Analysis of Business Problems (ABP) has been discussed extensively and its importance for managers cannot be overemphasized. Research has shown that problem is an inevitable aspect of doing business, and the best companies are those that can effectively solve challenges and stay ahead of their competitors. The effectiveness of an organization’s decisions in overcoming business issues depends on the quality of decisions made.
Decision making is an important tool in every organization which affects the performance of the organization. Effective decisions produce the intended results and are the hallmarks of high-performing organizations. Therefore, to build an organization that outperforms competitors, the quality, speed, and execution of its decision making process must be top-notched.
Organizational success depends as much on the quality of the decisions its management and employees make and execute. The organizational structure produces better performance if it improves the organization’s ability to make and execute key decisions better and faster than the competitors. For an organization to have a good performance, it must be structured in such a way that its decision makers can make decisions that are better and more innovative.
Before making decisions, a manager must be able to think critically about the issue and solve the challenge efficiently. It is stated that the quality of decision making is greatly influenced by the critical thinking ability of the decision makers.
Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined thinking that aspires to the greatest standard of fair-minded reasoning. Managers who possess critical thinking skills know the expectations of all stakeholders involved in decision making process and thus make better and more informed decisions.
A business manager must carefully consider how to analyze business issues and implement ABP’s methodical procedures as stated below.
- Understand the situation/ business dynamics
- Define the problem as well as the objectives
- Develop alternatives and criteria to analyze them as well as evaluate the alternatives against the criteria
- Take a decision and develop an action plan
Although there is no right or wrong answer, it is important to keep in mind that the sort of decision taken has the potential to make or break the company. Therefore, the decision maker’s cognitive biases must not influence his/her decision. A smart manager must have the flexibility to recognize and precisely describe the issue because doing so will inform his decision making process.
To understand business challenges, a decision maker must compile all pertinent data and be able to thoroughly discern to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information.
Our critical thinking abilities—which are motivated by questioning, being receptive to new information, and objectivity—can be used within the framework of the systematic method to help us reach sound decisions.
Then, how do we formulate pertinent questions capable of pinpointing the issues? 5Ws and 1H framework (“5 wives and 1 husband) is a super simple but seriously effective method of collecting information. The framework is the key to unlocking any problem. These are What, Who, When, Why, Where, and How. It is believed that when appropriate questions are asked using the framework, the problems will be unveiled, and appropriate actions can be taken to resolve them.