5 Steps (4 Techniques) for Effective Problem Solving

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  • 04 Mar 2024
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Problem solving is the process of analyzing all aspects of an issue in order to find a solution or remedy it. issue solving stages address several parts of an issue that may be combined to develop a solution. The method is the same whether working in a group or on your own, but the strategy and steps may alter. 

To establish a problem-solving strategy that works for you, your team, or your firm, you must evaluate the environment and the people around you. 

Knowing the people in the room can help you select which strategy to take and, ultimately, the best answer.

5 Problem Solving Steps

To fix any problem, you almost always need to follow these procedures. Missing any of these steps may cause the problem to return or the solution to be incorrectly applied. 

Once you've learned these methods, you may be more imaginative in your approach to finding the solutions you need.


Whether you're tackling the problem alone or in a group, you must first identify and grasp it. If you don't have a clear picture of the problem, you risk correcting something that doesn't need to be fixed or solving the wrong problem. 

Spend time expanding on the situation, writing it down and discussing it, so you understand why it is happening and who is affected.


Once you've identified the problem, you should consider all feasible solutions. This is when you go large and wide, since you want to come up with as many different answers as possible. Don't simply choose the first suggestion; brainstorm as many as you can through active listening, since the more ideas you generate, the more likely you are to find a solution that has the greatest influence on the team.


Whatever solution you choose, whether individually or as a team, make sure to consider the impact on others if you adopt it.


At this level of issue solutions, anticipate and plan for feedback. When you implement the solution, get feedback on the success of the modification.


Making a change should not be a one-time action. Spend time assessing the change's effects to ensure that it had the intended impact and achieved the expected goals. 

Make modifications as needed to better improve the solution you've established.

4 Techniques to Encourage Problem Solving

Each person or team will have unique needs and may require a different strategy to support each of the problem-solving phases. Try one of these to jumpstart the process.


The 1-2-4-All problem-solving technique is effective regardless of group size. Everyone is participating, and you may develop a large number of ideas rapidly. 

Ideas and solutions are quickly debated and arranged, and what's nice about this technique is that the participants own their ideas, so when it comes to implementing the solutions, there's no need to work harder to win buy-in. 

As a facilitator, you must first offer the group with a question that clarifies the problem or situation. Take the question, "What actions or ideas would you recommend to solve the company's lack of quiet working areas?"


After making the question apparent to everyone, the group has 5 minutes to think on it separately. They can jot down their thoughts and ideas on Post-It notes.


Now, invite the participants to select one or two others with whom they may discuss their ideas and opinions. Ask the group to roam around and select a companion so they may meet new individuals. 

Ask each duo to spend 5 minutes discussing their common ideas and perspectives.


Next, divide the group into two or three pairs to form groups of 4-6. Each group should be no greater than six people so that everyone has a chance to talk. 

Ask the group to debate one fascinating concept they heard in prior rounds, with each member sharing one. 

The group must next decide on their preferred solution to the problem. This does not have to be voted on; simply choose the one that resonates the most with the group. 

Then, ask for three possible actions to accomplish this change.


Bring everyone back together as a group and offer open-ended questions, such as "What was the one thing you discussed that stood out for you?" ? "Is there something you now see differently following these discussions?" 

By the conclusion of the session, you'll have many methods to resolving the problem, and the entire group will have contributed to future ideas and improvements.


The Lightning Decision Jam is an excellent technique to solve challenges together and decide on a single solution or experiment to attempt right away. It supports collective decision-making while also allowing individuals to express their thoughts and criticism.

If your team wants to enhance a specific area, such as the workplace atmosphere, this technique is ideal for incorporating into the problem-solving processes.


Mind mapping is an excellent visual thinking technique that helps you to bring issues to life by creating connections and picturing the links that comprise the problem. 

You may use a mind map to swiftly expand on the problem and offer yourself the entire picture of the reasons and remedies.

A mind map's purpose is to simplify the problem while also linking its sources and remedies. 

To develop a mind map, first define the key issue (level 1). In this situation, that's the issue. 

Next, construct connected subjects (level 2) that you may position around and connect to the primary center topic with a single line.

Adding these linking topics helps you to begin identifying the root causes of the problem as you have a better understanding of what needs to be fixed. Once you're satisfied that you've covered the scope of the problem and its issues, you can begin to plan how you're going to address it using the problem-solving procedures. 

Now, begin adding subtopics (level 3) that relate to each of the level 2 topics. This is when you might start to think big about solutions and ideas to help solve the situation.

Consider ways to prevent, minimize, or improve each of the connected subjects (level 2). Because this is merely thoughts on paper, write down whatever that comes to mind, even if you believe the customer would never agree to it! 

The more ideas you jot down, the more likely you are to come up with one or two that will address the core problem. 

When you've run out of ideas, take a step back and identify your preferred options to pursue and implement.

The Bottom Line

To solve a problem, you must first completely comprehend it. There are several ways to misread an issue, and the best approach to comprehend them is to speak with the team or individuals who are experiencing them. 

Once you're in agreement, you can start working on the solutions that will have the largest impact using effective problem-solving techniques. 

For more substantial or complex problems to tackle, it is generally best to divide the solution into smaller actions or changes. 

Trial these enhancements in short iterations, then continue the discussions to assess and improve the solution. Implementing all of these processes will help you identify problems and develop meaningful solutions every time.

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