Sometimes, locating a problem is almost as good as finding the right solution. In most cases, not spending sufficient time in finding the actual problem is the root cause of failure, chaos and wastage of resources. We all spend a lot of time in finding the solution and less time in finding the actual problem. When something is not going as it should, the natural reaction is to say, ‘Find a solution for it’. We never say, ‘Find what the problem is.’ The mistake we commonly make is that, when something is not working, we immediately try to find ways to get it going, rather than probe deeper to find out where the problem lies. This is probably so because everybody in a company is under immense pressure to make things work.
In some cases, it is also the approach that makes the difference. If your customers do not like your product, find out what they do not like—which step; which feature: the colour, the name, the packaging, pricing, design or whatever—rather than jump to give them a solution. The popular saying, ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’, beautifully illustrates this point. Invariably, the solution that you find or create without knowing the real problem turns out to be wrong and this could cause a further delay in finding the right one.
Two simple ways to implement this:
_ Don’t work on finding or creating any solution until you are done with locating all the problems and you are sure that no more are coming up.
_ Don’t make wild guesses or use your experience to find what the problem is. Use facts, data and information.Only when you have pinpointed the root problem can you find the right solution—else, you are depending on luck, which is capricious at the best of times!
Written by Rudrajeet Desai