Framing the problem- The first step starts from framing the problem. MECE ( Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive) is the way we should look at problems. The problem is not always out of blue. Some times similar problems have occurred and provide a good guideline for problem solving. We should be able to form an initial hypothesis in first sight. This will help us to focus , but also to save the time spent on the just forming a conception of the problem. This is based on intuition and works successfully. The last is that a problem is not always a problem, so decide what exactly is a problem.
Design the Analysis- Just focus on the key drivers responsible or the problem. Then look at the larger picture from different viewpoints. Don't strive hard to find that the stage you will find the solution. Sometime the solution just flow to you during the process.
Gathering the Data - Write a interview guide, find out the specific persons, decide on methods like interview, feedback from interviewer, thank you notes, careful planning of the interview process are important for data gathering. Just don't make your interviewee uncomfortable.
Interpreting your results- Find out the useful data. Usually 20 % of data will fulfill your 80% needs. Make charts for everyday progress, work according to your facts and be prepared to leave your solutions. Don't provide facts fitting the solutions. Just do the opposite.
Presenting the Data - Be structured, know your audience and act accordingly. Pre wire everything and just provide one message per chart. Avoid overloading the information.
Managing your Team - Get the right kind of people. Look for diversity, not in academic terms but also in terms of behaviour. Just keep everyone in the information loop, and always promote the team bonding. It helps in long run.
Managing your Client- Sell your solutions to clients without letting them know. Just be careful about structuring your promises and engagements. The client should be encouraged for participatory role than a listener.
Managing yourself - Most important part of is you , so just give ample attention to yourself. Find out your own mentor in the organization, make your boss look great, encourage your subordinates, lay down your rules for family and yourself and stick to them. Manage your work life and family life balance.
Thus all in all a guide for how to approach a problem. So follow these steps, try to think differently and let the success welcome you. I strongly recommend this for students and professionals. Happy reading........ :)