Physicist Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
He meant that it is useful to spend time learning more about a problem before jumping to conclusions. Solving problems is about finding the most effective resolution optimally. The right approach helps us move forward.
An effective problem-solver spends the majority of their time evaluating what went wrong and how before declaring answers. If you’re faced with a problem at work, for instance, thinking clearly about the problem and processing all the information will help you make the right decision.
Let’s discuss how you can analyze problems like an expert with a series of problem analysis steps. These steps are based on the five characteristics of good analysis that you can learn more about in Harappa’s Creating Solutions course.
Problem Analysis Steps And Process
Problem-solving isn’t rocket science; experience will make it easier for you to analyze problems. Practice these problem analysis steps to find the right solution.
Understand your problem
If you don’t know what you’re solving for, it’ll be hard to find the right solution. The first step in analysis and problem-solving is to understand your problem. Once you define the problem in simple terms, you can move on to assessing what you need for the solution. Many times, we end up looking for solutions to problems that don’t exist in the first place. For instance, one may end up evaluating customer feedback for the wrong product. Identifying and then addressing the source of the problem is critical to this process.
Gather relevant data
Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to gather all the information you need to start your analysis.
Let’s take a problem analysis example. Imagine you’re the head of the sales team. Your responsibilities include making sales projections and gathering data based on customer preferences and product reviews. Now, to navigate this step, you should be detail-oriented and get the correct data. Collate the data and run the numbers multiple times to ensure there are no errors.
Make sound assumptions
There may be some gaps even after you’ve gathered the relevant data and information. This is where you have to make sound assumptions to ensure you can connect everything.
For instance, you may only have a vague idea about the success of your new proposal. Simply saying it’s good or bad might not work. You need to have proper metrics against which you can measure success. Making sound assumptions will help you avoid abstract projections. Perform as many calculations and assessments as you can to reach a viable solution.
Prioritize important tasks
More often than not, we’re handling multiple tasks at the same time. Making a list of things you need to complete and prioritizing them based on urgency is helpful. You’ll save a lot of time that can be utilized for other things that need your attention.
For instance, say that you have a couple of critical assignments due on a particular day. There is also a meeting on your calendar on that day. In the circumstances, if your meeting agenda doesn’t concern a pressing issue, it might make sense to reschedule it for another day. This will give you more time to focus on meeting the deadline for your assignments. Stay on top of things by organizing your schedule efficiently.
Implement and monitor
If you’ve analyzed the information and evaluated your options, go ahead with the implementation. This is where you’ll finally see your plan in action. Assess whether or not it is working as expected. Sometimes, a solution looks good on paper but doesn’t work out in real life. Analysis and problem-solving can be fine-tuned by consistent monitoring of your solution’s efficacy. Use this time to make any changes, tweaks, and fixes to mitigate errors.
How you analyze problems determines the way you handle a work crisis. If you’re a skilled problem-solver, you can tackle any challenge with poise. Learn more about this important work-related skill with Harappa Education’s Creating Solutions course. You’ll learn different ways to analyze problems effectively, the importance of the ‘why question’, and how to communicate solutions to key stakeholders. To find the most appropriate solution, approach any problem analytically and with an open mind.
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