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Problem Solving Prerequisite Staircase

Use this tool and the below steps to help you problem solve.

Step 1. Envision the future and core ideology. Knowing your core values and purpose is key in establishing the desired outcome. Keep this information in front of you as you begin to map out the stages of your goal. If you don’t have this information, create it first before moving forward.

Step 2. Define the goal. Focus on the outcome to help establish a clear and understandable direction for the desired result. State the “WHY” in what will be achieved. Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.)

Step 3. Solicit buy-in from the team. In order for any problem to be solved or goal to be reached, buy-in from individuals involved or impacted is key to success.

Step 4. Obstacles. List obstacles involved in reaching the desired result. Consider each obstacle a problem to be solved. List at least one solution or action that can be taken to overcome the obstacle allowing the team to move forward.

Step 5. Objectives. List the solution / action to overcome each obstacle. This is an objective. Put the intermediate objectives in order of importance.

Step 6. Divide and concur. Establish ownership for each objective with your team.

Step 7. Steps / Resources / Measurements. Have each team member identify the steps and resources required to accomplish the objective. Include measurements for success and a timeline for completion of the objective.

Step 8. Execution. Implement the plan created from steps 1-7. Use the plan as a living document that can be altered as you progress forward in reaching your desired outcome and celebrate along the way.

Step 9. Reflect. How did it go? Can these steps be used to solve other challenges you are experiencing?