With as many problems as we are all faced with in our work and life, it seems as if there is never enough time to solve each one without dealing with some adversity along the way. Problems keep mounting so fast that we find ourselves taking short-cuts to temporarily alleviate the tension points – so we can move onto the next problem.
In the process, we fail to solve the core of each problem we are dealt; thus we continuously get caught in the trap of a never-ending cycle that makes it difficult to find any real resolutions. Sound familiar?
A logic tree problem-solving method allows a detailed exploration of any decision-making scenario, outlining potential outcomes.
As each small step in the logic tree is followed, the solver branches out into more specific responses to the problem until she arrives at a set of satisfactory responses based upon situation-specific variables.
It tells him to look for the simplest, most common faults first, such as checking that there is sufficient paper, then to move on to less common problems that would cause a similar problem, instructing him to search for a paper jam.
Should the tier 2 response fail to resolve the problem, the employee would, as directed by the chart, change the ink cartridges and reboot his computer and the printer.
Small business can benefit greatly from applying big business procedural manuals to their day-to-day operations; of course, small business entrepreneurs and their staff often encounter “firsts,” problems the company has not encountered before.
A company problem-solving journal that details every problem, the attempted solution and the final outcome is a vital tool, and it can serve as a basis for future training material.
Strategic problem solving is a critical business skill, for both management and front-line workers.
For management, a large portion of strategic problem solving involves predicting problems that subordinates might encounter and documenting procedural solutions in advance, often through manuals or logic tree flowcharts.