General

Problems, an everyday occurrence

Ifeyinwa Chioke Written by Ifeyinwa Chioke · 2 min read >

I have always been courageous enough to confront and solve problems in all situations and circumstances. In my workplace, when things get tough, I am the go-to person.

Guess what, in all these years I have hardly considered that there might be a structured way of analyzing and solving problems.  The analysis of business Problems (ABP) Course has allowed me to structure my thoughts and understand the systematic way of going about everyday life problems, most importantly Business problems.

Problems abound daily, requiring immediate attention

Structure and Context

In normal life, we tend to jump into solutions without first drilling down to understand what exactly the real issue is. What is going on here? Often, we confuse the symptoms with the root cause of the problem. We pick just one aspect of the perceived problem and begin to provide likely solutions. So, we must begin interrogating problems using the 5 W’s and an H. Basically, we need to ask these questions:

  1. What
  2. Why
  3. When
  4. Where
  5. Who
  6. How.

Context is critical. We must understand the Problem given the context of the situation.

The key task is to fully understand the situation and define the right Problem. You must state the right problem statement. This is the first step in getting to the solutions. The problem statement will include the objectives.

Key to note is that you might not have all the information at the time but given all the information you have, what is the understanding of the problem being considered?

If we can effectively state the Problem, it will lead to the answers. It is critical to separate the symptoms from the root cause so that when we provide a solution for the root cause the symptoms are taken away.

Evaluating the Problems

The decisive question is important to understand the following:

  1. What do you want the preferred future to look like?
  2. Be clear about the goals
  3. Be clear about where you want to go
  4. What would you rather have?

Generally, we need to list and evaluate the options available to you

  1. Considerations
  2. Limitations
  3. Criteria

Comparatively, you need to do a quantitative and qualitative analysis for the available option to understand which Option is the best to provide the required solution to the defined problem you stated in the beginning.

It is important to ensure you are not biased from the beginning, jumping to the solution without critically evaluating all the available options. Do not assume from the beginning that an option is the best, evaluate without bias.

Then develop an action Plan on how to execute this.

Conclusion

Lastly, examining the cases treated in Class, it is obvious that understanding and utilizing this structure in thinking through our everyday problems like

  1. I need to change my daughter’s school.
  2. I need to change my work wardrobe.
  3. I need to buy a new Car- what car should I buy.
  4. I need to meet my Quarter 4 Target.
  5. I need to operate a profitable business.
  6. I need to increase my knowledge base.

The list is indeed inexhaustible. Whatever the life problem, whatever situation it is, it still follows the same structure above.

Context is critical and you must state the right Problem Statement and then it can lead to the right answers.

Problem is an everyday occurrence, so it is critical to understand the structure of analyzing the problems. Once understood, it goes a long way to get us to the expected solutions.

For me, this course is critical to my success in my workplace and once the framework is understood and executed effectively, I will become a very effective problem solver.

We cannot underestimate the value this course is adding to both work and private life.

Reference to more detailed read on Problem solving technique- site below

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