problem solving workplace

Problem Solving is a Must Have In The Workplace, Here is Why


Summary: Problem Solving at Work

Lean Six Sigma is a problem-solving approach that can be used to improve performance in the workplace. It is an effective tool for increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and improving customer satisfaction. Through its focus on data-driven decision making and a structured process of analysis, Lean Six Sigma streamlines operations leading to cost savings, higher productivity, and improved customer service. Additionally, Lean Six Sigma provides employees with the necessary skills for problem solving and critical thinking in order to develop business solutions. With its comprehensive set of tools and methods, Lean Six Sigma ensures organisations have the information they need to make informed decisions that benefit all stakeholders. In conclusion, Lean Six Sigma is an invaluable problem-solving approach that any organisation should adopt in order to remain competitive and successful.

Problem-Solving Importance in the Workplace


When it comes to efficient problem solving in the workplace there can be a lot of different methods used. Some people may prefer to take a more analytical approach, while others may be more creative in their thinking. No matter what your personal preference is, it’s important to be able to adapt and change as needed when faced with a complex problems and any business problems. 

By being versatile and flexible, you’ll be better equipped to find solutions that work for everyone involved. So whether you’re looking for a new way to tackle an old issue or just starting out on your career path, here are a few tips on how to solve problems effectively in the workplace.

Workplace issues must always be overcome. We’ll look at why problem solving is so important, as well as what you can do to improve your problem-solving skills.effo

One of the essential skills in any business or workplace is the problem of problem-solving and critical thinking.


At its most effective, problem-solving allows employees to seamlessly engage in the psychological process of realizing, evaluating, and resolving daily challenges. At the core of business development, the ability to problem solve allows employees to learn to use accessible resources to work out issues in a productive manner that does not betray your company’s integrity.

Additionally, they can reach an agreeable consensus using professional perspectives afforded to them by applying problem-solving skills. In the long run, companies who utilize problem-solving training will allow their employees to efficiently and productively manage any internal or external interactions with a professionalism that will only benefit the business as a whole.

The Process of Problem-Solving in the Workplace


In professional problem-solving training workshops, the process is usually demonstrated using a simple four-step method that involves. This is a very standard approach for problem-solving in business. But we do challenge this with DMAIC, a Lean Six Sigma method which provides a more robust overall problem-solving approach.

1. Identification:


In this aspect of the program, employees are usually exposed to the ideal way to locate an issue within the workplace. Try as you may, no organization is without flaws that affect a business’ operability. These can manifest as processes that have worn out and broken down over time or those that were flawed from inception. Using root cause analysis techniques and practicing isolating the facts, employees can undergo a method to effectively and professionally identify these issues within their setting to improve the business.

By taking the first step in establishing the origins of the problem, your employees engage in the first step in a mechanism that allows them to determine what happened, why it took place, and how to employ preventative measures to ensure it does not occur in the future. This overall approach to continuous improvement problem solving is called Kaizen (learn more).

2. Proposition:


Once your employees have developed the capability to identify cause and effect relationships in their environments that affect productivity, they move on to being able to transfer this knowledge into offering possible solutions to address whatever problem arises. This learned ability helps less experienced employees and seasoned ones as it targets their innovative thought.

Employees can use creative strategies to tackle traditional problems using their past experiences and current lives. In addition to asking for effective strategies, this step also requires that employees conduct a risk analysis of their proposed plans. The proposition must solve the problem more effectively than the risk it poses to the company.

3. Evaluation:


Employees do not exist in isolation. Within any business, there is a multifaceted and symbiotic set of relationships that occurs. Therefore, one employee’s actions can have a direct or indirect impact on another, thus affecting the overall dynamics of the environment. On the one hand, the interdependency that is created in the work environment enables your employees to work together on more complicated issues, but it also demands cohesion in not only collaborative efforts but also performance.

It is through employee engagement with problem-solving skills that they learn to make effective decisions as a team. Problem-solving helps them understand their interdependency and allows them to implement adjustments needed to create a team that survives a constantly changing environment. They evaluate options and their effects on their co-workers to minimize negative impacts in the system.



In the final step of the process, employees are exposed to impact. Before the performance of a solution, they need to understand how the solution would work within their professional context. To do this, they rely on the efforts they used to solve previous problems. Employees learn to improve the clarity of their recall through mnemonic devices to trigger recollection and the visualization of their environments to remember and organize data.

The innovative disparity that results from their old ways and their new and improved methods in problem-solving results in an efficiency that improves their workspace. Your employees can now understand the value of evaluating the success of the options chosen and, in the future, can apply the process again. In their implementation, they will realize that problem solving is not solely issue response and conflict resolution but a multifaceted approach that impacts their entire professional experience for the best.

Problem Solving in the work place

If you check out the ASQ website, they describe problem-solving in these 4 steps.

1. Define the problem

Differentiate fact from opinion
Specify underlying causes
Consult each faction involved for information
State the problem specifically
Identify what standard or expectation is violated
Determine in which process the problem lies
Avoid trying to solve the problem without data

2. Generate alternative solutions

Postpone evaluating alternatives initially
Include all involved individuals in the generating of alternatives
Specify alternatives consistent with organizational goals
Specify short- and long-term alternatives
Brainstorm on others’ ideas
Seek alternatives that may solve the problem

3. Evaluate and select an alternative

Evaluate alternatives relative to a target standard
Evaluate all alternatives without bias
Evaluate alternatives relative to established goals
Evaluate both proven and possible outcomes
State the selected alternative explicitly

4. Implement and follow up on the solution

Evaluate alternatives relative to a target standard
Evaluate all alternatives without bias
Evaluate alternatives relative to established goals
Evaluate both proven and possible outcomes
State the selected alternative explicitly

The DMAIC Model and Process
The DMAIC Model and Process

Developing problem-solving skills in the workplace


So how do you develop your problem-solving skills or that of your team? And lets share a couple of problem solving in the workplace examples.

The best way to build problem-solving skills is through teaching and then practising some of the most highly regarded problem-solving approaches. The foundation of solving any problem is the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) cycle, to avoid jumping to solutions and build a methodology that can drive continuous improvement. 

And depending on the complexity of the problem, you can use 3C’s (Concern, Cause, Countermeasure), A3 Problem-Solving (originally from Toyota), 8D’s (originally from Ford) or DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control). If it’s a new product development, then understanding the Build-Measure-Learn approach from Lean Startup is essential.

How to learn more about these problem-solving approaches? Check out our Free Lean Six Sigma Certification course – The Fundamentals of Lean to begin to explore


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Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell is a highly accomplished professional with 15 years of experience in building lean management programs for corporate companies. With his expertise in strategy execution, he has established himself as a trusted advisor for numerous organisations seeking to improve their operational efficiency.

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