Generally, problems are major impediments to the growth of business firms. However, an organization that aims to attain growth and success must be ready to overcome its business challenges through proper problem-solving techniques.
Problems take the centre stage of what business organizations do every day. It is important for business managers to be prepared to find ways to solve the problems confronting them. Problem-solving techniques are the methods used by stakeholders involved in the running of the business organizations to proffer solutions to the challenges hindering the growth of their business operations.
Without effective problem-solving techniques, the growth of a business firm will be stalled and this results in painful consequences. In an organization, the problem-solving team is responsible for generating problem-solving techniques that are used in confronting the problems that the organization is faced with.
By having effective problem-solving techniques in place in an organization, the task of running the operations of the business becomes very easy and the firm can quickly attain the desired growth and success. Problem-solving techniques involve having a solid plan in place in an organization because proper planning aids them in being prepared ahead of time.
Sinnaps, an online project management tool can be used by organizations in developing their problem-solving techniques. It is very easy to use and it will effectively visualize problem-solving techniques clearly in a way that ensures collaboration among the stakeholders.
Creative problem-solving examples in the workplace
Problems are current or long term challenges or issues that confront business firms and prevent them from implementing their business strategies and achieving their goals and objectives. Some of the problems in an organization include financial, disrupted business models, reputation, values, regulations, branding, positioning, demand, supply, price competition, costs, sales, promotion, and customer relationships.
An example of problem-solving in the workplace is Procter &Gamble. The company overcame its problem of values of its organization through research and development. The company commits over $2 billion annually to research in order to sustain the values the organization is known for.
Another example is McDonalds that was able to beat off competition and attain more efficiency, profitability, and productivity by effectively lowering its costs of operation. This made it affordable for an average consumer.
Effective problem-solving steps
The effective problem-solving steps are the following:
- Identifying the issues: this entails being clear about what the problem is.
- Have an understanding of everyone’s interest: this bring about the unity of purpose of all and sundry in the task of solving the problem. Allow everyone to make his or her contributions in the process of finding a solution to the problem.
- List the possible solutions: this requires time for brainstorming in order to creatively list the possible solution.
- Evaluation of the options: here, you will subject the options to a thorough evaluation.
- Selection of useful options.
- Documentation of the agreement: it entails writing down what is agreed upon by the stakeholders.
- Agree on contingencies, monitoring, and evaluation: this is done because there could be a change in condition. You should strive to make contingency agreements about foreseeable future circumstances, how you will monitor compliance and follow-through, and create opportunities for the evaluation of the agreements and their implementation.
5 LESSONS TO TRAIN YOU TO BE A PROJECT MANAGER
Lesson 3. Work realistically: how to go from ideal to realistic planning
A problem-solving strategy is a plan of action used in finding solutions to a problem. In solving a problem, different strategies have different action plans with them. The problem-solving strategies are:
- Trial and error: this involves the use of different solutions until you are able to find a solution to the problem.
- Algorithm: this is a problem-strategy that offers step-by-step instructions on how the problem can be solved to attain the desired outcome.
- Heuristic: it is a general problem-solving framework. It includes the use of the “rule of thumb” which saves you time and energy when making a decision.
How to solve problems
In reality, the way you solve your personal or organizational problem will determine your success and happiness. The process of solving a problem includes defining the problem and breaking it into smaller pieces. Also, decide on how to approach the problem.
You should endeavor to creatively approach the problem by working with other people in order to approach the problem from a different perspective. The following steps help you in solving a problem:
- Define the problem
- Make important decisions first: here, you will recognize the decisions that you need to make and how they will contribute to the task of solving the problem.
- Simplify the problem: this entails breaking the problem into smaller bits.
- Make an outline of what you know and what you don’t know
- Be anticipatory about future outcomes: this assists you in coming up with different plans for different problems in the future.
- Allocate resources.
Create simulations to solve possible problems
It is crucial for business organizations to have a problem-solving method and model in their workplace because having it enables them to have business problem-solving tools in their arsenal. Problem-solving method and models are used to address the challenges that arise in the workplace. It allows them to solve complex problems confronting their teams with a shared collaborative and systematic approach.
Also, the stakeholders that are involved in running an organization must have creative problem-solving skills at their disposal. This will go a long way in assisting them in confronting their business challenges.
A typical creative problem-solving example was used by XYZ Company, a vegetable oil company. The company was struggling to expand its business operations but the management members were able to creatively solve this problem by selling the shares of the company. With this, the company was able to raise funds required for its expansion.
Problem-solving and decision-making are vital skills for business and life. No doubt, problem-solving involves decision-making and decision-making is crucial for management and leadership. Hence, it is very paramount for business organizations and individuals to have good problem-solving and decision-making skills in order to fulfill their purpose. They also aid in gathering every fact thereby enhancing the understanding of the causes of the problems.
Work problem solving is the method of processing solutions to the work problem of a firm. It involves the collaborative efforts of the workers to solve problems and by doing so; the workers will contribute properly to the productivity of the organization.
A problem-solving flowchart is a diagram that gives a description of how an organization solves its problems. It gives a visualization of the process used in solving organizational problems. It can be used as a guide and reference for the future thereby saving the organizations a lot of time and energy.
Also, a problem-solving flowchart ensures teamwork and collaboration among the workers in confronting challenges they are faced with.
Problem management techniques enable an organization to be responsible for managing the lifecycle of all problems that could arise in an organization. It allows them to prevent problems and resulting incidents from happening, to estimate recurring incidents, and to minimize the impact of incidents that cannot be prevented.
Problem-solving in management is a key feature that any organization must have because it helps in identifying, analyzing, and solving the problems that could hinder the growth of the business of the organization.
Also, it is crucial for a business firm to have in place problem-solving leadership that inspires and motivates the workforce to be creative in solving the problems that they will be faced with. Furthermore, problem-solving leadership creates an environment that allows the workers to opine their views on the problems of their organizations.
Sinnaps is a tool that aids business owners in their problem-solving strides; it assists in effective planning and implementation of their problem-solving techniques. Also, it allows them to derive Earned value management (EVM), a technique used by business managers for effective measurement of their activities performance.
It makes use of a series of algorithms that enables you to have a monetary value of the work executed over a certain period of time. It is useful as a tool for Earned value management; it allows your team to take advance decisions based on how the assignment is viewed in terms of the operation in real time.
It is embedded with some indicators on its control panel that ensures that earned value, actual cost, planned value, cost variance, cost performance index, schedule performance index, and budget at completion are achieved in the assignment with ease.