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Have You Focused on Fixing the Wrong Cause of the Problem?

When a problem arises, a company will set out to fix it if they understand what the problem is. Too often, people will look to resolve a symptom without ever uncovering what was the heart of the problem. In a post for Future of CIO, Pearl Zhu analyzes this misunderstanding of the problem and proposes a solution.

There will always be adversity in life, and undoubtedly, there will be a need to resolve it. This resolution can only occur if the true problem is accurately identified and isolated. Problem identification can occur through simple observations of the events and the patterns that unfold. However, there is an inclination as humans to ignore the festering problems until they grow too large to tackle and explode over everything, making real resolution far more difficult.

People too often identify the wrong aspect of a problem to solve. This consequently wastes money and resources that will not even help to fix the problem. When crisis strikes, a company should continually ask “why” until they finally find the root cause and can accurately invest in resolution. Metrics can help do this, when they are measuring and assessing the correct things. Elements need to be able to be measured and there must be a willingness from the company to want to make improvements.

Silos, despite what people wish to believe, are not structural issues and cannot be resolved as such. Silos are the result of poor thinking, and attempting to implement restructuring will not get managers anywhere. People are creatures of habit, and they need to be pushed to break the norms of their preconceived ideas and behaviors.

Problem-solving can be much more efficient if people take the time to do things right. First, they should observe and gain as much information as possible. Next, they should orient themselves to be able to decipher between factual information or not. Then they must decide what needs done and what actions they plan to take. Finally, they must act on their decisions.

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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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