Create an Effective Problem-Solving Manual at Work


Problems are an essential part of human existence. To grow, one must develop the capacity to solve problems. Companies must create teams with the skills to identify potential problems and find possible solutions. Understanding how to resolve challenges in the workplace increases employee and company value. This is where a problem-solving manual becomes an invaluable tool for productive work.

Problem-solving in an organisation enhances collaboration, which promotes collective thinking. This accounts for 80% of successful results from teams. Such collaboration engenders strong team development, excellent communication and a clear understanding of common challenges and potential solutions amongst teams.



What is a problem-solving manual?

Problem-solving is a technique that inspires parties in conflict to collaborate in defining problems, analysing their causes, proposing various solutions and selecting the best options for resolving the conflict.

The problem-solving manual should teach companies how to understand business challenges and the source of problems through a systematic process while providing clear direction on the best solution.


Benefits of a problem-solving manual

Structuring your problem-solving manual

The manual should contain a minimum five-step process for providing lasting solutions to the problems. These processes include:

  • Conflict definition
  • Analysis of the problem’s causes
  • Brainstorming for resolution
  • Selection of a preferred solution
  • Implementation of the solution

Problem-solving is mostly applicable in small groups. It is important that people within a team learn analytical thinking. It must be made clear that agreeing on the causes of conflict is often difficult. The good thing about conflict management techniques is that they are positive approaches and appreciate existing capacities rather than the weaknesses of the teams.

Using a problem-solving manual for teamwork

Improves understanding

One of the ways problem-solving assists teamwork is through the improvement of mutual understanding, thereby leading to an understanding of the context of the team’s operation and the responsibilities of the teammates. Collaborative techniques help members of the team appreciate each other’s efforts.

However, planning becomes difficult when team members work in shifts. TimeTrack Auto Scheduling provides a perfect overview for both management and the employees. Thus, managers can automatically personalise shifts based on projects and skills and employee availability.


TimeTrack Auto Scheduling

Enhances excellent communication

Working together in a team enhances the understanding of potential solutions and also creates opportunities for better communication. Each member brings a different context to the problem-solving scenario so good communication is a must for harmonious collaboration.

Effective handling of risks

A problem-solving manual equips a team to better anticipate risks. Because every team member comes with a different perspective, the team has more capacity to spot and mitigate risks in advance. A team must be willing to learn the requisite skills and have the confidence to accept the consequences of its choices.

Encourages smart working

A problem-solving manual streamlines processes to create a flexible work system that meets current needs. Smart working is the foundation of a seamless problem-solving environment, iterating processes to solve business challenges.

Highlights hidden potential

Compiling a problem-solving manual with the team’s input can uncover a hidden talent on the team. Or, you may realise that a certain employee has a natural aptitude for empathetic communication. When ideas and solutions for problem-solving flow, this broadens the potential for the company’s success. Keen problem-solving skills prepare team members to take on larger challenges and explore smart techniques for possible solutions.

Lower business failure

A problem-solving manual is essentially your back-up plan. All good leaders know that planning for failure is vital for any business. The problem-solving guide is a strategic preparation for learning opportunities, long-term growth and contingencies.

Low possibility of bias

In the same vein, each team member understands a fraction of the entire problem-solving process. The collective knowledge of the team fosters a better understanding of the problem and solution when the team engages in the search for the solution.


Tips to create an effective problem-solving manual

Define the problems

Think big and think of any number of significant business challenges that your company could face. Review historical problems. Identify and clearly define the problem with substantial detail. The team saddled with devising problem-solving techniques must acknowledge the existence of the problem and, from divergent viewpoints, approach the issue with open-mindedness.

Evaluate the problems

After you have identified and named the problem, go into a process of reviews. This is process evaluation before suggesting a solution. To do this, analyse the issues from different perspectives for better understanding. To identify the root cause of your business problem, teams must ensure that the company’s approach is aligned with its goals.

Brainstorm possible solutions

The next step is coming up with a solution or even a few solutions, after identifying the problem. Come up with reviews of multiple solutions. These brainstorming techniques increase the chances of selecting the perfect solution.

For instance, if you have noticed that timekeeping seems to be a recurring problem, one solution is TimeTrack Timesheet, which provides an excellent and automated overview of everyone’s time spent on work.


TimeTrack Timesheet

Conduct a SWOT analysis

This approach involves pinpointing and acknowledging strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the company. This analysis allows businesses to become self-aware and identify challenges before they occur.

Conduct market research

Gathering and analysing data concerning your business should include regular customer surveys designed to gauge needs and reactions to your products. This helps identify customer pain points, buying habits and the demographics of the marketplace.

Gather team input

The input from a team will always be a substantial sticking point. Input from business advisors, your team or experts on the subject matter will unearth various ideas, solutions and challenges the organisation is facing. This is one of the most effective problem-solving techniques for long-term solutions.

Collate the problems and solutions

At this stage of the process, decide on the course of action to implement, based on the reviews and solutions people have suggested. This process involves weighing the pros and cons of the ideal solution. Take key actions after deciding on the best option.

Gauge the results of solutions

Measure the results of problem-solving techniques and processes by tracking progress. This will help gauge if the particular issue is resolved. Due to the complex nature of solving business challenges, you need to take baseline reviews, decide on key performance indicators and set goals and timelines.

Take responsibility

Whatever choice you make is a choice, and it should be superior to others. This means you must live with the consequences of your choice. Two outcomes await you in solving business challenges. Either you escalate the problem or you solve it.

The bottom line

The ultimate outcome of your problem-solving manual is to provide a blueprint of solutions to common workplace and business challenges.

Applying the wrong technique could result in a waste of time and resources. This is why proactiveness and diverse consultation is vital. Work with your team to create an efficient guide of solutions.