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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.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.
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.
The value of the Problem Definition step in the process is the rigorous exploration and discussion of the nature of the problem, symptoms observed, criteria for success.
Having the perfect problem statement is secondary to Making sense of a big, hairy strategic problem requires breaking the problem down.
Make sure you debate the difference and your resources know exactly what is expected of them to go and work on.
Define the analysis, the time investment, the end products (the so what’s we need on the chart or the hypothesis to be (dis)proved), sources of information, levels of accuracy and deadlines for the analysis.
Mc Kinsey & Company is a global strategy consulting firm.
Mc Kinsey assists organisations like Fortune 500’s in solving really complex strategic problems.
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!