions and inputs

Evaluating and Selecting Solutions

Evaluate each potential solution, weighing its pros and cons. To facilitate decision-making, use techniques such as:

  • SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • Decision-making matrices
  • Pros and cons lists
  • Risk assessments

After evaluating, choose the most suitable solution based on effectiveness, cost, and time constraints.

Implementing and Monitoring the Solution

Implement the chosen solution and monitor its progress. Key actions include:

  • Communicating the solution to relevant parties
  • Setting timelines and milestones
  • Assigning tasks and responsibilities
  • Monitoring the solution and making adjustments as necessary
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the solution after implementation

Utilize feedback from stakeholders and consider potential improvements. Remember that problem-solving is an ongoing process that can always be refined and enhanced.

Problem-Solving Techniques

During each step, you may find it helpful to utilize various problem-solving techniques, such as:

  • Brainstorming : A free-flowing, open-minded session where ideas are generated and listed without judgment, to encourage creativity and innovative thinking.
  • Root cause analysis : A method that explores the underlying causes of a problem to find the most effective solution rather than addressing superficial symptoms.
  • SWOT analysis : A tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to a problem or decision, providing a comprehensive view of the situation.
  • Mind mapping : A visual technique that uses diagrams to organize and connect ideas, helping to identify patterns, relationships, and possible solutions.

Brainstorming

When facing a problem, start by conducting a brainstorming session. Gather your team and encourage an open discussion where everyone contributes ideas, no matter how outlandish they may seem. This helps you:

  • Generate a diverse range of solutions
  • Encourage all team members to participate
  • Foster creative thinking

When brainstorming, remember to:

  • Reserve judgment until the session is over
  • Encourage wild ideas
  • Combine and improve upon ideas

Root Cause Analysis

For effective problem-solving, identifying the root cause of the issue at hand is crucial. Try these methods:

  • 5 Whys : Ask “why” five times to get to the underlying cause.
  • Fishbone Diagram : Create a diagram representing the problem and break it down into categories of potential causes.
  • Pareto Analysis : Determine the few most significant causes underlying the majority of problems.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis helps you examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to your problem. To perform a SWOT analysis:

  • List your problem’s strengths, such as relevant resources or strong partnerships.
  • Identify its weaknesses, such as knowledge gaps or limited resources.
  • Explore opportunities, like trends or new technologies, that could help solve the problem.
  • Recognize potential threats, like competition or regulatory barriers.

SWOT analysis aids in understanding the internal and external factors affecting the problem, which can help guide your solution.

Mind Mapping

A mind map is a visual representation of your problem and potential solutions. It enables you to organize information in a structured and intuitive manner. To create a mind map:

  • Write the problem in the center of a blank page.
  • Draw branches from the central problem to related sub-problems or contributing factors.
  • Add more branches to represent potential solutions or further ideas.

Mind mapping allows you to visually see connections between ideas and promotes creativity in problem-solving.

Examples of Problem Solving in Various Contexts

In the business world, you might encounter problems related to finances, operations, or communication. Applying problem-solving skills in these situations could look like:

  • Identifying areas of improvement in your company’s financial performance and implementing cost-saving measures
  • Resolving internal conflicts among team members by listening and understanding different perspectives, then proposing and negotiating solutions
  • Streamlining a process for better productivity by removing redundancies, automating tasks, or re-allocating resources

In educational contexts, problem-solving can be seen in various aspects, such as:

  • Addressing a gap in students’ understanding by employing diverse teaching methods to cater to different learning styles
  • Developing a strategy for successful time management to balance academic responsibilities and extracurricular activities
  • Seeking resources and support to provide equal opportunities for learners with special needs or disabilities

Everyday life is full of challenges that require problem-solving skills. Some examples include:

  • Overcoming a personal obstacle, such as improving your fitness level, by establishing achievable goals, measuring progress, and adjusting your approach accordingly
  • Navigating a new environment or city by researching your surroundings, asking for directions, or using technology like GPS to guide you
  • Dealing with a sudden change, like a change in your work schedule, by assessing the situation, identifying potential impacts, and adapting your plans to accommodate the change.
  • How to Resolve Employee Conflict at Work [Steps, Tips, Examples]
  • How to Write Inspiring Core Values? 5 Steps with Examples
  • 30 Employee Feedback Examples (Positive & Negative)

problem solving 6 step

Six Steps to Effective Problem Solving Within Organizations

  • Dr. Nancy Zentis
  • March 20, 2015

Six Steps to Effective Problem Solving Within Organizations article

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  Managers and their subordinates sometimes lack the problem-solving skills necessary to move things forward within their organizations. Luckily, OD process consulting focused towards problem solving training can be an effective antidote to this, as it helps in building critical skills to handle a possible deadlock.

Problem solving training is an intervention tool that helps managers and employees develop critical thinking skills to sharpen their logic, reasoning, and problem-defining capability. Problem solving training also helps develop abilities to evaluate causation, analyze alternatives, and select and execute solutions. This training is an integral part of organizational efforts to introducing quality management programs as it helps define a process to manage problems.

In this article, we will introduce the six-step problem solving process defined by Edgar Schein, so that teams trained in this can find the best solution to a problem and create an action plan.

Why Use a Problem Solving Process?

Since problems can be many and root causes hidden, it may take an extended period of time to come to a solution. Developing a team to help search for answers and formulating a decision is advantageous to improving organizational quality and efficiency.

OD Problem Solving Process based on Edgar H. Schein’s Approach

OD expert, Edgar Schein along with other OD experts suggested that a process that helps in problem-solving, steers groups to successful outcomes. Schein’s approach is presented in a model that investigates problem definition, brainstorming, group decision-making, idea development, action planning, and assessment.

As an OD consultant, you can use this process to improve communication,  strengthen group cohesion, and make effective decisions.

  • Problem Definition .  Identify problems through  problem formulation and questioning. The key is asking the  right questions to discover root causes.
  • Brainstorming .  During this process,  assumptions are uncovered  and underlying problems are further revealed. Also, this is an opportunity to collect and analyze data.
  • Selection . Decisions are made within the group to  determine the appropriate solution and process  through creative selection .
  • Development .  Once the group has formed solutions and alternatives to the problem(s), they need to explore the pros and cons of each option through  forecasting consequences .
  • Action Planning . Develop an  action plan to implement and execute the solution process.
  • Assessment . This final stage requires an  evaluation of the outcomes and results of the solution process. Ask questions such as: Did the option answer the questions we were working on? Did this process address the findings that came out of the assumptions?

​ This process makes group problem solving in projects and meetings agreeable, action-oriented, and productive. Without a process, it can become challenging for teams or groups to create the best solutions and establish a plan of action.

Do tell us about the problem solving methods you use within your organization. We would love to hear from you.

Reference: Schein, E.H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership, (Vol 2). John Wiley & Sons.

About the Author:  Valamere S. Mikler is the founder and principal consultant of V.S.M. Professional Services and Consulting, a consulting firm providing organizational efficiency and administrative office management services. She can be reached at  [email protected] .

Additional Information: The Institute of Organization Development offers certification in OD Process Consulting. You can become certified as an OD Process Consultant and play an important role as a partner to make the organization more effective and help to align organizational changes with the strategy, culture, structure, systems, skills, and people. To learn more or register, please check out our website: www. instituteod.com or email us at [email protected].

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Whether you’re having a friendly debate about the best travel destination, struggling with online communication , or dealing with a complicated issue involving numerous departments and businesses, effective problem-solving requires a clear perspective and a rational action plan.

No matter your purpose, think of the following guide like a GPS, regularly updated to lead you to your destination. While the article concentrates on problem-solving in a business rather than persuading friends, you'll find these effective problem-solving techniques helpful in many other areas.

problem solving 6 step

You’ll learn how to develop a clear perspective, generate effective solutions, evaluate options, and, ultimately, select the best course of action to solve problems. You can customize the steps to fit your unique situation and needs. Let's dive into the ten problem-solving steps to resolve the crisis and achieve your goals.

Ten steps to put out the fire, or problem-solving process

1. identify the problem.

In business and customer service, define the problem to ensure it is well-understood and addressed correctly. It's an absolute must among effective problem solvers, in unusual situations and in the most common customer service problems .

Gathering information from multiple sources and using problem-solving tools such as flowcharts or cause-and-effect diagrams can help identify the underlying causes of the problem. This will result in saving time and resources and improving the outcomes.

Identifying difficulties is among the most desirable problem-solving skills, especially in corporate structures with complex hierarchies and dependencies.

2. Understand the problem

The next step is to understand the underlying reasons for the problem. To do that, you need to gather relevant information and analyze it effectively. Avoiding these reasons or addressing them incorrectly is a surefire way to experience recurring issues and increased dissatisfaction. 

By understanding the reasons, you can develop long-term solutions that improve customer satisfaction and lead to overall success. Understanding and finding the cause is undoubtedly one of the underrated problem-solving skills.

3. Identify potential solutions

One of the most crucial aspects is identifying potential and practical solutions. How can you explore different options to come up with the best?

Brainstorming techniques can help generate creative and innovative business and customer service solutions. For example, a company may use brainstorming sessions to develop new product ideas or marketing strategies.

Customer service teams can also use brainstorming techniques to solve common customer complaints, such as long wait times or difficult-to-use interfaces. If you are looking for improvements, especially in this area, you will undoubtedly be interested in essential customer service skills .

Let's assume that you want to use proven brainstorming techniques.

problem solving 6 step

Brainstorming techniques to consider 

  • Mind mapping: A visual brainstorming technique that involves mapping out ideas and connecting them to related concepts. This technique helps individuals and teams explore all possible options and consider different perspectives to develop unique solutions.
  • Reverse brainstorming: A technique that involves thinking of solutions that would make the problem worse instead of better. This technique helps individuals and teams identify potential obstacles and develop strategies to avoid them.
  • SWOT analysis: A structured brainstorming technique that analyzes an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This technique helps individuals and teams identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to capitalize on opportunities and minimize hazards.
  • Random word association: A technique that involves brainstorming ideas by randomly associating words with the problem. This technique helps individuals and teams break their usual thinking patterns and generate new and creative ideas.
  • Role-playing: A technique that involves acting out different scenarios and perspectives related to the problem. This technique helps individuals and teams better understand the problem and develop empathy for the customer or stakeholders involved.

Unconventional techniques to consider

  • SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse) - This technique encourages people to think outside the box and consider unconventional ways to approach a problem.
  • Design thinking - This problem-solving approach puts the customer's needs and experiences at the forefront. It involves empathizing with the customer, defining the problem, ideating potential solutions, prototyping, and testing to refine the solution.
  • Lateral thinking - This problem-solving technique encourages people to approach problems from different angles and perspectives. It involves breaking down assumptions and challenging traditional thinking methods to arrive at unexpected solutions.

Consider all possible options, including unconventional ones, to find problem-solving techniques that address the current problem and prevent similar issues in the future.

4. Evaluate potential solutions

Once you have identified potential solutions, focus on the most feasible, impactful, and effective option. How do you sift through them?

Evaluating potential solutions involves analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each option, considering the resources required, and assessing the potential impact on the organization or customers.

What are the most popular ways? Techniques such as cost-benefit analysis, risk analysis, and decision matrix can effectively help evaluate possible solutions.

5. Select the best solution

Techniques for selecting the best solution involve revisiting the evaluation criteria, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and selecting the option that best meets the requirements.

Additionally, you can seek customer feedback. Stakeholders can provide valuable insights into choosing the best solution to solve problems.

By choosing the best solution that aligns with the organization's goals, meets the customers' needs, and can be implemented using the available resources, you can address problems effectively and efficiently, leading to improved outcomes.

This translates into achieving organizational goals, meeting customer needs, enhancing customer satisfaction, increasing productivity, reducing costs, improving efficiency, effective communication, and more. 

6. Develop an action plan

Techniques for developing an action plan involve breaking down the solution into manageable tasks, setting clear timelines, assigning responsibilities, and identifying the resources required for implementation. Also, involve stakeholders in the action plan's development to get their support for the solution's success.

problem solving 6 step

7. Implement the solution

After developing a detailed action plan, communicate it clearly and implement the solution effectively. This is likely one of the most desirable problem-solving skills.

To do so, allocate resources, assign responsibilities, and ensure all stakeholders understand their roles. Additionally, monitoring progress and addressing any issues that appear during the implementation can ensure the solution is implemented successfully.

8. Monitor and evaluate progress

Collecting and analyzing data is vital to assess the solution's effectiveness and determine if any adjustments are needed. This process involves regularly tracking key performance indicators and using customer and stakeholder feedback.

The latter offers valuable insights that help pinpoint opportunities for enhancement and make informed decisions.

By monitoring progress and evaluating results, individuals and organizations can ensure the implemented solution is efficient and sustainable over the long term.

This step also provides an opportunity to learn from experience and adjust as needed to achieve continuous improvement.

9. Learn from experience

The knowledge gathered throughout the process is key to learning from mistakes. It's also vital to reflect on the problem-solving process and identify what worked well and could be improved.

By analyzing the process, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes, you ensure that future problem-solving efforts are more effective.

Documenting the problem-solving process can also provide a reference for future efforts that individuals and organizations will face.

10. Standardize and sustain

If you've already collected the champagne corks and are sweeping up the last bits of confetti, it's worth remembering one last step.

To ensure that the problem does not reoccur and that the solution becomes standard practice for the organization, establish a standardized approach and maintain it over the long term.

problem solving 6 step

The organization should document a working solution and create a standard operating procedure (SOP) outlining the necessary steps to establish the action key.

By doing so, every organization member will have a clear understanding of the required steps and how to execute them.

To sustain the solution, the organization should continue to monitor progress and evaluate results over time. This helps identify potential issues or areas for improvement and ensures that the solution remains effective over the long term.

In the ideal scenario, the organization should also provide ongoing training and support to ensure everyone is well-equipped with the problem-solving skills and knowledge to implement "the cure."

Practical problem-solving is an ongoing continuous improvement process, and remember that the problem may reoccur in the future.

Don’t strive for the perfect solution from the start, and embrace the issues that come along the way since they provide valuable learning opportunities.

Instead, maintain an attitude of perseverance and focus on finding solutions to new challenges as they arise, which can help you save time and reduce stress.

By adopting this mindset, you'll be better equipped to tackle any problem that comes your way. Good luck with your problem-solving endeavors!

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QuickMath will automatically answer the most common problems in algebra, equations and calculus faced by high-school and college students.

  • The algebra section allows you to expand, factor or simplify virtually any expression you choose. It also has commands for splitting fractions into partial fractions, combining several fractions into one and cancelling common factors within a fraction.
  • The equations section lets you solve an equation or system of equations. You can usually find the exact answer or, if necessary, a numerical answer to almost any accuracy you require.
  • The inequalities section lets you solve an inequality or a system of inequalities for a single variable. You can also plot inequalities in two variables.
  • The calculus section will carry out differentiation as well as definite and indefinite integration.
  • The matrices section contains commands for the arithmetic manipulation of matrices.
  • The graphs section contains commands for plotting equations and inequalities.
  • The numbers section has a percentages command for explaining the most common types of percentage problems and a section for dealing with scientific notation.

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  • Is there a step by step calculator for math?
  • Symbolab is the best step by step calculator for a wide range of math problems, from basic arithmetic to advanced calculus and linear algebra. It shows you the solution, graph, detailed steps and explanations for each problem.
  • Is there a step by step calculator for physics?
  • Symbolab is the best step by step calculator for a wide range of physics problems, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics. It shows you the steps and explanations for each problem, so you can learn as you go.
  • How to solve math problems step-by-step?
  • To solve math problems step-by-step start by reading the problem carefully and understand what you are being asked to find. Next, identify the relevant information, define the variables, and plan a strategy for solving the problem.
  • Practice Makes Perfect Learning math takes practice, lots of practice. Just like running, it takes practice and dedication. If you want... Read More

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Physics Network

What are the 6 steps of problem solving?

  • Step 1: Identify and define the problem. State the problem as clearly as possible.
  • Step 2: Generate possible solutions.
  • Step 3: Evaluate alternatives.
  • Step 4: Decide on a solution.
  • Step 5: Implement the solution.
  • Step 6: Evaluate the outcome.

What are the steps to problem solving in physics?

  • Read the problem.
  • Draw a diagram.
  • State the known and unknown variables.
  • State the equations (formulae).
  • Solve the equation(s).
  • Substitute known values into the solved equation.
  • Calculate unknown from known values.
  • Check final answer for reasonability.

What is problem solving in physics?

The idea is to figure out exactly what the problem is and then develop a strategy for solving it. Some general advice for this stage is as follows: Examine the situation to determine which physical principles are involved. It often helps to draw a simple sketch at the outset.

Why following the 6 steps of problem solving process is important?

The Six-Step method provides a focused procedure for the problem solving (PS) group. techniques on the same issue. It makes the decision making process easier. It provides a justifiable solution.

Who created the 6 step problem solving model?

In this article, we will introduce the six-step problem solving process defined by Edgar Schein, so that teams trained in this can find the best solution to a problem and create an action plan.

What are the six steps of the problem solving method quizlet?

  • Identify the problem.
  • analyze the problem.
  • Determine Criteria for judging solutions.
  • Identify Alternative Solutions.
  • evaluate solutions and decide.
  • implement the agreed solution.

What is the first step in problem solving for physics?

1. Identify the Problem (Dynamics) Any problem that asks you to relate force and motion is a Newton’s Second Law problem, no matter what was given or requested in the problem. In some cases, Newton’s Second Law is easy to identify—for example, a problem might ask you for the value of a particular force.

What are the 7 steps problem solving?

  • 7 Steps for Effective Problem Solving.
  • Step 1: Identifying the Problem.
  • Step 2: Defining Goals.
  • Step 3: Brainstorming.
  • Step 4: Assessing Alternatives.
  • Step 5: Choosing the Solution.
  • Step 6: Active Execution of the Chosen Solution.
  • Step 7: Evaluation.

What are the 7 steps in problem solving model?

  • Step 1: Define The Problem.
  • Step 2: Analyse The Problem.
  • Step 3: Develop Potential Solutions.
  • Step 4: Evaluate The Options.
  • Step 5: Select The Best Option.
  • Step 6: Implement The Solution.
  • Step 7: Measure The Results.

What is problem-solving and its steps?

Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution. The problem-solving process.

What are the 5 problem-solving steps?

  • Step 1: Identify the Problem. As obvious as it may sound, the first step in the problem-solving process is to identify the root of the issue.
  • Step 2: Generate potential solutions.
  • Step 3: Choose one solution.
  • Step 4: Implement the solution you’ve chosen.
  • Step 5: Evaluate results.

What are the types of problem-solving?

Many different strategies exist for solving problems. Typical strategies include trial and error, applying algorithms, and using heuristics. To solve a large, complicated problem, it often helps to break the problem into smaller steps that can be accomplished individually, leading to an overall solution.

Why is the last step Step 6 evaluate important?

Why is the last step (step 6-evaluate) important? B. It helps you to think about your decision afterward to see if you would make that same decision again another time.

What is the 6 step decision process?

The DECIDE model is the acronym of 6 particular activities needed in the decision-making process: (1) D = define the problem, (2) E = establish the criteria, (3) C = consider all the alternatives, (4) I = identify the best alternative, (5) D = develop and implement a plan of action, and (6) E = evaluate and monitor the …

What is step 6 of the design process?

6. Improve. Reflect on all of your feedback and decide if or to what extent it should be incorporated. It is often helpful to take solutions back through the Design Process to refine and clarify them.

What is the first step in the Six Step Process?

  • Step 1: Define Desired Outcomes and Actions.
  • Step 2: Endorse the Process.
  • Step 4: Develop Alternatives or Options.
  • Step 5: Evaluate, Select, and Refine Alternative or Option.
  • Step 6: Finalize Documentation and Evaluate the Process.

What are the 4 steps in solving word problems in Grade 6?

  • Step 1: Understand the problem.
  • Step 2: Devise a plan (translate).
  • Step 3: Carry out the plan (solve).
  • Step 4: Look back (check and interpret).

What are the steps of physics?

The five steps of the scientific method include 1) defining the problem 2) making observations, 3) forming a hypothesis, 4) conducting an experiment and 5) drawing conclusions.

What are the 9 steps to problem solving?

  • Take the time to define the problem clearly.
  • Pursue alternate paths on “facts of life” and opportunities.
  • Challenge the definition from all angles.
  • Iteratively question the cause of the problem.
  • Identify multiple possible solutions.
  • Prioritize potential solutions.
  • Make a decision.

What are the 8 problem solving steps?

  • Step 1: Define the Problem. What is the problem?
  • Step 2: Clarify the Problem.
  • Step 3: Define the Goals.
  • Step 4: Identify Root Cause of the Problem.
  • Step 5: Develop Action Plan.
  • Step 6: Execute Action Plan.
  • Step 7: Evaluate the Results.
  • Step 8: Continuously Improve.

What are the 10 steps of problem solving?

  • Define the issue. What is the real problem you’re trying to solve?
  • Define the time frame.
  • Gather information.
  • Develop alternatives.
  • Discuss potential solutions.
  • Change your perspective.
  • Set the issue aside.

What are the 4 types of problem solving?

  • Type 1: Troubleshooting.
  • Type 2: Gap from standard.
  • Type 3: Target condition.
  • Type 4: Open-ended.

How many steps are there in problem solving?

The Six Step Problem Solving Model provides a shared, collaborative, and systematic approach to problem solving. Each step must be completed before moving on to the next step. However, the steps are repeatable. At any point the group can return to an earlier step, and proceed from there.

What are the 7 steps to problem solving PDF?

  • Identify the issues. •
  • Understand everyone’s interests. •
  • List the possible solutions (options) •
  • Evaluate the options. •
  • Select an option or options. •
  • Document the agreement(s). •
  • Agree on contingencies, monitoring, and evaluation. •

What are the 5 Why method in problem-solving?

The 5 Whys Problem Solving technique is a simple process to follow to solve any problem by repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five times is a good rule of thumb), to peel away the layers of symptoms that can lead to the root cause of a problem. This strategy relates to the principle of systematic problem solving.

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF The Six Step Problem Solving Model

    The Six-Step method provides a focused procedure for the problem solving (PS) group. It ensures consistency, as everyone understands the approach to be used. By using data, it helps eliminate bias and preconceptions, leading to greater objectivity. It helps to remove divisions and encourages collaborative working.

  2. How To Put Problem-Solving Skills To Work in 6 Steps

    1. Define the problem The first step is to analyze the situation carefully to learn more about the problem. A single situation may solve multiple problems. Identify each problem and determine its cause. Try to anticipate the behavior and response of those affected by the problem.

  3. Problem-Solving Process in 6 Steps

    Here are six steps to an effective problem-solving process: Identify the issues The first phase of problem-solving requires thought and analysis. Problem identification may sound clear, but it actually can be a difficult task. So you should spend some time to define the problem and know people's different views on the issue.

  4. A Lean Journey: The Six-Step Problem-Solving Process

    The Six-Step Problem-Solving Process is described below: Step 1: Identify The Problem Select the problem to be analyzed Clearly define the problem and establish aprecise problem statement Set a measurable goal for the problem solving effort Establish a process for coordinating with and gaining approval of leadership Step 2: Analyze The Problem

  5. The Problem-Solving Process

    1. Identifying the Problem While it may seem like an obvious step, identifying the problem is not always as simple as it sounds. In some cases, people might mistakenly identify the wrong source of a problem, which will make attempts to solve it inefficient or even useless.

  6. What is Problem Solving? Steps, Process & Techniques

    Steps, Process & Techniques | ASQ / Quality Resources / Problem Solving What is Problem Solving?. Quality Glossary Definition: Problem solving Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution.

  7. Six-Step Problem-Solving Model

    This six-step model is designed for the workplace, but is easily adaptable to other settings such as schools and families. It emphasizes the cyclical, continuous nature of the problem-solving process. The model describes in detail the following steps: Step One: Define the Problem Step Two: Determine the Root Cause (s) of the Problem

  8. The 6 step approach to facilitate problem solving

    If you're interested in my 6-step problem solving template, it's available for free through this link: https://www.tommentink.com/problemsolvingtemplateWhen ...

  9. Six Steps Demystified

    Step 1 Challenges Read > Step 2 Underlying Problem Read > Step 3 Solutions Read > Step 4 Criteria Read > Step 5 Evaluate Solutions Read > Step 6 Action Plan Read > Develop an Action Plan The solution idea (which receives the highest total from STEP 5) is described in detail within the action plan.

  10. A Project Manager's Short Guide to Effective Problem-Solving in 6 Steps

    The simple six-step process outlined below will help you master effective problem-solving — a skill that will provide you with the ability to bring a new perspective to problems, helping you to design, and implement, effective solutions. Step #1: Identify the Problem. First, make sure you're dealing with the real problem, not just its ...

  11. PDF Problem Solving Six-Step Problem-Solving Process

    Six-Step Problem-Solving Process Step One: Define the Problem: "What is the problem?" • How often does the problem occur? • When does it occur? • When doesn't it occur? • Where does it occur most often? • Who tends to be involved with the problem most often?

  12. PDF Six-step Problem Solving Model

    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. Following a method and using data to make decisions makes it easier for a group to reach consensus. To solve problems effectively

  13. The Problem-Solving Process

    The main stages of problem-solving are outlined below, though not all are required for every problem that needs to be solved. 1. Define the Problem. Clarify the problem before trying to solve it. A common mistake with problem-solving is to react to what the problem appears to be, rather than what it actually is.

  14. How to master the seven-step problem-solving process

    When we do problem definition well in classic problem solving, we are demonstrating the kind of empathy, at the very beginning of our problem, that design thinking asks us to approach. When we ideate—and that's very similar to the disaggregation, prioritization, and work-planning steps—we do precisely the same thing, and often we use ...

  15. What is Problem Solving? (Steps, Techniques, Examples)

    The problem-solving process typically includes the following steps: Identify the issue: Recognize the problem that needs to be solved. Analyze the situation: Examine the issue in depth, gather all relevant information, and consider any limitations or constraints that may be present.

  16. Six Steps to Effective Problem Solving Within Organizations

    Problem Definition . Identify problems through problem formulation and questioning. The key is asking the right questions to discover root causes. Brainstorming . During this process, assumptions are uncovered and underlying problems are further revealed. Also, this is an opportunity to collect and analyze data. Selection.

  17. The McKinsey guide to problem solving

    Become a better problem solver with insights and advice from leaders around the world on topics including developing a problem-solving mindset, solving problems in uncertain times, problem solving with AI, and much more. ... diverse perspectives and rigorous debate are crucial to determining the best steps to take.

  18. 10 Steps to Effective Problem-Solving

    You can customize the steps to fit your unique situation and needs. Let's dive into the ten problem-solving steps to resolve the crisis and achieve your goals. Ten steps to put out the fire, or problem-solving process 1. Identify the problem. In business and customer service, define the problem to ensure it is well-understood and addressed ...

  19. PDF 6 Step Problem Solving Using the A3 as a Guide

    6 Step Problem Solving Process - The "Thinking" Behind the A3 9 . 1. Identify the Problem 2. Set a Target 3. Analyze Causes 4. Propose Countermeasures 5. Check/Evaluate 6. Act/Standardize Shorten the reimbursement process turnaround time to be consistently performed in 6 working days or less by 17 October

  20. Step-by-Step Math Problem Solver

    Example: 2x-1=y,2y+3=x What can QuickMath do? QuickMath will automatically answer the most common problems in algebra, equations and calculus faced by high-school and college students. The algebra section allows you to expand, factor or simplify virtually any expression you choose.

  21. A Six-Step Plan For Problem Solving

    A Six-Step Plan For Problem Solving. Product. Solutions. Resources. Pricing. X. Login. Sign up free. Problem-solving skills are extremely valuable when running your own business, as you will have many different challenges to overcome.

  22. Step-by-Step Calculator

    Symbolab is the best step by step calculator for a wide range of math problems, from basic arithmetic to advanced calculus and linear algebra. It shows you the solution, graph, detailed steps and explanations for each problem. Is there a step by step calculator for physics?

  23. What are the 6 steps of problem solving?

    What are the 6 steps of problem solving? October 10, 2022 by George Jackson Spread the love Step 1: Identify and define the problem. State the problem as clearly as possible. Step 2: Generate possible solutions. Step 3: Evaluate alternatives. Step 4: Decide on a solution. Step 5: Implement the solution. Step 6: Evaluate the outcome.

  24. How to Solve Algorithm Problems Effectively: 6 Steps

    1 Understand the problem. The first and most important step is to understand the problem clearly. You should be able to explain the problem in your own words, identify the input and output, and ...

  25. 7 Power Skills That Are in Demand in 2024 and How You Can ...

    5. Problem-solving and critical thinking. Being a good problem solver usually means knowing how to identify a problem and going through a series of steps to develop a solution. From entry-level employees up to your executives, those who can solve problems independently often become more critical thinkers, leading to better overall job performance.