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Many of the tools in this section help you do just that.We look at these, and then review some useful, well-established problem-solving frameworks.With one, you can solve problems quickly and effectively.
At this stage, it's also important to ensure that you look at the issue from a variety of perspectives.
If you commit yourself too early, you can end up with a problem statement that's really a solution instead.
Quite often, what may seem to be a single problem turns out to be a whole series of problems.
Going back to our example, substandard work could be caused by insufficient skills, but excessive workloads could also be contributing, as could excessively short lead times and poor motivation.
Using established tools and techniques will help you improve your approach to solving the problems that your team and your organization face.
You'll be more successful at solving problems and, because of this, more successful at what you do.Simplex involves an eight-stage process: problem finding, fact finding, defining the problem, idea finding, selecting and evaluating, planning, selling the idea, and acting.These steps build upon the basic process described earlier, and they create a cycle of problem finding and solving that will continually improve your organization.When your problem is simple, the solution is usually obvious, and you don't need to follow the four steps we outlined earlier.So it follows that when you're taking this more formal approach, your problem is likely to be complex and difficult to understand, because there's a web of interrelated issues.Using our example of substandard work, Cause-and-Effect diagrams would highlight that a lack of training could contribute to the problem, and they could also highlight possible causes such as work overload and problems with technology.When your problem occurs within a business process, creating a Flow Chart that's causing your problem.Appreciative Inquiry is designed to help you understand complex problems so that you can start the process of solving them.It uses four stages to help you uncover more details about what's creating the problem, and then define actions that will improve the situation.There are four basic steps in solving a problem: Steps 2 to 4 of this process are covered in depth in other areas of Mind Tools.For these, see our sections on Creativity for step 2 (generating alternatives); Decision Making for step 3 (evaluating and selecting alternatives); and Project Management for step 4 (implementing solutions).