Steps to Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

If you find that sometimes you are let down by your ability to make decisions or solve problems, this article might help. We look at an eight step decision-making and problem-solving process with some in-depth discussion of a set of the reasons why you would want to implement rational problem solving.

There are many levels of problems that require solutions, but one thing should always be borne in mind when faced with shat con sometimes appear to be an impossible situation. It is that no matter what the problem is, there is always a solution.

With that simplistic yet poignant concept clarified in this sense, its understanding has the ability to bring with it a greater belief in the capacity of the human mental faculty of problem solving to attain almost miraculous success.

Have faith in that ability and the hitherto mysterious realm of solution can become a fully understood process that always produces favorable results.

The Eight Steps to Solving Any Problem

Below are the eight recognized standard steps to solving any problem based around the Toyota Business Process.

  1. Clarify the Problem:

    Take a close look at the situation and gather as much information as you can about it. This entails visualizing and understanding the problem and literally getting it straight in your mind.
  2. Break the Problem Down:

    take the facts you have gathered and break the problem down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Decide on an order of importance, then allocate which chunk you want to tackle first.
  3. Set a Target:

    Establish what is known as a Smart Goal, which is specific, measurable, achievable and realistic. It is a goal that should be bound to a definite time frame that is also achievable.
  4. Analyze Root Cause:

    Investigate the actual cause of the problem. What is the lowest common denominator? Always work with facts and ignore possibilities or vague circumstances. As a series of "Why?" questions to ascertain the most likely causes and then delve deeper to eliminate answers that are a symptom of the problem, leaving you with a final item that must then be the root cause.
  5. Develop Countermeasures:

    Devise a series of potential countermeasures and then analyze those to find the most practical and effective ones. Create an action plan of how you will implement these measures.
  6. Implement Countermeasures:

    Ensure you have all the support you need from the right places before taking action. If you have the green light, then implement the most effective countermeasures you have devised.
  7. Evaluate Results and Processes:

    Assess the processes you have implemented and evaluate their results. See the results from different perspectives other than just your own, such as a customer's or your superiors.
  8. Standardize Successful Improvements:

    Once you have successfully solved the problem, standardize the steps you took and the solutions you arrived as well as the process by which you arrived at the solution. Document the process so that it can be repeated and each time it is used, continually look at ways of improving it.

When these steps are followed in terms of the nature of the problem, it is always solvable in some manner or other. Always try and enlist the help of others who may have some expertise or knowledge in the area the problem has presented itself and collect ideas and thoughts using brainstorming techniques to facilitate the best outcome.

The beauty of this system is that it will work for finding a solution to any problem that may present itself. Whether it be business related or specific to home life in some way, a structured approach will always ease the process. So for example if you need to find the right ventless portable free standing air conditioner solution for your home and to fit your budget, following a structured methodology will elicit the answer.