The 4D Problem Solving Process is one of the strategies I use when I create strategies that will help companies move closer to their goals. Just as customer complaints are an opportunity to improve so are problems. Problems present you with a critical opportunity to develop and grow towards your business objective. If you are not looking for problems in your company, then you are in the zone of delusion and what you present is mediocrity. You are not keeping pace with your competitors, your market and your wider economic environment, the only way to avoid this mediocrity is to look for the problems in your business and continually fix them.
4D Problem Solving Process is a discovery and resolution framework that involve the whole company to relate to the problem.
Defining the problem is a process of gathering information and data and analysing it for underlying causes rather than fixing the more obvious symptom. If you had a tender cut on your arm that was not healing there is no point treating it with antiseptic cream when the infection has got into the blood stream? Only internal anti-viral medication could treat the infections as it travels around your body. The external symptom of the cut although uncomfortable will not heal unless you address the underlying problem of the infection, this is the real problem that could be fatal if unchecked. Often we have a symptom, but unless we have defined the real problem, the solution will fail to achieve their objective.
The 4D Problem Solving Process defines the problem first and then discovers the drivers that cause the problem. Discovery involves all the people involved directly and indirectly with an insight into the issue. This may be front-line or customer-facing employees, operations or marketing, it is important to view the problem as a whole company resolution objective and not a management led top down solution. Discovery is about finding the real drivers through a series of questions, listening and analysis of the information uncovered that will need to change or delete or create.
Dissolve identifies and creates the unique combination of actions taken from the analysis in Discovery. Here we dissolve what will drive the solution that will move the business to where you want it to be. The whole company must be committed to the actions and in support of delivering the solution to gain the desired result. If you have the right people involved, who hold the customer relationship within the company know what will work with your clients as they and will follow-through as essential parts of the process.
Destiny is about defining where you want to be. We may have a problem but unless we have a clear direction of which way we want to take it the solution is direction-less. Unless the strategies are going to drive the company towards its goals, the solution no matter how good will only dilute the business objectives. It is not about problem-solving for the problem-solving sack. It is always about moving the company forward and getting to the next level. The culture must be of continuous improvement to achieve its Destiny.
- Defining the real problem as the whole company initiative.
- Discovering through questions listening and analysis the real drivers.
- Dissolving the unique combination of actions to bring about the solution and improvements.
- Destiny commitment to the next step of continuous improvement to achieve goals.
4D Problem Solving process does not just solve the problem; it moves the company towards its goal. I would love to have a chat with you about how I can help you move your business forward using the 4D Problem Solving Process.
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