How to Evaluate Problem Solving in a Business by Billie Nordmeyer, Demand Media Each business day brings new challenges. A primary difference between a top- performing company and an average-performing company is the manner in which the organization addresses such challenges. In order to ensure a company’s problem-solving strategy is a strength rather a weakness, the company must not only determine if it was successful in converting a challenge to an opportunity, but also evaluate the manner in which it solved the problem. Evaluating a business’ problem solving capability requires consideration of several factors.
Ads by Google Simple Project Software It’s easy with [email protected] Nothing to install. Try it free! www. smartsheet. com Step 1 Determine the degree to which the problem was correctly identified and defined. Consider if the problem was conceptualized in a way that supported the identification of a number of different possible root causes. For example, the problem definition “a decrease in sales” supports the identification of a number of root causes ncluding an increase in the number of competitors, a need to ramp-up advertising, and a lack of appropriate training for the sales staff.
Step 2 Determine if the root problem was correctly identified. Consider if a root problem, rather than a symptom of the root problem, was addressed by the solution. For example, if the root problem is product quality and the symptom is a decrease in sales, a solution of additional sales tools will be ineffective in addressing the root problem. Step 3 Review project data to determine if pertinent facts were considered in the decision rocess. Consider the reliability of the data sources and the completeness of the data gathered.
Step 4 Evaluate the resources employed to identify the appropriate solution. Find out if key personnel were selected on the basis of expertise rather than staff position. Determine if an appropriate project sponsor was identified, if appropriate stakeholders participated, and if third-party experts were used if internal personnel lacked the appropriate expertise. Step 5 Review the agreed-to solution to evaluate its feasibility. Determine that the selected olution was “best-in-class” in light of other possible alternatives.
Consider if a sufficient number of solutions were evaluated in order to develop a quality solution. step 6 Consider if the potential solutions were appropriately prioritized. For example, determine if the solution was selected simply on the basis of its implementation time-frame or cost. Step 7 Discover if the set of options was fairly assessed. Determine if experts were consulted in the decision-making process, and if the advantages or disadvantages of the alternative solutions were completely and fairly considered.
Step 8 Determine if the decision-making process supported the prompt identification of an operational costs that resulted from delays in process. Step 9 Consider project responsibilities. Find out if appropriate individuals were assigned the responsibility to conduct particular elements of the solution. Step 10 Evaluate the success measures established for the solution. Discover if the solution was implemented successfully within a designated time-frame and according to plan, and if it addressed the issue without unintended side effects.