News : Focus on the Problem not the Solution

One of the most powerful techniques for problem solving is to Focus on the Problem not the Solution...
Mike Le Put Explains

The best way to get a good solution is to have lots of solutions to choose from. Unfortunately, many people bring you a single solution disguised as the problem.

They may say “My problem is I need a kettle.” Only one solution provides a kettle.

If they had said “My problem is that I need to boil water” we could have provided many solutions.

A Manager may say “My problem is I need More People” Only one solution gets more people.

If the Manager had said “My problem is the people I have cannot do the work with the Skills, Resources and Procedures we have in place” We now have more options available to solve this problem.

We ran a problem-solving coursefor a successfulcompany in Hull.The Distribution Director ‘s opening statement was this“My problem is I need a new warehouse “You can see this is not his problem, it’s what he believes to be his single solution.

We solved the problem by re-designing his warehouse, installinghigh lift, narrow-isle trucks and introducing stock rotation systems.

The result was a 42% increase in storage space, a 20% increase in efficiency and a saving of £2 million on the original solution of a new warehouse.

There are many steps to problem solvingbut the most important is to Clearly Identify the problem.

Next time a person comes to you with a problem, ask yourself has this person given me the problem or have they given me what they believe to be the solution.

Business is about solving problems, be it customer problems, design, manufacturing, distribution, people, sales, finance or whatever.
Every day in business you need to have a way of clearly identifying the real problems getting to the root cause and providing long term solutions.
7 Steps to Problem Solving

1. Define the real problem

2. Gather Information - You will learn how to gather the correct information and distinguish between fact and opinion.

3. Define the Cause - Problems are like icebergs - we often only see what’s on the surface. Discover how to get to the root cause of the problem

4. Create Options - We will help you generate a wide variety of innovative ways for you to develop stronger solutions.

5. Develop Selection Criteria - During this programme you will be learn how to test your ideas against clear decision criteria.

6. Make the Decision - We will help you decide what to do, how to do it, when to do it, who will do it and when it will be completed.

7. The importance of Monitoring- What gets monitored gets done.

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