Problem Solving Techniques, Part 1: Intro to Effective Techniques

People have been thinking about problems and the best techniques for solving them for centuries. Can you imagine how the world would look today if Mesopotamians in 3500 BC hadn’t solved transportation problems by inventing the wheel?

In our Services work here at Radisys, we are focused on problem solving. Our day-to-day work is providing quick and valuable solutions to our customers. Albert Einstein used to say that if he had one hour to save the world, he would spend fifty five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution. In most cases we have far less than 55 minutes to classify, define and solve a problem. And while our problems are not “save the world” scale, they are very important for customers.

There are lots of known problem solving techniques, many of which are useful in technology. This post will present an overview of when these techniques can be used, a few of the most useful methods and the benefits of using effective technical problems solving techniques.

First of all, what is a technical problem?

This question may seem to be a formality, but it warrants clarification to better understand techniques that could be used. In general, a problem is something that is difficult to deal with, a puzzle or question set to be solved. When the difficulty of a problem or question is connected to technology, that problem can be classified as technical problem.

What Types of Techniques can be used to solve technical problems?

There are several problem solving techniques, and while all of them have value not all of them would work for technical problem solving. The following techniques are extremely valuable for solving technical problems:

  • Divide and conquer
  • Means-ends analysis
  • Trial-and-error
  • Root cause analysis

The next post in this series will cover each of these methods in more depth to give you a clear idea of how they can be used to solve technical problems.

 What is the benefit of using techniques to solve problems?

When you know how to use problem solving techniques, you can tackle problems that might otherwise seem huge, overwhelming, or excessively complex. The ability to solve these types of problems can bring enormous benefits. The more you know about the problem, the faster Global Services will have the problem solved, and you will have a satisfaction that you were able to solve a complex problem yourself – a problem you wouldn’t be able to solve without using these techniques.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, which will detail the four primary problem solving techniques used for technical problems.

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