October 17, 2017

Complex Problem-Solving Skills – The 7 Step Approach to Handling Serious Business Challenges

Complex problem-solving skills are some of the most highly sought after competencies in the business world. Complex problem solving involves the ability to solve hard to define problems that often occur in a highly dynamic context or in an environment of significant uncertainty.

While there is no specific methodology for solving every complex problem, you can use the sequence below to make many complex problems manageable and ultimately solvable.

1. Identify and Categorize Complex problem

To become a habitual and instinctive problem solver, you need to develop a way to quickly understand the type of problem you are dealing with. Complex problems may be made up of many interdependent, dynamic and diverse variables. They are often immensely difficult to frame in a way that neatly defines their boundaries.

Usually, the way across this challenge is to examine the “big picture” of the issues at stake. Find a way to model or map the “biggest” problem you are faced with as a method for bringing definition to the problem.

2. Select Appropriate Research Sources

From the big picture, make some assumptions about the system represented by the complex problem solving challenge. After you have done this, you will have to research information to dig up more ideas, frame your assumptions, and give yourself some options. Identify where the information you need might be obtained.

3. Research the Information

Decide what resources might hold useful information. Think of the people who may be able to help you frame the problem, confirm your assumptions and provide you with relevant information you need.

4. Develop Options

Use the information you get to develop alternatives and options that can be explored and analyzed. The quality of the alternatives you come up with will only be as good as the quality of information you generate from your research.

In complex problem-solving, your approach to developing action alternatives can be quite varied. One way is the “Edisonian method” in which the inventor went through an unbounded number of potential alternatives in a linear fashion until something clicked.

5. Evaluate Options

The next step in the process it to evaluate the options that you have generated in order to decide on an action. There are multitudes of analytical tools available to decision makers to help with this sort of evaluation. Here is where you can use well-developed problem solving techniques to get a handle on the problem

6. Make Decision And Take Action

One of the challenges of complex problem solving is the emotional challenge involved in the decision-making process. It takes a flexible mindset to make decisions in the face of some uncertainty. Developing the aptitude of taking action in the midst of partial information can help to prepare you for more challenging decision making contexts.

7. Monitor Results and Make Adjustments

It almost goes without saying that you must monitor the results of the decisions you have taken to solve a complex problem. Determining measurements for truly complex problems can be a difficult undertaking. Nonetheless, by tracing a line between the assumptions of your model and the results you observe from your solution, you can determine where adjustments should be made (if they are found to be necessary).



Source by Gogo Erekosima