Problem Solving Skills, Part 2

Last time we identified the four steps in the problem solving process.  I hope you found them a good starting place for becoming better at problem solving.  This week, I’m going to give you the specific questions you want to ask yourself for each of these four steps.  Knowing what to ask is essential to becoming an effective problem solver.  So, be sure to use this list each time a problem arises that you want/need to address.

  1. Identify the Problem
  1. Describe the problem
  2. What is/is not happening?
  3. What occurs as a result of the problem?
  4. Where does it/it not happen?
  5. When does it/it not happen?
  6. What occurs just before that triggers it?
  7. When did the problem first happen?
  8. Who is/is not involved?
  9. Who is affected?
  10. Who is responsible?
  1. Identify the cause of the problem
  2. What are the possible causes?
  3. What are the probable causes?
  4. What cause is most likely to be the actual one?
  1. Identify the Desired Outcome
  2. What do you want things to be like?
  3. What do you want to prevent, limit, or fix?
  4. Do you want short-term or long-term effects?
  1. Determine Options
  1. What possible options exist?
  2. Which option will most likely get the desired result?
  3. What makes this option workable?
  4. What barriers exist to implementing this option?
  5. What makes this option less than perfect?
  6. Which option will leave the fewest negative outcomes?
  7. What makes this option workable?
  8. What barriers exist to implementing this option?
  9. What makes this option less than perfect?
  10. Which option can be carried out effectively with the available resources?
  11. What makes this option workable?
  12.   What barriers exist to implementing this option?
  13. What makes this option less than perfect?
  14. Which option has the fewest barriers?
  15. What makes this option workable?
  16. What barriers exist to implementing this option?
  17. What makes this option less than perfect?
  1. Determining the Action
  1. Which option is best?
  2. What makes this option workable?
  3. What makes this option less than perfect?
  4. What barriers exist to implementing this option and what will be done to overcome them?
  5. When will this action be taken?
  6. How will this action be implemented?
  7. Whop will be involved in implementing this action?
  8. What will be done to follow-up to make sure the action produced the desired results?

Using this list of question when solving problems will enhance your confidence and allow others to see you as the effective problem solver you have become!

Copyright 2011 Lynn Borenius Brown

© Lynn Borenius Brown and The Loving Path, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lynn Borenius Brown and The Loving Path with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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