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Once a solution is implemented, the best problem-solvers have systems in place to ascertain if and how quickly it’s working.This way, they know as soon as possible whether the issue has been resolved or, alternatively, whether they’ll have to change their response to the problem mid-stream.
Sometimes this involves teamwork, since two (or more) minds are often better than one.
It’s rare that a single strategy is the obvious route to solving a complex problem; devising a set of alternatives helps you to cover your bases and reduce your risk exposure should the first strategy you implement fail.
A teacher might need to figure out how to improve the performance of her students on a writing proficiency test.
A store manager might be trying to reduce theft of merchandise.
This requires that you gather and evaluate data, isolate possible contributing circumstances, and pinpoint the chief causal factors that need to be addressed in order to resolve the problem.
Examples: Diagnosing Illnesses, Identifying the Causes for Social Problems, Interpreting Data to Determine the Scope of Problems, Pinpointing Behaviors Contributing to Marital Distress, Recognizing Invalid Research Models Once you’ve determined what is causing a problem, it’s time to come up with possible alternative solutions.
Examples: Evaluating Alternative Strategies for Reducing Stress, Proposing Diplomatic Solutions to Border Disputes, Selecting Employees to Lay Off During a Business Downturn, Troubleshooting Computer Malfunctions Once a course of action has been decided upon, it must be implemented, along with benchmarks that can quickly and accurately determine whether it’s working to solve a problem.
Plan implementation also typically involves alerting personnel to changes in their standard operating procedures (SOPs).
You don't have to provide a cookie-cutter answer.
Employers are always eager for individuals who can think outside of the box and present new solutions, especially when old ones aren't working.