YOU THINK YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! HOW DO YOU KNOW? HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THIS PROBLEM TO YOUR BUSINESS?
YOU THINK YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! HOW DO YOU KNOW? HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THIS PROBLEM TO YOUR BUSINESS? Talking about your business problem takes up more conversation than your success. Many times, when I hear someone discuss their problem I think to myself I wonder if this is the problem or just a symptom or if their expectation that is not being met is reasonable. I also wonder how many perceived problems this person has and how do they determine which one to solve since they all can not be worked on simulations.
It is interesting that problems in life and business are common occurrences but how much training is applied to problem solving processes, not much. The first step in solving problems is to know what the definition of a problem is.
What is a problem? A problem is the gap between what is occurring and what either should be occurring or we want to occur. It should be easy to identify the problem but in most cases when we look below the surface we see that perhaps there are multiple problems within each and we then realize that more study is needed to find the focus towards a solution to ensure resources are not being wasted or unproductive.
How do we ensure that our effort is toward an effective and efficient solution? We do this by first defining the problem which includes an assessment of the current situation and desired outcome. This exercise’s depth is based on the significance of the problem on the company and the people that it affects. We develop the problem definition and document it for constant reference in the solution process of the exercise.
We have now defined the problem which will show the competency sets and other non- human resources needed to approach a solution.
As stated everyone and every business have more than one perceived problem and we also know that limited resources exists. So how do we determine where these resources go. We need to establish the priority of the problem. We do this by answering the following questions. (Rank the answer to each question from 1 to 5 with 5 the most significant)
Will this unresolved problem threaten the survival of the business or key relationships? (Weighting of 5)
Will this unresolved problem inhibit the company ability to grow? (Weighting of 4)
Will this unresolved problem prevent succession or the sale of your business realizing required value? (Weighting of 3)
Many of the problems may contribute to your ranking in each. When comparing the ranking score for each problem to the others, the allocation of resources will become evident based on priority ranking scores. As always business knowledge should be allied when making a final decision on resource allocation to each problem.
At this stage we have a problem definition, an understanding of the unique resources need for the solution process and a measurement of where to allocate limited resources.
What next? Assign the resources to the selected problem and start the problem resolution process. One warning in problem solving is to focus on the problem definition. In many cases in the process other related or indirect problems may appear which could distract one from staying within the definition. If the consensus is the new problem is significant then undertake the problem process outlined here and reset the priorities to determine resource allocation.
At DEMI Consulting we solve problems and can assist in both the problem definition, resources needed and priority setting as well as undertaking the problem resolution process for most industrial sectors and functional areas within a business.