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5. Do your problem solving & performance programmes include implementation?

It’s amazing how many people think that a problem is solved when they have found a solution or a strategy is defined – implementation is taken for granted. Many training programmes take a similar approach – implementation planning is given a cursory mention at the end of the programme with an assumption that all that is needed is a project plan.

Whilst implementation is something you do at the end of a problem solving process it also is something you should be thinking about from the start and this is particularly true for strategic programmes (e.g. how to move from a market challenger to a leader? how to implement a competitive selling strategy or new market programme? how to manage a merger or acquisition after the event?).

For example during problem clarification and analysis you could ask the following:

  • ‘If we find a solution to this problem / opportunity is there the desire, and do we have the knowledge, skills and resources to implement it?
  • ‘If we are able to implement a solution, what are the barriers we might have to overcome and what support might we need – should we start planning for these now?’
  • ‘What is the final result and what outcomes do we want from solving this problem / implementing this strategy?’

The answers to these and many other questions help to improve the results you get. Some of the answers help you decide what issues you need to be addressing as part of the process, some give you criteria that could be used to evaluate alternative solutions, and some provide input for your detailed implementation planning.

And when you get to implementation planning:

  • What is your strategy for managing risk?
  • Who are the stakeholders and how do you manage them?
  • How do you get management support?
  • How do you get the people on-side?
  • What are your execution strategies?

Seventy per cent of all performance improvement projects fail to achieve the desired results.

If you think about implementation early enough, and give implementation planning and execution the same weight as the other phases in the problem solving process you increase your chances of success.

We suggest you use the 3R Model© (Recognition, Resolution, Results), to give a balanced approach to your problem solving and performance improvement programmes.

Problem Solving Training – Innovation the development and implementation of ideas for competitive advantage.

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