Find the fundamental cause, and you're half way there.
The 25+ tools in this section help you solve complicated business problems.
By using these techniques, you can start to deal with problems that might otherwise seem huge, overwhelming, or excessively complex.
Start by taking our How Good Are Your Problem-Solving Skills? quiz – this will help you quickly master the fundamentals of problem solving.
Then browse the list of tools below: the techniques that you'll find will help you in many different situations.
Enjoy using these tools!
Improving Solutions by Arguing For and Against Your Options
Drawing Good Generalized Conclusions Based on Experience and Observation
Avoiding Logical Fallacies
What They Are, and How to Avoid Them
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
Spotting Problems Before a Solution is Implemented
Using Rules of Thumb
Identifying the Steps Needed to Solve a Problem
The Problem-Definition Process
Developing the Right Solution
Implementing New Ideas in a Controlled Way
Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)
Understanding Very Complex Issues
8D Problem-Solving Process
Finding Permanent Solutions
Solving Problems by Looking at What's Going Right
The Simplex Process
A Robust Creative Problem Solving Process
The Straw Man Concept
Build It Up, Knock It Down, and Create a Solid Final Solution
Hurson's Productive Thinking Model
Solving Problems Creatively
The Four-Step Innovation Process
Generating Innovative Solutions to Complex Problems
Action Learning Sets
Solving Problems by Doing and Discussing
Root Cause Analysis
Tracing a Problem to Its Origins
Developing a Robust Problem Definition
Quickly Getting to the Root of a Problem
The Drill Down Technique
Breaking Problems Down Into Manageable Parts
Cause and Effect Analysis
Identifying the Likely Causes of Problems
Extracting the Greatest Amount of Information
The Four Frame Approach
Finding Other Ways Forward
Identifying Cause and Effect Relationships
Writing a Procedure
Making Sure Things Are Done Without Mistakes or Omissions
Understanding and Communicating How a Process Works
Creating Memory Aids and Checklists
Swim Lane / Rummler-Brache Diagrams
Mapping and Improving Processes in Your Organization
Planning and Checking a Process as a Team
Fixing Unbalanced Processes
Optimizing Service and Resources
Data and Information Management
Protecting an Important Organizational Asset
Improving Business Processes
Streamlining Tasks to Improve Efficiency
Widening the Search for Solutions
Organizing Information and Ideas Into Common Themes
Systems Diagrams / Causal Loop Diagrams
Understanding How Factors Effect One Another
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