The Formula to Effective Problem Solving


On a daily basis, we are faced with a myriad of different problems that all require multitasking and quick resolution.  We may have a deliverable that has encountered a roadblock, a team member who is not performing, or a decision that must be made by weighing different outcomes.  In all of these situations, we require problem solving to successfully find the best solution.

No matter how complex or simple a problem may appear to be, it can be broken down into the following basic formula:

(A) – An outcome that would be the solution

(B) – Materials available to reach said solution

(C) – Actions required to reach said solution

(D) -Roadblocks and/or Limitations 

In the above formula,  B + C – D = A OR Materials + Actions – Roadblocks = Outcome.

For example, one could apply this formula to the famous 1969 Moon Landing:

(A) – Outcome: Landing Safely on the Moon, (B) – Materials: Rocket and Necessary Fuel, (C) – Actions: Astronomic & Aerodynamic Planning, (D) – Limitations: Inexperience.


Success Lies in Specifically Identifying Problem Points in the Formula

The most difficult element to identify in this formula is D, or the limitations – and it is also the most important. Proactively identifying obstacles will help you both save time and ensure there are no major roadblocks that will impede upon the successful launch of your project. It will also help keep the focus on your project alone and make sure it does not side-step its primary objective.

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

Do not be intimidated by this formula, if anything embrace its meaning. When you realize it can be applied to almost any problem situation, you realize that you are able to solve almost anything. Feel empowered, and remember to be proactive in your next big project. Remember, Materials + Actions – Roadblocks = Outcome.



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