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Using our example of substandard work, Cause-and-Effect diagrams would highlight that a lack of training could contribute to the problem, and they could also highlight possible causes such as work overload and problems with technology.When your problem occurs within a business process, creating a Flow Chart that's causing your problem.Using established tools and techniques will help you improve your approach to solving the problems that your team and your organization face.
Simplex involves an eight-stage process: problem finding, fact finding, defining the problem, idea finding, selecting and evaluating, planning, selling the idea, and acting.
These steps build upon the basic process described earlier, and they create a cycle of problem finding and solving that will continually improve your organization.
However, for a more comprehensive process, you can use Simplex, Appreciative Inquiry or Soft Systems Methodology (SSM).
These provide detailed steps that you can use to solve a problem effectively.
At this stage, it's also important to ensure that you look at the issue from a variety of perspectives.
If you commit yourself too early, you can end up with a problem statement that's really a solution instead.
The Drill Down technique will help you split your problem into smaller parts, each of which can then be solved appropriately.
The four-step approach to solving problems that we mentioned at the beginning of this article will serve you well in many situations.
There are four basic steps in solving a problem: Steps 2 to 4 of this process are covered in depth in other areas of Mind Tools.
For these, see our sections on Creativity for step 2 (generating alternatives); Decision Making for step 3 (evaluating and selecting alternatives); and Project Management for step 4 (implementing solutions).