However, it is an important fundamental philosophy of this step in the process and every effort should be made to be as MECE as possible. Time is money – especially when we are dealing with strategic opportunities and threats! Yes, each approach has a different resulting angle on the problem and level of accuracy.Prioritising which trees the team is going to bark up, who is doing the barking and how they are going to bark is critical to an efficient problem solving process and resource leverage. If we happen to bark up the wrong tree and don’t find any cats, we can come back to this step with those learnings and select another tree to bark up (with a more educated opinion). However, if expert opinions would be good enough to tick off a hypothesis, I would rather have the debate and determine whether significant resources in people and money goes into a comprehensive consumer assessment before my marketing launches off into the sunset and wastes said time and resources.
Equally important is the conceptual exercise of making sure the team is considering all aspects of the problem and potential solution space. The d.school concept of “Yes, and…” is extremely applicable in this step.
We want to add components, aspects and perspectives on the problem and solution space in this step.
Mc Kinsey & Company is a global strategy consulting firm.
Mc Kinsey assists organisations like Fortune 500’s in solving really complex strategic problems.
The little “COMMUNICATIONS” ribbon in the diagram reinforces this.
Make sure you have the right people on the team to bring sufficient knowledge, discipline, structure and creativity to the problem solving process – then use the right tools to help the team work together effectively!
The value of the Problem Definition step in the process is the rigorous exploration and discussion of the nature of the problem, symptoms observed, criteria for success.
Having the perfect problem statement is secondary to Making sense of a big, hairy strategic problem requires breaking the problem down.
As you explore different and new areas of the problem, analyse more (step 5) and generate more insights (step 6 and 7), you refine your thinking and may find other better ways to structure the problem and new areas to analyse.
There is no right or wrong way to apply the steps or the tools.