7 Steps Problem Solving

When you have a problem simply fix it; that is it what do you want to do more; is there anything else to be done? Yes there is much more to do.

You can simply fix the problem only if it is simple problem, but simply solve a complex problem will produce a new problem; you may say I don’t care I can solve them too, but actually it will put you in an infinite loop.

To handle a complex problem say for example a huge number of calls in a call center, you need the following 7 steps (defined by Dr. Shoti Sheba) to perfectly solve it:

  1. Definition: the first thing is to ask what is the problem really, without the answer of this question you cannot go any further; taking our example, you need to know what the problem really is? Is it the number of calls? Is it how long the call is taken? Or it is about something in the content of the call. Let’s decide it is the number of calls.
  2. Data Collection: next step is to answer the question “WHAT?” Get detailed data about the problem; if we are talking about the number of calls so let’s draw a graph about the number of calls over time.
  3. Cause Analysis: next step is to answer the question of “WHY?”; many techniques can help you find the cause of the problem such as Ishikawa or Baretto; or may be simple analysis, any of them will use the data collected above; in our example you found that the increase of calls synchronized with the shipment of new product, which the most of the new callas are about.
  4. Solution Planning & Implementation: “A lot of work in a simple line of writing”; after previous 3 steps you are ready correctly solve your problem by planning and implementing the solution; it worth the effort because you know you are doing the right thing; in our example you may chip to the customer a check list about the things/checks they need to go through before calling.
  5. Evaluation of Effects: Don’t stop now; you need this step as much as you need the previous 4; the question here is “DID IT WORKED?”; after shipping the check list you need to monitor and collect some data to check if the calls goes normal again
  6. Standardization: once we found the right solution, let’s see how widely we can use it in the organization
  7. Evaluation of The Process: after we widely spread the solution all over the organization we still not done; we need to know about the steps we have been through to solve the problem are they good to do every time we solve a problem, what are they pros and cons; so next time we do it more efficiently.

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