Imagine that a deadline on an important deliverable is only a week away. You haven’t been able to find crucial evidence that supports the data. Your first instinct is to panic—you fret and pace around thinking that it’s the end of the world.

Most of us face setbacks and challenges that hinder our progress towards professional success and personal happiness. Sometimes, you may feel like you’re unable to find solutions no matter how hard you try.

But it’s important to remember that there’s nothing a clear head and a solid plan can’t solve. Once you take a moment to settle down and think about the problem, you’ll be able to come up with a manageable plan to tackle any issue.

Harappa Education equips you with the right tools to understand problems and discover effective solutions. The Structuring Problems course tells you more about essential frameworks like the Ease-Impact Analysis and the PICK (Proceed-Investigate-Consider-Kill) Framework, or a PICK chart, that’ll help you categorize large problems into small, manageable tasks.

Let’s discuss what is PICK, its components and a PICK chart example to help you understand how it can be an effective tool in problem analysis.

What Is A PICK Chart?

A PICK chart is a visual management technique to understand problems and tackle them based on difficulty and impact.

When you’re faced with a challenging problem, it’s always better to break it down into smaller issues or sub-issues. This will help you prioritize each task based on the ease with which you can find solutions and its impact on the larger problem. This is called the Ease-Impact Analysis and it forms the basis of a PICK chart. The Ease-Impact analysis comprises four steps:

 

  1. High Ease-High Impact

  2. Low Ease-High Impact

  3. High Ease-Low Impact

  4. Low Ease-Low Impact

Each step in the Ease-Impact Analysis is associated with one component of the PICK Framework. Let’s look at each component of the framework in detail.

Components Of A Pick Chart

Any problem—big or small—can be categorized into sub-tasks to help you deal with them one by one. This is where a PICK chart template can come in handy. Not only will you be able to tackle each issue with precision but you may also uncover new information along the way to help you determine a more efficient solution. Let’s look at the components of the PICK framework with a PICK chart example.

PICK Chart Example:

Imagine that you own a third party delivery company. You’re trying out a route optimization strategy to save time and money.  Here are some of the problems you might face following its implementation and how you can deal with them:

  1. Proceed: High Ease-High Impact

When a sub-issue is easy to tackle and you know that it’ll have a high impact on the main problem, you should always Proceed to solve it before anything else.

For instance, a delivery truck sets out on a new route but receives the wrong coordinates. This will impact the delivery time substantially but you can easily send the right coordinates to redirect the vehicle so it can reach its destination on time.

  1. Investigate: Low Ease-High Impact

When a sub-issue is difficult to address but will have a substantial effect on the overall problem, you should Investigate ways in which you can reach an optimal solution.

For instance, you send out a delivery truck on the new route but the truck gets a flat tire because the road is in a terrible state. You’re unable to call for assistance on time and have to dispatch a new truck on the original route.

  1. Consider: High Ease-Low Impact

When a sub-issue is easy to solve and won’t have much of an impact on the overall problem, you should Consider whether it’s worth spending time on.

For instance, you identify that some of the drivers are spending time on personal errands after completing deliveries. You should consider whether this has any bearing on your route optimization challenge. Before committing resources to tackle it, ask yourself whether it saves you time or money or both.

  1. Kill: Low Ease-Low Impact

When a sub-issue is difficult to solve and hardly impacts the overall problem if left unattended, it’s better to disregard it. This will help you save time and resources.

For instance, hiring new drivers and employing new trucks for expansion will cost more money and take time. You’re already operating at full capacity so you can Kill this issue because it doesn’t have a bearing on the route optimization problem you are trying to solve.

Conclusion

Problem-solving is an important skill that you can refine by equipping yourself with the proper tools. The PICK chart is one such tool that’ll help you systematically tackle problems. Learn the skill of prioritizing problems with Harappa’s Structuring Problems course.


Explore topics such as Problem Solving, How to Analyze Problems, How to Solve Problems & Barriers to Problem Solving from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your skills.

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