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7 Steps to Overcome Your Worst Project Problems

Rather than approaching a problem with hesitation, why not see it as an opportunity? Think of how much more pleasant the movie Frankenstein would have been if the monster had been offered a cup of tea instead of being chained up! In a post for the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall proposes a seven-step process to help you better handle problems and improve their outcome:

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Define the cause.
  3. Define the decision criteria.
  4. Identify solutions.
  5. Select a solution.
  6. Implement solution.
  7. Evaluate results.

How to Resolve Any Problem

The first three steps center on this crucial word “define.” The best place to start is to analyze what exactly the difficult situation is. A clearly defined problem can inspire an exact solution, and, once clear, the cause can be interpreted. A cause and effect diagram may prove beneficial to identify the force behind the difficulty. After the problem and cause have been adequately understood, it is time to define the elements that need to be considered when forming criteria for a solution. These factors may include: cost, ease of implementation, the vendor’s history with the customer, and how long the vendor has existed.

Once everything is defined, it is time to identify solutions, select the proper solution, and implement the best. A brainstorming session may help to develop proposed solutions and then the developed criteria will aid in the selection process. Once the right solution is chosen, you implement and allow for the problem to be resolved. Successful project management improves the probability of delivering products to customers in a timely manner and in a fiscally responsible way.

The final step then is to evaluate the results. Nothing matters if the desired results were not achieved. It is important to continually monitor the outcome, three months or even six months down the road. If the desired outcome is not coming to fruition, then what is the problem?

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About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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