How To Do Problem Solving

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For example, if you own a business and are trying to ‘increase sales’, try to view this problem from the point of view of, say, a customer. Also, imagine how people in various roles would frame the problem. If the problem looks too dull for you, invest the time adding vigor to it while . One thing is ‘to create a personal development blog’, another completely different is to ’empower readers to live fully’.

For example, from the customer’s viewpoint, this may be a matter of adding features to your product that one would be willing to pay more for. One trick that usually helps when you’re stuck with a problem is turning it on its head.

Play freely with the problem statement, rewording it several times.

For a methodic approach, take single words and substitute variations. Try replacing ‘increase’ with ‘attract’, ‘develop’, ‘extend’, ‘repeat’ and see how your perception of the problem changes.

The definition of the problem will be the focal point of all your problem-solving efforts.

As such, it makes sense to devote as much attention and dedication to problem definition as possible.But go further and test each assumption for validity: think in ways that they might not be valid and their consequences.What you will find may surprise you: that many of those bad assumptions are self-imposed — with just a bit of scrutiny you are able to safely drop them.A rich vocabulary plays an important role here, so you may want to use a thesaurus or develop your vocabulary.Every problem — no matter how apparently simple it may be — comes with a long list of assumptions attached.Some of the typical questions you can ask to make a problem more specific are: : words that are stricter in meaning than the given one. two hyponyms of ‘car’ are ‘minivan’ and ‘limousine’). Before rushing to solve a problem, always make sure you look at it from different perspectives. Try to find the differences and similarities on how the different roles would deal with your problem.Looking at it with different eyes is a great way to have instant insight on new, overlooked directions. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for properly crafting the perfect problem statement, but there are some language constructs that always help making it more effective: In addition to using effective language constructs, it’s important to come up with a problem statement that truly excites you so you’re in the best frame of mind for creatively tackling the problem. One thing is to ‘increase sales’ (boring), another one is ‘wow your customers’.If each problem is part of a greater problem, it also means that each problem is composed of many smaller problems.It turns out that decomposing a problem in many smaller problems — each of them more specific than the original — can also provide greater insights about it.‘Chunking the problem down’ (making it more specific) is especially useful if you find the problem overwhelming or daunting.Write a list and expose as many assumptions as you can — especially those that may seem the most obvious and ‘untouchable’.That, in itself, brings more clarity to the problem at hand.

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