Knowing the different problem solving steps allows you to work on your weak areas, or team-up with someone who’s strengths complement yours. Check out our training programs or try these 20 problem solving activities to improve creativity.
In addition, there are many, many methodologies of problem-solving. In the automotive industry, the “8D” methodology popularized by Ford has many adherents.
Design for Six Sigma (Df SS) incorporates problem-solving methodologies and is used with good success. Just pick one, train your engineers and let them solve problems – what could be simpler? Today’s engineering problems are more complex than ever.
The synergy of having multiple disciplines in the room both for ideating solutions, to evaluate solutions and to rapidly implement the chosen solution is immensely powerful.
It does not matter how smart one individual is, their idea will always fall short of a solution optimized by a well-trained and functional team.For clarity, I have codified this into what I call “the Basic Engineering Process” or BEP.Working as a team is absolutely critical for any complex problem.Some people are great at generating ideas but struggle implementing them.Other people have great execution skills but can’t make decisions on which solutions to use.Before we talk about the stages of problem solving, it’s important to have a definition of what it is.Let’s look at the two roots of problem solving — problems and solutions.I think by now you can agree that a problem-solving process that routinely gives an advantage over others, gives optimal solutions, on time and with the best cost – would be very desirable. The answer is yes and it is consistently used across world-class Product Development organizations.The reason it’s not well-known is because it is embedded in the culture of these organizations, it has not had a snappy name and the training happens in thousands of interactions between senior and junior staff every day.With that understanding of problem solving, let’s talk about the steps that can get you there.The five problem solving steps are shown in the chart below: However this chart as is a little misleading.