Tuesday, January 4, 2022


Effective problem solving requires information refinement and resource awareness, talent fit, process efficiency, updated methodologies & practices.

Quite many problems today are complex due to exponential growth of information and interdependent pieces of varying issues. There is a shortage of effective problem-solving management which could be translated to the capacity shortage for both defining and solving the right problems.

 It’s important to identify a variety of constraints, build a comprehensive problem-solving framework to integrate all important components for designing and developing innovative solutions and optimizing problem-solving management.

Specifying the constraints on problem-solving methodology and techniques: The problem-solving logic is simple - diagnose the real problem and solve it in the right way. However, the problem-solving thought process and practices will not be simple for many of today’s vexing problems. Fixing  today’s nonlinear complex problems is a collaborative effort. Problem-solving methodologies and techniques could be complex and confusing sometimes. The main emphasis is on doing "better pre-work" - identifying multiple, perhaps interconnected problems. defining alternative solutions and the "success criteria," enabling consideration of the range of options, rather than the more traditional problem-solving methodology and practice.

The problems today usually have many causes and can be very complex, you can't figure out the exact cause and effect so the solutions are vague Traditional problem-solving in running business is often based on linear logic and industrial best practices, problem-solving ineffectiveness and failure are caused by “we always do things like that” mentality, even if circumstances are already changed a long time ago. Silos cause slowness and small-thinking, further creating cross-functional communication and collaboration gaps. Many information technology-enabled business solutions have tough issues such as integration. If not being handled effectively, it perhaps generates more serious issues later on. Complex problem-solving has to be done with a “big picture,” having the solution architecture in mind; having specialized generalists to interface effectively and solve complex problems radically.

Identifying information & knowledge constraints on problem-solving:
In many traditional companies, problem-solving gets stuck because people have different perspectives about problems, and also lack quality information to make timely decisions in order to solve problems smoothly. The poor information management most organizations experience is caused by a lack of in-depth understanding of information integrity; not knowing how to apply the worthwhile evaluation to reveal the inherent value of information. It is a persistent and pervasive problem that demands an ongoing reviewing process to ensure that business requirement and information requirement mapping effectively and efficiently together for cohesive decision-making and informative problem-solving.

For complex problem-solving, the intrinsic value of information is about turning the most invaluable information and knowledge assets into precious insight to improve problem-solving competency. Business management needs to identify the information needed for decisions and problem-solving and determine how to collect relevant information. It’s important to improve information fluency and usage by allowing information flow across the functional boundary, being able to identify critical pieces of information and improve data validation. The undervalued information as a resource should be used strategically to best business advantage. So organizational management needs to concentrate on the business information requirements that enable critical problem-solving. Develop Information Management as a threshold competency to enforce the strategic focus of the business, altering or changing the frame of reference to create previously unconsidered business solutions to either existing problems or emerging issues.

Identifying resource/talent constraints on problem-solving: Organizations have limited resources and talent, the real challenge is to understand your priorities of problems, and know where and how you can solve them and make continuous improvement. When resource management becomes a bottleneck for organizational management, no wonder companies across the vertical sectors get stuck in problem-solving. The really important thing is to understand the core business of your enterprise and the critical problems that need to be solved, and apply finite resources to get the best yield possible to meet stakeholders’ expectations. For any company to succeed in the long term, how resource allocation is determined should be understood by all important parties, to solve business problems that really matter in both effective and efficient ways.

Problem-solving competency differentiates business leaders from laggards. It’s important to understand the real problems, put the right talent with the right expertise to solve the right problems. Always be careful about examining the potential points of engagement, rather than jumping to the “we'll fix this" mentality. High mature organizations have a strong capacity to leverage resources, time, and human capital, set the right priority to solve the most critical problems, mind resource and investment gap to enforce successful capacity planning and holistic resource management discipline to improve the overall problem-solving effectiveness.

There are unknown interactions, interdependent pieces, and very high inner dynamics in many problems which have an inherent and irreducible complexity. Effective problem solving requires information refinement and resource awareness, talent fit, process efficiency, updated methodologies & practices. Having constraints provides guidelines for problem-solving by providing anchors to explore from. Thus a successful problem-solving scenario is actually a process of deduction to derive a solution drawing from knowledge, experience, and out-of-the-box creativity for achieving higher-than-expected results and unlocking performance.











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