Problem solving is a key management function and a common trap busy people may fall into, is to go for the first solution that springs to mind and not spend much time identifying and evaluating a range of possible alternative solutions. The model to keep in mind is this: (a) identify the symptoms of problems – notice things like uneven performance, lateness, poor financial results etc then (b) define the problem – keep searching until you get to the real core problem(s), as this needs to be found before a solution can be found. Then (c) analyse the problem and get as many facts and information on it as you can. Consult with people, to get the biggest view and perspectives on things (d) develop a range of alternative solutions and consider several options for each one. Again, consult with others, to get the benefit of group think (e) that done, evaluate all the alternative solutions and consider the pros and cons of each one (f) then select the best solution to the defined problem, drawing on the experience and views of others (g) implement the decision and communicate the decision and what it may mean, to all interested stakeholders (h) then monitor and review the outcome of the decision carefully, to ensure that the solution has solved the problem. If not, go back to (a) above and start the process over again.