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## Problem solving

Sometimes, it is not enough to just cope with the problems – they need to be solved.

## Six step guide to help you solve problems

Step 1: identify and define the problem.

- State the problem as clearly as possible. For example: “I don’t have enough money to pay the bills.”
- Be specific about the behaviour, situation, timing, and circumstances that make it a problem. For example: “I need to pay the phone and gas bills, and I don’t have enough money to cover both this month.”

## Step 2: Generate possible solutions

- List all the possible solutions; don’t worry about the quality of the solutions at this stage.
- Try to list at least 15 solutions, be creative and forget about the quality of the solution.
- If you allow yourself to be creative you may come up with some solutions that you would not otherwise have thought about.

## Step 3: Evaluate alternatives

- The next step is to go through and eliminate less desirable or unreasonable solutions.
- Order the remaining solutions in order of preference.
- Evaluate the remaining solutions in terms of their advantages and disadvantages.

## Step 4: Decide on a solution

- Specify who will take action.
- Specify how the solution will be implemented.
- Specify when the solution will be implemented. For example: tomorrow morning, phone the gas company and negotiate to pay the gas bill next month.

## Step 5: Implement the solution

## Step 6: Evaluate the outcome

- Evaluate how effective the solution was.
- Decide whether the existing plan needs to be revised, or whether a new plan is needed to better address the problem.
- If you are not pleased with the outcome, return to step 2 to select a new solution or revise the existing solution, and repeat the remaining steps.

Problem solving is something we do every day.

Some problems are small or easily solved - others are more complicated and can seem overwhelming.

## Where to get help

Centre for Clinical Interventions (CCI)

- 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
- Phone: (08) 9227 4399
- Email: [email protected]
- Read more about the Centre for Clinical Interventions

## See your doctor

- Metro callers: 1300 55 788
- Peel: 1800 676 822
- Rural and remote areas 1800 552 002
- Most people engage in problem solving daily.
- Sometimes following a step-by-step process to define problems, consider options and make choices can make problem solving less overwhelming.
- You can always talk to your doctor or mental health practitioner and ask for help.

## This information provided by

- Centre for Clinical Interventions
- Unhelpful thinking styles
- Depression – reversing the vicious cycle
- Anxiety – reversing the vicious cycle

## Related sites

## The Six Step Problem Solving Model

## Advantages of Six-Step Problem Solving

The Six-Step method provides a focused procedure for the problem solving (PS) group.

- It ensures consistency, as everyone understands the approach to be used.
- By using data, it helps eliminate bias and preconceptions, leading to greater objectivity.
- It helps to remove divisions and encourages collaborative working.
- It stops PS groups diverging into different problems.
- It also helps PS groups reach consensus
- It eliminates the confusion caused when people use different problem solving techniques on the same issue.
- It makes the decision making process easier.
- It provides a justifiable solution.

## The Six Steps

- Define the Problem
- Determine the Root Cause(s) of the Problem
- Develop Alternative Solutions
- Select a Solution
- Implement the Solution
- Evaluate the Outcome

## Step One: Define the Problem

At this stage groups will use techniques such as:

## Step Two: Determine the Root Cause(s) of the Problem

At this stage, the group may return to step one to revise the definition of the problem.

## Step Three: Develop Alternative Solutions

- Finding as many solutions to the problem, no matter how outlandish they may seem.
- Looking at how each solution relates to the root cause and symptoms of the problem.
- Deciding if different solutions can be merged to give a better answer to the problem.

## Step Four: Select a Solution

Feasibility is ascertained by deciding if a solution:

- Can be implemented within an acceptable timeframe?
- Is cost effective, reliable and realistic?
- Will make resource usage more effective?
- Can adapt to conditions as they evolve and change?
- Its risks are manageable?
- Will benefit the organization/

Acceptance by the people who will use and implement the solution is key to success.

## Step Five: Implement the Solution

Once the solution has been chosen, initial project planning begins and establishes:

- The project manager.
- Who else needs to be involved to implement the solution.
- When the project will start.
- The key milestones
- What actions need to be taken before implementing the solution
- What actions need to be taken during the implementing the solution
- Why are these actions necessary?

## Step Six: Evaluate the Outcome

- The collection of data
- Accurate, defined reporting mechanisms
- Regular updates from the Project Manager
- Challenging progress and actions when necessary

- The Six Step Problem Solving Model provides a shared, collaborative, and systematic approach to problem solving.
- Each step must be completed before moving on to the next step. However, the steps are repeatable. At any point the group can return to an earlier step, and proceed from there.
- The goal is not to solve but to evolve, adjusting the solution continually as new challenges emerge, through repeating the Six Step Process.
- Step 1) Define the Problem – Identify problems through problem formulation and questioning. The key is asking the right questions to discover root causes.
- Step 2) Determine the Root Cause – During this process, assumptions are uncovered and underlying problems are further revealed. Also, this is an opportunity to collect and analyze data.
- Step 3) Develop Alternative Solutions – Decisions are made within the group to determine the appropriate solution and process through creative selection.
- Step 4) Select a Solution – Once the group has formed solutions and alternatives to the problem(s), they need to explore the pros and cons of each option through forecasting consequences.
- Step 5) Implement the Solution – Develop an action plan to implement and execute the solution process.
- Step 6) Evaluate the Outcome – This final stage requires an evaluation of the outcomes and results of the solution process. Ask questions such as: Did the option answer the questions we were working on? Did this process address the findings that came out of the assumptions?
- This process helps keep groups on track, and enables a thorough investigation of the problem and solution search.

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This six-step problem-solving method provides focused instructions to get the solutions you need.

Step 2: Determine the root cause(s) of the problem

Step 3: Develop potential solutions

Step 5: Implement the solution

## First Step: Define the problem

* Something is wrong or something could be improved.

## Second Step: Determine the root cause(s) of the problem

## Third Step Develop possible solutions

## Third Step Select a solution

- Can this solution be implemented in the timeframe you need?
- Is it practical, helpful, and cost-effective?
- Can it adapt to conditions that evolve and change?
- Is it risky?
- Is it beneficial to you, the team, or the company?

In short, you judge the feasibility and select the best fit.

## Fifth Step Implement the solution

- Who is responsible for implementation?
- Who else is involved in the process?
- What is the time frame for implementation?
- What are the objectives?
- What exact actions need to be taken before and during implementation?

## Final Step Evaluate the outcome

## Problem-solving skills you need

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## Six Steps to Develop an Effective Problem-Solving Process

by Rawzaba Alhalabi Published on November 1, 2017

## Here are six steps to an effective problem-solving process:

## Case study 1:

## Case study 2:

Yolanda Barreros Gutiérrez, B&C Consulting

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## Problem Solving Resources

Case studies, problem solving related topics.

- Brainstorming
- Continuous Improvement
- Eight Disciplines (8D)
- Fishbone Diagram
- Nine Windows
- Shainin System™
- Total Quality Management (TQM)
- Quality Resources /
- Problem Solving

## What is Problem Solving?.

Quality Glossary Definition: Problem solving

## The Problem-Solving Process

## 1. Define the problem

- Reviewing and documenting how processes currently work (i.e., who does what, with what information, using what tools, communicating with what organizations and individuals, in what time frame, using what format).
- Evaluating the possible impact of new tools and revised policies in the development of your "what should be" model.

## 2. Generate alternative solutions

## 3. Evaluate and select an alternative

- A particular alternative will solve the problem without causing other unanticipated problems.
- All the individuals involved will accept the alternative.
- Implementation of the alternative is likely.
- The alternative fits within the organizational constraints.

## 4. Implement and follow up on the solution

You can also search articles , case studies , and publications for problem solving resources.

Innovative Business Management Using TRIZ

Introduction To 8D Problem Solving: Including Practical Applications and Examples

Root Cause Analysis: The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action

## Certification

Quality Improvement Associate Certification--CQIA

Certified Quality Improvement Associate Question Bank

NEW Root Cause Analysis E-Learning

Adapted from The Executive Guide to Improvement and Change , ASQ Quality Press.

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## Search form

Six steps to becoming a better problem solver.

Problems which will need solutions to solve them.

They are part of everyone’s life.

## Problem-Solving: A Step by Step Approach

There is no better starting point than defining what it is that needs to be fixed.

Once you have identified what your problem is, you need to figure out why it is.

- What is behind it?
- What is causing it?
- Can it be quantified or qualified.
- What is going on at a core level?

4. Find the Solution that will Work Best

Easier said than done? Not necessarily. Go about it logically. Answer these questions:

- Is it technically viable?
- Is it scale-able?
- Do you have the resources?
- What are the risks? Can they be managed?
- Does your solution benefit as many people as possible?
- Can it be measured? How will you measure it?

5. Plan and Implement Your Solution

6. Measure the Success of Your Solution

## Being Positive means Better Problem Solving

## Learn Why Employers want Techies with Data Analysis Skills

Data analysis is one of the top skills in demand by employers.

## IMAGES

## VIDEO

## COMMENTS

The six steps of problem solving involve problem definition, problem analysis, developing possible solutions, selecting a solution, implementing the solution and evaluating the outcome. Problem solving models are used to address issues that...

When multiplying or dividing different bases with the same exponent, combine the bases, and keep the exponent the same. For example, X raised to the third power times Y raised to the third power becomes the product of X times Y raised to th...

The four steps for solving an equation include the combination of like terms, the isolation of terms containing variables, the isolation of the variable and the substitution of the answer into the original equation to check the answer.

Define the Problem. 2. Determine the Root Cause(s) of the Problem. 3. Develop Alternative Solutions. 4. Select a Solution. 5. Implement the Solution.

Six step guide to help you solve problems · Step 1: Identify and define the problem · Step 2: Generate possible solutions · Step 3: Evaluate alternatives · Step 4:

Step One: Define the Problem · Step Two: Determine the Root Cause(s) of the Problem · Step Three: Develop Alternative Solutions · Step Four: Select a Solution.

Six-Step Problem-Solving Process · Establish criteria for selecting a solution · Generate potential solutions that will address the root causes of

1. Define the Problem · 2. Brainstorm Solutions · 3. Analyze Your Options · 4. Choose a Solution · 5. Create a Plan · 6. Evaluate Your Plan.

First Step: Define the problem · Second Step: Determine the root cause(s) of the problem · Third Step Develop possible solutions · Third Step

Here are six steps to an effective problem-solving process: · Identify the issues · Understand everyone's interests · List the possible solutions.

The Problem-Solving Process · 1. Define the problem · 2. Generate alternative solutions · 3. Evaluate and select an alternative · 4. Implement and follow up on the

Are you looking for a tool to help you resolve workplace problems? This webinar will introduce you to the Six-Step Problem-Solving Process:

3. Develop. Alternative Solutions. 1. Define the. Problem. 4. Select a.

Problem-Solving: A Step by Step Approach · 1. Identify the problem? · 2. Determine the Root Causes · 3. Find Multiple Solutions · 4. Find the Solution that will