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The Drill Down technique will help you split your problem into smaller parts, each of which can then be solved appropriately.
Quite often, what may seem to be a single problem turns out to be a whole series of problems.
Going back to our example, substandard work could be caused by insufficient skills, but excessive workloads could also be contributing, as could excessively short lead times and poor motivation.
So, being a confident problem solver is really important to your success.
Much of that confidence comes from having a good process to use when approaching a problem.
Appreciative Inquiry is designed to help you understand complex problems so that you can start the process of solving them.
It uses four stages to help you uncover more details about what's creating the problem, and then define actions that will improve the situation.
The key to a good problem definition is ensuring that you deal with the real problem – not its symptoms.
For example, if performance in your department is substandard, you might think the problem is with the individuals submitting work.
For example, consider this problem statement: "We have to find a way of disciplining of people who do substandard work." This doesn't allow you the opportunity of discovering the real reasons for under-performance.
The CATWOE checklist provides a powerful reminder to look at many elements that may contribute to the problem, and to expand your thinking around it.