The six-step process has proved useful in resolving a vast array of complex aviation issues, which can be applied to the majority of aviation problems. The process uses a logical and methodical approach that aims to progressively reduce uncertainty and risk to the point that all stakeholders understand the actual problem and accept the solution as being reasonable in the circumstances.
A focus is placed on the problem, politics, process, people, performance and price for the situation, which collectively aims to solve the problem, and identify triggers for review. The process includes identifying the following:
The most important step in the process is to determine the precise nature of the problem. A problem is defined as a discrepancy between an existing and a desired state of affairs. Often the mistake is made of working out the solution to a problem before the nature and impact of the problem is properly defined.
Often problem solving can get stuck in the politics and never progress to a solution. Identify key stakeholders and ascertain their issues, views, opportunities and desired outcomes which will shape the focus, risks and boundaries for the solution. Consultation will assist collaboration, input and buy-in from stakeholders and shows that the problem solver understands that there is a bigger picture.
Knowing the problem and the politics, a process to achieve the solution can be determined. This can also be thought of as the methodology, and includes identifying those tools and resources required, and whether they currently exist or need to be developed.
People with the right knowledge, skills and experience will be needed. If they are not available, current staff will require training or external resources will be required.
A critical step is to specify the project deliverables and performance metrics. Only then is it possible to determine if and how well the problem has been solved.
Knowing the full scope of work required to solve the problem, a price can be determined.
- Solve the problem
If the price is acceptable, the problem-solving process can be implemented until the performance criteria are met.
- Triggers for Review
Triggers for review of the status of the solution should be established and monitored. This should occur whether the problem has been satisfactorily resolved or preceding decision criteria were not met, as change is constant.
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