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Part IV: Installing Windows to Better Co... > Seven Steps to Solving Problems

Chapter 26. Seven Steps to Solving Problems

Problem solving should be taught at every level of an organization. The process should be as simple as is required to get the job done. A basic approach is outlined below. Check ( ) those steps that would be useful in your operation.

Step 1 State what appears to be the problem. The real problem may not surface until facts have been gathered and analyzed. Therefore, start with a supposition that can later be confirmed or corrected.

Step 2 Gather facts, feelings, and opinions. What happened? Where, when, and how did the problem occur? What is its size, scope, and severity? Who and what is affected? Is it likely to happen again? Does it need to be corrected? Time and expense may require problem solvers to think through what they need and assign priorities to the more critical elements.

Step 3 Restate the problem. The facts help make this possible and provide supporting data. The actual problem may or may not be the same as stated in Step 1.

Step 4 Identify alternative solutions. Generate ideas. Do not eliminate any possible solutions until several have been discussed.

Step 5 Evaluate alternatives. Which will provide the optimum solution? What are the risks? Are costs in keeping with the benefits? Will the solution create new problems?

Step 6 Implement the decision. Who must be involved? To what extent? How, when, and where? Who will the decision affect? What might go wrong? How will results be reported and verified?

Step 7 Evaluate the results. Test the solution against the desired results. Modify the solution if better results are needed.



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