Problem solving

There is a saying that every employer employs staff to do the same job – solve problems. That’s probably true, and as human beings we are supremely good at problem solving. So why does it sometimes feel so bloomin’ difficult?

This section of the web site is dedicated to problem solving and over time will build up into a veritable goldmine of problem solving nuggets (ok that’s far enough with the goldmine metaphor)

If you’re in a hurry there is a good model with 4 stages.

  1. Define the problem – this seems a no-brainer, but sometimes the problem you actually have is not the problem you think you have. Getting the right problem to solve is kinda important.
  2. Generate alternative solutions – how many ways can you think of to solve the problem?
  3. Evaluate possible solutions and select one – look at the alternatives and whittle them down until you have the best one
  4. Implement your chosen solution – make it happen

But there are a myriad techniques to help you, and the right one depends on your personality, that of your team, and of course, the problem you’re facing. The techniques are constantly evolving and so this section of the website will also evolve.

I’m not one to re-invent the wheel, so here are a selection of links to pages about problem solving.  The first problem you have right away is which one of the following list to look at first…