Having good, strong problem solving skills can make a huge difference to your career.
At this stage, it's also important to ensure that you look at the issue from a variety of perspectives.
If you commit yourself too early, you can end up with a problem statement that's really a solution instead.
With one, you can solve problems quickly and effectively.
Without one, your solutions may be ineffective, or you'll get stuck and do nothing, with sometimes painful consequences.
However, for a more comprehensive process, you can use Simplex, Appreciative Inquiry or Soft Systems Methodology (SSM).
These provide detailed steps that you can use to solve a problem effectively.There are four basic steps in solving a problem: Steps 2 to 4 of this process are covered in depth in other areas of Mind Tools.For these, see our sections on Creativity for step 2 (generating alternatives); Decision Making for step 3 (evaluating and selecting alternatives); and Project Management for step 4 (implementing solutions).The Drill Down technique will help you split your problem into smaller parts, each of which can then be solved appropriately.The four-step approach to solving problems that we mentioned at the beginning of this article will serve you well in many situations.So, being a confident problem solver is really important to your success.Much of that confidence comes from having a good process to use when approaching a problem.Appreciative Inquiry is designed to help you understand complex problems so that you can start the process of solving them.It uses four stages to help you uncover more details about what's creating the problem, and then define actions that will improve the situation.The articles in this section of Mind Tools therefore focus on helping you make a success of the first of these steps – defining the problem.A very significant part of this involves making sense of the complex situation in which the problem occurs, so that you can pinpoint exactly what the problem is.