Irrespective of your project management experience, your problem-solving stages can rescue the team from a tight spot. Do you have issues that crop up in every project? Or, do you ignore them as long as they do not start affecting you? In this article at Project Smart, Duncan Haughey shares six problem-solving stages for project managers.
What Are the Problem-Solving Stages?
Your position requires troubleshooting regularly. How about following a guideline to streamline your process? Here are the six problem-solving stages for project managers:
Focus on Problem, Not Symptom
If you cure the symptoms, your problem persists. So, detect the underlying issue through root cause analysis. Check from all perspectives. Utilize the following three methods. First method: get better visibility using diagrams on the causes and effects of the symptoms or problems. You can also use the drill-down version by breaking down the issues into smaller bits to increase analysis efficacy. Or, use the 5 Whys to find out why you have the problem in the first place.
Brainstorm All Probable Resolutions
Once you have spotted the root cause, finding out probable solutions is one of the problem-solving stages. You can brainstorm alone or with the team, use mind-mapping, or consult an expert to solve the issue.
Analyze Solution Feasibility
One of the critical problem-solving stages is to analyze the validity of the solutions. Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each of the ideas. Check if that method helps you resolve the matter for good or need some monitoring.
Select Only the Best Idea
How do you know which is the best idea? You have it if it satisfies the following questions:
- ‘What options can you discard straightaway?
- Which option will have the best outcome at an acceptable risk level?
- What is your best option?’
Document It Well
Pen the solution that you have identified as the best possible way to address the issue. Documenting is a boon when you are working on a complicated issue and have multiple interdependencies. Relying on memory alone can cause conflicts.
Have a Backup Ready
One of the problem-solving stages is to prepare for a backup proactively. You might have a lot on your plate and the least amount of time to implement new changes. Why not have a Plan B to save the day?
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