Problem solving in business is the process of removing or correcting obstacles that might prevent business from flourishing towards reaching its objective.
Problem solving in business can also be defined as implementing processes that reduce or remove obstacles that are preventing you or others from accomplishing operational and strategic business goals.
Business problems are situation that creates a gap between the desired and actual outcomes. Whenever a problem crops up in decision making in business , it requires evaluating instead of jumping right into creating the solution. Failing to define and evaluate the root cause of the problem leads to the development of a strategy that will not work, as this is equal to just treating the symptoms.
For example, when the numbers of sales start dropping, most businesses will rush into creating a marketing master plan to increase brand exposure as a way of driving up sales. While this may work in the short term, it does not solve the root cause of the drop in sales. Business problem solving works best when it is approached through a consistent system in which individuals identify and define the problem, prioritize the problem based on size, potential impact, and urgency, complete a root-cause analysis, develop a variety of possible solutions, evaluate possible solutions and decide which is most effective and plan and implement the solution.
Secret Method to Problem Solving in Business
To approach problem solving in business effectively, you should establish processes that can help in evaluating these problems, exploring the solutions, prioritizing execution and measuring success. The following methods are the secret methods to problem solving in business:
1. Understand the problem
The secret to problem solving in business to understand the problem facing your business. Analyze the problem carefully, attempting to understand its specific aspects and the requirements of an acceptable solution. You should have a precise understanding of what your problem facing your business really is. Once you can state your business problem more accurately, a direction of solution will sometimes become apparent. Understanding business problem is half of the solution. The more complete and precise the understanding, the more apparent may be the course of action.
2. Decompose the problem
As your understanding of the problem facing your business becomes refined, your statement of the problem becomes correspondingly more detailed. However, as the problem becomes more detailed and constrained. It also becomes more difficult to deal with all at one time. Therefore, attempt to break your problem into simpler, relatively independent parts, and then focus on the separate parts. In doing this, attempt to break the solution of one sub-problem followed by solution of the next sub-problem, and so on, will provide a solution to the original problem. When focusing on the solution your you business problem, do not completely ignore the common goal of your business. If the problem facing your business involves performing some repeated process, attempt to isolate the action which is required in an instance from the repetitive aspect.
When breaking a problem into simpler parts, perform the decomposition gradually in several stages. Make use of more general criteria in the early stages and more specific criteria later. This movement from general to specific considerations is termed top-down style of problem solving in business. Careful, step-by-step, top-down solution to business problems will usually lead to almost perfect solution.
3. Review Your Solution
Another secret method to problem solving in business to take time to review your solution. No matter how thorough the analysis, some feature or specific circumstances that occur in running business is almost invariably overlooked when designing the first (second, third, and fourth) version of the solution procedure. Therefore, review and reconsider your proposed solution to your business problems to ensure that it is complete and correct. Such solution review should be done at every step in the solution to all the possible problems facing your business. A stitch in time saves nine and a gram of prevention is worth a kilogram of cure.
4. Ask Questions
Though some people appear to have been born with superior problem-solving skills, great problem solvers usually have practiced and refined their abilities. Don’t expect to solve every problem alone. Ask for advice, and listen to it carefully.
5. Don’t be Negative
Any time you’re involved in solving a problem in making business decision, practice researching and defining the problem just a little longer than you would naturally. Whenever possible, break large problems into their smallest units. Then, search for solutions to one unit at a time. Don’t allow a problem to mean something negative about you personally. Separate yourself from it. Look at it objectively and be part of the solution.
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