Identify and explain the six steps in the problem-solving process

The Problem Solving Model
1. Identify problem. Define the problem’s symptoms and root causes.
2. Define the desired situation.
3. Gather and analyse data.
4. Generate alternatives. Consider potential impact/ risks.
5. Choose an alternative. Make a decision, plan and implement.
6. Monitor and evaluate. Adjust plan.

The first two steps involve defining and identifying the problem. They make a comparison between the desired situation and the current situation. Determining the differences between the two situations can help with identifying problems and potential problems.

Step 3 deals with data collected from internal and external source, by formal or informal means and from primary or secondary sources. The data compiled can be analysed to give reliable, relevant, valid and timely information related to the problem and provide possible solutions.

Step 4 is to generate multiple solutions from the analysed data. Involving the people that are most likely affected by the problem or change can increase the number of alternative solution which in turn improves the quality of the solution. The benefit of involving others in the resolution of the problem is that they will likely be more committed to implementing the solution.

Steps 5 and 6 are used to analyse the alternatives and make a decision. They check the projected solutions against specified targets or objectives. Monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of the proposed solutions is needed to determine the adjustments necessary to better solve the problem. Decisions will be made in these steps to help overcome problems so it is possible to adapt to customer services, products and/or service delivery to meet the customers’ needs.

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