Use Effective Problem Solving and Decision-Making to increase profitability
“Everything in business is about providing a solution to a problem,”
says Stephen Barnes from Byronvale Advisors.
“You need to ensure that your organisation adequately solves a problem that your customers have, and are able to, find ways to fix issues or troubleshoot challenges, within your own business.”
According to Barnes modern day organisations are struggling to keep the candle burning on both ends. On the one hand they need to service the ever-increasing demands of their customers, or risk losing business to a competitor, whilst managing the motivation and productivity levels of employees who service those customers.
Employees who are taught to think independently and solve minor problems on their own, have an increased sense of motivation and take pride in their work. This positive attitude frees up the management chain to focus on identifying and eliminating rising threats.
This essentially means that employees can reduce expensive mistakes and increase productivity, which in the long run increases profitability.
When employees are given an opportunity to learn, develop and grow their problem solving and decision- making acumen, they will adopt this new skill as part of their daily routine, to the benefit of everyone.
Implementing the 7- Steps to Problem Solving and Decision-Making Framework, will give you tangible results.
(refer to diagram below)
Step 1: Gather all the information. When trying to solve the problem gather as much information about the problem as you can. Ask everyone to contribute, and to explain their experience with the problem.
Step 2: Define the REAL PROBLEM. Define what exactly you want to solve. Often when gathering information people will share the results or the frustrations the problem cause without considering the root of the problem. At this stage it is critical to define what the problem is.
Step 3: Write the problem statement. Write out the problem statement in one sentence. This allows for everyone to understand what the problem is and for the brain to start generating solutions to the problem.
Step 4: Conduct a brainstorming session, during which you ask everyone to draft random solutions to the problem, remember to allow for free, and creative thinking. Some problems require out of the box thinking.
Step 5: Analyse solutions given. When analysing solutions, view them objectively and focus on what can be implemented quickly and cost effectively and which decisions would require, time, money and effort. This will allow you to judge the effectiveness of your problem-solving skills.
Step 6: Make a Now Decision. Implement the quick, cost effective and easy to do solutions, as this may alleviate some of the symptoms of the problem being experienced.
Step 7: Next Step Planning: Focus on the decisions which may require time, money and effort. You may need to motivate to Managers or Executive team to give permission and allocate funds to solving this problem for good.
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At Knowledge to Motion, we have trained, skilled, time management experts who can design, implement and review your time management strategies, allowing you the time to focus on your priorities and increasing your employee productivity levels, without costing you any more time.