Selecting a problem solving approach is one of the most important aspects to continuously improve and create sustainable processes. Having a standard process in place helps resolve problems at a faster pace and it enables your teams to overcome any roadblocks smoothly. In this article, we will go over a few of the common approaches that can help eliminate issues and keep your organization thriving.
Define the Problem
It is essential to define a problem accurately before you enter into the problem-solving lifecycle. A problem well-defined is a problem half-solved. Your team needs to scope the problem and clearly identify the pain points as opposed to rushing to a solution. Do we have a bottleneck in our process? Is your business losing revenue due to competition in the market? Once you’ve defined the problem to be solved, ideally, you can gather some data then shift to solutioning.
Now that the problem has been defined, we must quickly gather data to provide additional context to our problem. That data can be retrieved from internal systems of record such as a human resource management system, financial tracking tool, or dashboards and other metric reporting, such as PowerBI or Tableau reports. Alternatively, you might need to conduct some time and motion studies in order to have a proper picture of the current state.
Leverage Design Thinking
Design Thinking helps you reframe the problem from the perspective of the people involved in the problem - and most importantly, using an empathetic point of view to put yourself in their shoes. It helps you challenge underlying assumptions and generate ideas with a fresh perspective. Advantages with the Design Thinking approach include creating a prototype of the solution and testing it quickly to prevent the risks involved in implementing a big change.
Monitor for Success
After you’ve defined your problem and have strong, data-driven solutions in place, make sure you are monitoring your results so you know whether you are achieving your goals. Use the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle in order to continuously improve by establishing periodic checkpoints to review your progress; this in turn avoids wastes of money and resources.
Problem-solving is an ongoing process of improvement within organizations. It requires time and training, which cannot be provided by a simple overview of problem-solving techniques. Through Adonis’ Continuous Improvement program, we can help your organization tackle its most critical challenges by assisting you to establish such robust problem-solving frameworks.
Tiger teams are formed by assembling cross-functional team members to solve complex issues, often in areas of IT but can be extended to almost any area of the business when there’s an urgent need to bring focus to a challenge. One of the most notable tiger teams was created during the lunar landing of Apollo 13 when a service module malfunctioned. In this article, we will go over how to create a successful tiger team and what pitfalls your business should avoid when creating one.
Identify the Right Team Members
Just as tigers are agile, tiger teams can be used to solve challenges on anything from an application not running properly to addressing an underperforming project to restoring a client’s confidence in your ability to deliver. Because of the flexibility of tiger teams, identifying the right team of experts to tackle the issue at hand is of utmost importance.
Learn from Pilots
Piloting a solution, or small tests, are an important part of helping tiger teams identify the root cause of issues. In addition, pilots can also be a great way to learn what’s working and what’s not working when launching a new product or process. Pilots also help your team avoid making too much of an investment in an unsustainable idea, so don’t be shy in using them throughout the project lifecycle.
Risk Factors and What to Avoid
One major risk factor to consider with tiger teams is scope creep. Scope creep can occur when the team begins to address ideas or issues outside of the original challenge, making the team less efficient. To avoid this, ensure the challenge has been thoroughly identified, write it down, show it to leadership and look at it continuously. Another way to keep focus is to create a dashboard showing your progress. This is an artifact that can be shared with the key leaders and team weekly to manage expectations.
Creating a tiger team can help your organization develop a specialized team of experts to tackle complicated issues with a project or fast-track the resolution to a specific challenge. Here at Adonis, we provide program and project management services that will help you deliver a project on-time, on-budget, and ensure the end result creates value.