Sunday, March 1, 2009

Practical Problem Solving (3) Step 1 = Clarify the Problem

During this step the person or team that is solving the problem should basically do 3 things.

a) Clarify what the current situation is

b) Clarify what the Ideal/Target situation is and

c) Visualize what the gap between the two is. (here is where you need to quantify What is Happening and What Should Be Happening also know as WIH vs. WSBH)

Visualizing the Current Situation, Target and Gap:

A very important question that you and your team need to ask is:

How does solving this problem align with company expectations?

This is a very important question, since you do not want to spend resources in doing things that are not align or are contributing to the overall goals of the company. For this reason is it so important that everybody understand the vision and the plan that the company has in order to achieve the vision. Please see the post about Blue Sky.
During this step please consider the following questions that will help you clarify your problem:
- Why am I looking at this problem?
- How does solving this problem relate to the purpose of my work in my current role?
- What is my Ultimate Goal in solving this problem?
- How solving this problem will add value to your company?

Next: Break down the Problem

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