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August 10, 2009
In general solution is the act of problem of solving. In business point of view solution can be defined as follows,
A solution is a product, combination of products, services, or a mix of products and services that a vendor, service provider or value added reseller (VAR) will offer to their client. In virtually every case, a solution is provided to address the client’s specific business problem or other need.
For example, a solution provider may recommend a new multi-processor server as the solution for a client’s transaction processing. Similarly, an outside service provider may be engaged to provide routine maintenance and repair services for business computers. This service might be the solution for staffing limitations or other service overhead experienced by the client.
What is a problem?
Since solution is the act of problem solving, we should know about what is meant by a problem.
A problem is an obstacle which makes it difficult to achieve a desired goal, objective or purpose
How we can provide solution?
Here I am going to say about how we have to handle the problem. The problems may be simple or complex. There will be a single or multiple solutions. So we have to analyze the problem correctly to give the best solution. Here are some of the tips to solve the problem which are given below,
  • Focus on the solved state
  • Be clear about all your goals and objectives
  • Expand your definition of  Define the Problem
  • Think of problem solving as a cover-the-bases activity
  • Draw pictures of the structure of the problem
  • Take the concept of cause with a grain of salt
  • Watch out for disconnects
  • Develop your own system for solving problems
  • Research the subject matter
Focus on the solved state:
problem_structure.gif (4737 bytes)
Here there are two states namely problem state and solved state. We are trying to move from problem state to solved state which is known as the solution path. We have to give importance to the solved state. The solution provided by us may be efficient or inefficient. If it is efficient means there is no problem otherwise there will be a problem in future. So after providing the solution we should ask question among them.
How will I know the problem has been solved?
What will I accept as evidence?
What does the solved state look like?
Be clear about all your goals and objectives:
When we are going to solve the problem first of all we should understand the problem very clearly by asking several questions as follows,
What are we trying to achieve?
What are we trying to preserve?
What are we trying to avoid?
What are we trying to eliminate?
Expand your definition of Define the Problem
Perhaps the best-known step in the problem solving process is the one most people think of as the first step:  Define the Problem. This is probably the most misunderstood and poorly executed step in the process.  For many people, it means simply to provide a written definition or statement of the problem.  There is much more to it than that. To define the problem state (or the solved state) means, at the very least, to do the following:
To establish boundaries; to delineate (Locate).
To give distinguishing characteristics; to differentiate (Isolate).
To state the nature of; to describe precisely (Articulate).
To state the meaning of; to provide a definition (Explicate).
Think of problem solving as a cover-the-bases activity:
We have to concentrate on several things when we are solving a problem. Here is a list of twelve bases to be covered or tasks that typically need tending to in the course of solving a problem:
  1. Defining the problem state.
  2. Specifying the solved state.
  3. Modeling the structure of the problem.
  4. Finding and fixing the cause of the problem.
  5. Engineering a solution.
  6. Settling on a course of action.
  7. Reconciling restraints and constraints.
  8. Obtaining support and consensus.
  9. Preparing plans and schedules.
  10. Taking action.
  11. Assessing its effects and consequences.
  12. Adjusting future actions as required
Draw pictures of the structure of the problem:
A picture or model of the elements and relationships in a problem situation will help you to more quickly and more completely grasp the situation and figure out what to do about it.
work_and_work_control_system.gif (3738 bytes)
It shows the structure of a general-purpose work system.  The elements of this system include inputs, a processor, outputs, a controller, and two control loops.  On the front end of this system is a task initiation loop and on the back end is an evaluation and termination loop (the dotted lines).  The relationships among these elements are such that inputs to the work system interact with the processor.  The interactions between inputs and processor, which typically consist of prefigured routines, are referred to as processes.  These processes produce the work system outputs.  All this occurs under the watchful eye of the controller.
If the outputs of the work system are faulty, several possibilities are suggested by the structure of the diagram.  The inputs might be faulty.  The processor or the controller might be malfunctioning.  Perhaps one or the other or both of the control loops is open and no information is getting through.  So with the help of diagram we can easily identify the problem.
Take the concept of cause with a grain of salt
If ever there was a time-waster in problem solving, it has to be the search for the cause  of the problem.
Dont misunderstand the concept of cause is frequently relevant, but its usefulness depends on the kind of problem being solved.  It is not relevant all the time and, for some problems, it is never relevant
The concept of cause is relevant in some cases but not in others.  Take the time early in your problem-solving efforts to decide if the concept of cause is or not relevant before you spend time and energy looking for something that does not exist or that cannot be corrected.
Watch out for disconnects
The term disconnect refers to the uncoupling of solutions from the problems they are intended to solve.  This typically happens when one person or group of persons defines the problem, a second person or group of persons is assigned to figure out what to do about it, and yet a third person or group of persons is tasked with actually implementing the solution
Develop your own system for solving problems
There are some techniques to solve the problems which are given below.
Brainstorming – is a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution to a problem.
Divide and conquer: break down a large, complex problem into smaller, solvable problems.
Research the subject matter:
There is no easy way, no shortcut to becoming a first-rate problem solver.  It takes years of work and study and practice and researching the subject matter.
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