What are the steps of problem solving process?

step of problem solving process

Who has not faced any problem, problem itself is an universal problem. But do you know that most problems we face are actually created by us by some sort of negative activities. 

You should know that there is good news, it is that every problem can be solved. What we need to do is follow a step by step problem solving process

The process of problem solving begins with the identification of the actual problem and the source of it. Let us understand this with a simple example: Suppose a person is suffering with fever, now he may think that the fever is the actual problem but the actual problem is that he got malaria due to the mosquito bite. So the actual problem is malaria and the source of the problem is mosquito. 

Fever is not the problem, rather it is a symptom. Most of the time, people take the symptoms as the main problem and create another problem by trying to solve the symptom. 

Getting rid of the fever is not the actual solution of the problem rather getting rid of the malaria is, and preventing yourself from the mosquito bite is the ultimate problem solving. 

This kind of problem pattern can also be seen in the different areas of human life either in personal relationships or the workplace, the scenario can be different but the pattern is the same

The steps of problem solving process is identifying the actual problem and its source, being eager to solve the problem rather than finding excuses, contribute innovative ideas, make a through research and collect information, prepare a list of solution plan, analyze and execute the best solution, monitor the outcome attentively, if outcome is unsatisfactory then try another solution. 

9 Steps of problem solving process

  1. Identify the actual problem
  2. Discover the source of the problem
  3. Be truly willing to solve the problem
  4. Think creatively and contribute innovation
  5. Make a research and collect knowledge from different resources
  6. List all the solution plans
  7. Evaluate and enforce the best solution option
  8. Attentively monitor the result
  9. Try another solution plan if needed

1. Identify the actual problem

 A problem can take place in every place, it can be a small or a big problem,  a simple problem or maybe a critical problem.  It does not matter what kind of problem it is, but you can find a solution for that problem if you follow the right problem-solving process.

 In the problem solving process the first step is understanding what the actual problem is. Many times people get so nervous and stressed because of the problem that they even do not identify the actual problem. They get misunderstood and think the symptoms are the problem. 

 In the process of problem solving the first step is where you analyse the problem and get a clear understanding of the real problem. 

2. Discover the source of the problem

Finding out the actual source of the problem is not always  an easy task,rather it can be too complicated to find out the actual source of the problem in many cases.

 If you face a real critical problem, you may need to spend several hours to find out the actual source of the problem.  do not hurry in the process of finding out the actual source of the problem.

 Now let me make it clear that the actual or the real problem and the source of the problem are not the same thing, both are completely different. 

Let’s understand this with a simple example, suppose you are observing that you are losing some old customers  during the last 6 months, now you may think that losing customer is a problem, but if you really go through a analysing process you may find out that, customers got really bad support during the last six month. 

 so you understand that providing bad support is the actual problem. The source of the problem was your employee  who provided the best service.  So if you fix the source of the problem the entire problem will be solved and you will not lose customers again. 

3. Be truly willing to solve the problem

A Genuine will for solving the problem is very necessary in order to be a successful problem solver. You should know that problem solving is a skill that you need to develop, so if you think that you will solve a problem just by duty, it may not be so effective.  In order to be a real problem solver you actually need to be a truly willing person.

 If you have a real willingness to be a problem solver, you will actually gain a lot of understanding. Moreover, you will get a variety of Creative new ideas, but it is only possible if you are really willing to be a problem solver. 

4. Think creatively and contribute innovation

Creative thinking and innovative ideas are great skills to possess as a professional. Almost every problem requires some sort of critical thinking and creative way of bringing ideas. 

As you  try to solve a problem  do not always follow the same pattern of problem solving process which you applied last time unless the problem is the same.  

In most cases you are required to think differently and creatively in order to impart some better idea which might be totally new and can be very effective in solving the problem. 

So being innovative and creative is the key to any critical problem.

5. Make a research and collect knowledge from different resources

It is very important that you understand the value of research and gathering knowledge from different sources. As you Research and gather information from different sources, you will find that all these are helping you in solving even a critical problem in a much more effective manner and easier way.

In order to go through a thorough research you can take help from the internet, offline resources and even take ideas from experienced people. You will find that the more research you do, the better it becomes to solve the problem that you are trying to solve.

6. List all the solution plans

As you have gathered sufficient information and knowledge from different sources, now you need to create at least three solution plans.

 as you create the solution plans keep in mind the risk factors and other necessary matters in mind that can affect your business or area where you faced the problem.

7. Evaluate and enforce the best solution option

Analyse all the solution plans that you have created and enforce the best one first. You must think ahead about the consequences that can occur after you implement your plan. So, prepare to face the situation. 

Make sure you know what you are going to do and how you will handle the situation afterward. 

8. Attentively monitor the result

Do not forget to monitor the result after you implement the solution plan. You will not understand the progress or effectivity of the plan unless you monitor the result and evaluate continuously. 

As you monitor and evaluate the result, measure the progress periodically. If you find the positive result then go ahead with it, but in case of a negative result, you need to take another decision now. 

9. Try another solution plan if needed

In case you find that your first solution plan did not work as you intended. Then, it is the time to go for another solution plan and repeat the process of monitoring, evaluating and measuring the result. Continue this process unless you find the actual solution plan that is perfect and eradicate the source of the problem and fix it. 

Let me know your suggestion in the comment section below for adding more life to this article and helping others to grow.

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