RCA Part 1: "Problem solving is a team game"
This is the first of a ten-part series of articles on Root Cause Anaylsis, highlighting the principles behind Sologic’s approach to solving complex problems (sologic.com). All quotes are by Ed Wells, author of Sologic’s excellent e-book, ‘Better than Yesterday’.
“Of course, every organisation we work with is different and the challenges they face are certainly unique. But the skills, processes and behaviours required to solve stubborn and complex problems are not. The good news is that, with the right support, advanced problem-solving skills can be learnt, developed and embedded in any organisation, within any sector.”
The key to problem solving is based in having a team who can share expertise, divide the work required and bring in understanding from each part of the business. Working alone is ineffective as it can be exhausting and also means that the person fire-fighting is being taken away from their main role. It makes perfect sense to take this approach and ensure that the challenge is being tackled by a number of focused people, all working together.
“Great organisations recognise that experienced individuals, even those with an exceptional skillset, can never match problem-solving using the multiple perspectives delivered by a well-chosen team.”
A key factor of any organisational issue is that it is rarely contained to one department. A concern in finance will soon spread to affect every part of the business. Because of this, it’s unlikely that one person, no matter how skilled they are, will have the full 360 understanding of a situation without some further input and support. So trying to resolve a problem without a good team around you can result in stress, potentially panic and unclear thinking.
“Effective problem-solving is an investment that offers enormous dividends if managed, resourced and rewarded well. Above all, problem-solving can be extremely rewarding. If the process is positioned as positive and prestigious, the best people will want to participate and will take ownership of the solutions and their implementation.”
The success of a problem solved means that the team has this positive experience to add to their existing skill-set and can apply their knowledge to issues going forward. It can also allow some degree of foresight when planning new projects or growing your business.
TAKE AWAY NOTE:
“When a problem appears you can rarely see all of it. Solving it requires carefully assembled, well trained, motivated and adequately resourced teams. Done well, it is amongst the greatest investment an organisation can ever make.”