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Using the right judgement and “quick and dirty” analytics, we can significantly increase the existence of a cat in the first tree we bark up. Some things we will want to understand in great detail.Employing the right levels of judgement and experience can help us develop hypotheses and prioritise the aspects of the problem that we get the team to analyse first – to speed up the process and identify high-impact quick-wins. Eisenhower is often attributed to Napoleon (with whom I share both a personality type and height challenge). Some things we only want to spend a little time on to inform the solution.
Structuring the problem is a critical step both conceptually and analytically.
Breaking the problem down into relevant parts that can be analysed intuitively is an important outcome.
It is imperative to suspend judgement in this phase of the process. The most difficult part of this step is the bread of the divergence.
I often see people structuring a very narrow view of a problem into very neat and analytical chunks. It is equally important to employ tools and discipline to sufficiently expand the conceptual understanding of the problem. Workplanning is a fundamental step often overlooked.
Mc Kinsey & Company is a global strategy consulting firm.
Mc Kinsey assists organisations like Fortune 500’s in solving really complex strategic problems.Mc Kinsey’s model does not rely on great expertise.Mc Kinsey generally hires generalists with good problem solving intrinsics and arms them with methodologies, knowledge, structures and networks of experts to go out and assist companies on their strategic opportunities and issues.The Problem Statement is a specific statement developed by the team that captures the essence of the problem, as it is understood at the outset.This statement become the guiding beacon for the team on their quest to understand the problem and the solution space.The little “COMMUNICATIONS” ribbon in the diagram reinforces this.Make sure you have the right people on the team to bring sufficient knowledge, discipline, structure and creativity to the problem solving process – then use the right tools to help the team work together effectively!This article aims to introduce the 7 steps in a little more detail and provide a quick overview of the philosophy behind each step in the process.My individual articles on the individual steps go into more detail on the tools commonly used, some personal advice and criteria for success.Considering the philosophy of each step – I generally ask myself the question “What is helpful in this step of the process to push the problem solving further and gain greater insight into the problem and solution space? Here is an overview of the framework taken directly from a freely available Mc Kinsey paper. The articles I publish aim to add more flavour and tips and tricks to the paper’s comprehensive explanations.As discussed in my overview article, the value of the process is only as valuable as the participants and contributors to the process.