Now you have been through the process of analysing and identifying the actual problem or opportunity. As a result, you may well have identified several problems and not just the one you thought you had in the first place. Don’t be concerned if this is the case. It isn’t uncommon to unearth several problems due to using sound systems.
If this is the case, work your way through each problem and prioritise them from the most critical to the least. For example, you could use cost, timeliness or impact as your criteria.
Identify Several Solutions
You have already seen from the previous exercise that what looked like one problem revealed several layers. Solutions are no different, and it is not sound practice to stop at one. Every opportunity has several solutions, and every opportunity has the best solution.
Developing solutions is often best done in groups. This is because groups utilise the crowd’s wisdom, or if you prefer, the adage that two heads are better than one applies.
You can use similar tools as before to develop solutions. These can range from whiteboards, post-it notes, brainstorming and mindmaps. Another system developed by Edward de Bono is Six Thinking Hats. Whichever way you do it, though, make sure you have a written record. But, again, this is about quantity, not quality, when developing solutions. It is about the creative exercise in examining potential solutions to deal with the opportunity you have identified. There is no doubt that you will come up with some hair brain schemes if done appropriately. But, filtering the solutions is done on completion of the brainstorming, certainly not during the exercise.
Developing several solutions is critical to resolving the issue in your organisation. Completing the exercise in groups is an excellent way of promoting inclusivity. Make sure you seek out everyone’s opinions and ideas. If there are people in the room that aren’t speaking up, ask them what they think. Get everyone involved and not only does it become a solution development meeting, but it will also improve your organisation’s culture. If everyone is involved in the development of solutions, then they will also own them when the time comes for adoption.