SHARED FROM ARTICLE BY CHRIS READ
ACCOUNTANTS TODAY, SEPTEMBER 2007
Prescription before diagnosis
Managers are confronted with a wide range of problems ranging from broken machinery, to late deliveries, to unhappy customers, and to conflicts among employees. Other problems are really symptoms of more basic underlying problems. In addition, managers are often presented with problems that inspire futility!
The hardest part of problem solving is figuring out what the real problem is. Very often the present problem really is not the problem that needs to be solved. Managers need to peel back the onion, and dissect it, before accurately defining the real problem. Large problems should be broken down into smaller, less intimidating ones. The problem statement should be free of either causes or solution.
1. Collecting and analyzing data
2. Generating options or solutions
3. Evaluating options on solutions
4. Making a decision
5. Implementation of the decision or action plan
6. Evaluation to see if the problem is solved
There are many steps in the problem solving process. The best managers dissect basic problems. They treat the roots and not just the leaves. Spending more time at the front end of the process to define and solve the real problems, leads to real progress.