Problem-Solving Techniques

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Avoiding Logical Fallacies  
What They Are, and How to Avoid Them

General Problem-Solving Tools

Constructive Controversy  
Improving Solutions by Arguing For and Against Your Options

Inductive Reasoning  
Drawing Good Generalized Conclusions Based on Experience and Observation

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)  
Spotting Problems Before a Solution is Implemented

Heuristic Methods  
Using Rules of Thumb

Means-End Analysis  
Identifying the Steps Needed to Solve a Problem

Problem-Solving Approaches

The Problem-Definition Process  
Developing the Right Solution

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)  
Implementing New Ideas in a Controlled Way

Soft Systems Methodology (SSM)  
Understanding Very Complex Issues

8D Problem Solving Process  
Finding Permanent Solutions

The Cynefin Framework  
Using the Most Appropriate Problem-Solving Process

Appreciative Inquiry  
Solving Problems by Looking at What's Going Right

The Simplex Process  
A Robust Creative Problem Solving Process

The Straw Man Concept  
Build It Up, Knock It Down, and Create a Solid Final Solution

Hurson's Productive Thinking Model  
Solving Problems Creatively

Action Learning Sets  
Solving Problems by Doing and Discussing

The FOCUS Model  
A Simple, Efficient Problem-Solving Approach

Finding the Cause of a Problem

Root Cause Analysis  
Tracing a Problem to Its Origins

Developing a Robust Problem Definition

5 Whys  
Getting to the Root of a Problem Quickly

The Drill Down Technique  
Breaking Problems Down Into Manageable Parts

Cause and Effect Analysis  
Identifying the Likely Causes of Problems

Extracting the Greatest Amount of Information

The Four Frame Approach  
Finding Other Ways Forward

Interrelationship Diagrams  
Identifying Cause and Effect Relationships

Improving Business Processes

Writing a Procedure  
Making Sure Things Are Done Without Mistakes or Omissions

Flow Charts  
Understanding and Communicating how a Process Works

Using Aide-Mémoire  
Creating Memory Aids and Checklists

Swim Lane/Rummler-Brache Diagrams  
Mapping and Improving Processes in Your Organization

Planning and Checking a Process as a Team

Unblocking Bottlenecks  
Fixing Unbalanced Processes

Queuing Models  
Optimizing Service and Resources

Data and Information Management  
Protecting an Important Organizational Asset

Improving Business Processes  
Streamlining Tasks to Improve Efficiency

Diagram-Based Tools

Affinity Diagrams  
Organizing Information and Ideas Into Common Themes

Systems Diagrams / Causal Loop Diagrams  
Understanding How Factors Effect One Another

Tree Diagrams  
Simplifying Complexity

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