Army Problem Solving Steps

Mc Kinsey & Company is a global strategy consulting firm.

I have been involved in numerous situations where a group of people have met on an issue, left the meeting to do further problem solving, come back a week later and realised that each individual was on a different page regarding what the problem was or what was to be done about it.

Jumping into solution mode or chasing unsound hypotheses is a massive waste of organisational time.

Before I go into the individual steps, it is important to remember that this process is iterative.

The 7 steps are a structured way to diverge and converge in the problem solving process.

Mc Kinsey publishes Mc Kinsey Insights and the Mc Kinsey Quarterly to publicise its current thinking on strategic topics.

As discussed in my Problem Solving Overview article, using a good problem solving methodology can greatly enhance the effectiveness of collaboration and the robustness of a holistic solution.

The little “COMMUNICATIONS” ribbon in the diagram reinforces this.

Make sure you have the right people on the team to bring sufficient knowledge, discipline, structure and creativity to the problem solving process – then use the right tools to help the team work together effectively!

Equally important is the conceptual exercise of making sure the team is considering all aspects of the problem and potential solution space. The concept of “Yes, and…” is extremely applicable in this step.

We want to add components, aspects and perspectives on the problem and solution space in this step.


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