4 Myths of Problem Solving
Bandaids? Got a drawer full. Easy Way Out? If it’s good, we’re in. Makeshift? Why not. Stop gap? If it plugs the leak, go for it. Fly by the seat of our pants? Sometimes we even grow wings.
We want to go on record as saying that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those approaches to problem solving. Trust us, there are times when short terms fixes are ideal. We’re a start-up after all. But these short term fixes are just that. Short term. It’s no way to run a business – certainly not if you want growth and long term success. So, of course, companies need to plan, execute and measure – and along the way, come up with strategies and initiatives
to manage through the bumps that are inevitable. But what we’ve found is that companies have very different takes on how to problem solve. We’re fans of plan, do, check and act (PDCA
) which encourages you to be methodical in your approach to initiatives and problem solving. Here are the four steps explained:Step 1: Plan:
First, identify your specific problem (using PoPin is ideal for this – and all steps!) Next, draw together any other information you need that will help you start sketching out solutions.Step 2: Do: This phase involves several activities:
Step 3: Check:
- Generate possible solutions.
- Select the best of these solutions.
- Implement a pilot project on a small scale basis, with a small group, or in a limited geographical area, or using some other trial design appropriate to the nature of your problem, product or initiative.
Measure how effective the pilot solutions have been, and gather together any additional ideas from it that could make it even better. Depending on the success of the pilot, the number of areas for improvement you have identified, and the scope of the whole initiative, you may decide to repeat the “Do” and “Check” phases, incorporating your additional improvements.Step 4: Act:
Now you implement your solution fully. However, your continually revisit, update and refine your plans. Using PoPin as part of your continuous improvement initiative will accelerate any change management activities and more importantly, the overall success of your efforts.
This is why we our customers love PoPin which embraces the need to plan and act, but is much more scalable, user friendly and addictively engaging across all boundaries within a company.