1. Write down the problem.
2. Think very hard.
3. Write down the answer.
I understand the article is genuinely trying to be helpful and I don't want to be too harsh, but it's unfortunately one of those areas where the specifics are way more important than general considerations.
I run into so many "IT" people that dont do that step at any stage. Google has made people lazy.
1. Work very hard on the problem all day, no solution at sight. Looks like no solution exists.
2. Go home, eat, relax and go bed.
3. The successive morning go to work. You will able to solve the problem in half an hour.
1. Understand the System
2. Make it Fail
3. Quit Thinking and Look
4. Divide and Conquer
5. Change One Thing at a Time
6. Keep an Audit Trail
7. Check the Plug
8. Get a Fresh View
9. If You Didn’t Fix it, It Ain’t Fixed
Most people in my industry are fairly good problem solvers, almost to a fault, sometimes when you tell someone about a problem you don't want it solved, you just want a little empathy.
However every one in a while I meet someone who is a terrible problem solver. It is like when they hit something they don't know they just give up. Honestly it is such a foreign way of thinking I have a hard time understanding them.
But the question is, is problem solving a teachable skill(what is the best way to go about teaching someone it?) or is it more like personality you have it or you don't.
For anything non-trivial, I think a process or structure for problem solving, knowing that you probably won't solve something on the first attempt and need iteration, and basic project coordination skills are needed. I think all of this can be taught.
I think there is a lot more in common across fields than people are willing to admit. There are different techniques and language used to accomplish the same thing, but it's all in service of the same underlying goal.
I'd be very interested in seeing a course like this.
I know many people that need it.
TWI is broken down into job methods, job instructions, job relations, and a problem solving segment. It does tend to be heavily focused on manufacturing, so you’d need to change the examples for your needs.
I don’t think there are any real secrets in the training programs. Almost all of the process improvement / problem solving methods I’ve come across seem to be a variation on the scientific method with catchier naming.
Generally two challenges I’ve seen in problem solving are people jumping to solutions directly without understanding the problem, and making multiple changes simultaneously or in sequence and losing the ability to determine cause and effect.