The art of problem solving

1. Define the problemDifferentiate fact from opinionSpecify underlying causesConsult each faction involved for informationState the problem specificallyIdentify what standard or expectation is violatedDetermine in which process the problem liesAvoid trying to solve the problem without data
2. Generate alternative solutionsPostpone evaluating alternatives initiallyInclude all involved individuals in the generating of alternativesSpecify alternatives consistent with organizational goalsSpecify short- and long-term alternativesBrainstorm on others’ ideasSeek alternatives that may solve the problem
3. Evaluate and select an alternativeEvaluate alternatives relative to a target standardEvaluate all alternatives without biasEvaluate alternatives relative to established goalsEvaluate both proven and possible outcomesState the selected alternative explicitly
4. Implement and follow up on the solutionPlan and implement a pilot test of the chosen alternativeGather feedback from all affected partiesSeek acceptance or consensus by all those affectedEstablish ongoing measures and monitoringEvaluate long-term results based on final solution
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