Strategic Problem Solving

Problem solving strategies are common place in business and it is essential that the right tool is used for the specific problem in hand. The difference between the outstanding, world class performers and the average companies is how well they react to issues when they arise.

When thinking of the term ‘problem solving strategies’, one can be forgiven for conjuring up a myriad of statistical and in depth analysis tools, however the vision of Kaizen and the identification and elimination of anything that is a variation to standard is what problem solving strategies is all about. You may know there is a problem, but do you know what the root cause is? Are there a number of issues that are just symptoms of a bigger cause?

You simply pick the most appropriate tool for the problem at hand. It can be easy to get lost in the see of issues and problems in a business, but keeping it simple is the main aim of the game.

Plain and simply; it is the method of spotting problems as they arise in the work place, stopping, analysing and spending time to resolve that issue so it doesn’t happen again.

This involves a continuous improvement culture, which takes time and great leadership.

I am a technology project manager for a major financial-services company (Maj Fin).

I’d like to share how I took the concept of “strategy as problem solving” and applied it to my own organization’s strategic problems.

As I endeavored to take a strategic perspective, I found my question keying on this challenge: how do we create a strategy that both identifies the critical problems to be solved and creates a strategic journey to solving them?

I came to see this in the following terms: Critical Problems to be Solved In Maj Fin, we have a large group that we call the Operate Team.

I had been told that strategy was a specialized kind of problem solving. As I looked at how I had initially ordered the problem, I saw I was focusing on the most salient part of the story (the customer did not appreciate the efforts of the Operate Team).

What I had done was focus on the most painful symptom, the Operate Team was unappreciated.


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