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Whether you're solving a problem for a client (internal or external), supporting those who are solving problems, or discovering new problems to solve, the problems you face can be large or small, simple or complex, and easy or difficult.A fundamental part of every manager's role is finding ways to solve them.
When your problem is simple, the solution is usually obvious, and you don't need to follow the four steps we outlined earlier.
So it follows that when you're taking this more formal approach, your problem is likely to be complex and difficult to understand, because there's a web of interrelated issues.
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).
Using our example of substandard work, Cause-and-Effect diagrams would highlight that a lack of training could contribute to the problem, and they could also highlight possible causes such as work overload and problems with technology.
When your problem occurs within a business process, creating a Flow Chart that's causing your problem.
Using established tools and techniques will help you improve your approach to solving the problems that your team and your organization face.
You'll be more successful at solving problems and, because of this, more successful at what you do.
Having good, strong problem solving skills can make a huge difference to your career.
Problems are at the center of what many people do at work every day.