Before you generate solutions, it is important that you first understand what the root causes are! There is no point generating solutions to non-existent issues/problems. The solutions that you generate should either eliminate the root cause or minimize the impact of the root cause on the primary metric. There are no statistical tools to generate solution ideas. Here are a few guidelines to help you generate good to great solutions.
Use a cross-functional team to generate solution ideas. We usually find that a single person or even multiple people working by themselves cannot come up with great ideas. In order to generate great solutions, you need to use the power of synergy. In this approach, one person suggests a solution that may initially be not that great or unworkable, a second team member builds on this idea and makes this solution workable. A third team member continues to build on the idea until it becomes a great idea. You should always spend time working with your team to make good ideas great.
Use different techniquest to generate solution ideas. Ensure that you have considered all angles in generating solutions. The initial objective should be to generate as many solutions as you can – only later should we work on narrowing to the best possible solution. Some of the techniques that are commonly used to generate solutions are: brainstorming, solution mapping, mind mapping, lateral thinking, challenging assumptions, random words etc.
Generate solutions both within and outside your team. Consider benchmarking other processes or areas that may have had a similar problem. You should also consider totally different processes, products, projects etc. that may have a similar issue. You may be able to copy their solution ideas.
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