The 4D Problem Solving Janice B Gordon

6292558The Problem Solver has a holistic approach to problem solving business issues. A business might identify a symptom of high number of customer’s visits but low purchases of the product and so sells are poor.  The owner may select a number of strategies to entice the visitors to purchase:

·        Increase the product range to offer more variety

·        Discount the products

·        Introduce the limited offer strategy.

All of these solutions are quite reasonable; however, without further analysis the issue may becommunication or process and not price or product range. The shop layout, whether offline or online, may be counter intuitive and as a result delivers a poor user experience and so purchasers struggle to find the right product and leaves, no amount of price enticement will improve the user experience. Similarly if there is no clear ‘call to action’ the visitor will be unclear on what to do next, however large the product range might be, the visitor will look and leave.

Symptoms are indicators or consequences of a problem, they are not the problem defined; or too often business owner jump to a solution without the proper analysis and the problem persist. Solving a problem is easy if you are able to identify and define the problem from the series of clues with questioning, listening and analysis techniques.

Every patient physiology is different, the doctor has a series of medical solutions but all have side effects or consequences, which will react to each individual physiology differently. The doctor diagnosis starts with a series of questions about the symptoms, the environment and the activities that might have influenced the issue; they would not jump to a vanilla (one size does not fits all) solution, but their expert analysis select the best outcome.

Business owners need to become more proactive at developing solution models to ensure that when problems arise, there is an effective system in place to resolve these problems.

The Six Sigma tool to process improvement DMAIC approach (define, measure, analyze, improve and control) helps to discover the cause of the problem has a clear detailed method for improvement. Although DMAIC is a quality improvement purposes, however, the process can be adapted for problem solving activities.

I developed 4D Problem Solving Process© to deliver the greatest benefits to solving business problems:

·        Define – the problem, issue causes and symptoms

·        Discovery – questioning, listening and analysis

·        Dissolve – discover solutions and improvements

·        Destiny – commitment to next steps and outcomes

It is important to involve other stakeholders in your problem solving process, a business mentor, supplier, customer and employee will all have a valuable but different perspective, which will ensure the analysis and solution is more robust.

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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.


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