How to problem solve

Successful problem solving usually requires a methodical approach. It is perfectly possible to stumble quickly on the required solution by chance but more often than not a haphazard approach to problem solving is wasteful of time, resources and money. Not all problems are solved using exactly the same approach but the critical elements of the problem solving process are largely common.

In problem solving we normally move from the problem to the cause and finally to the corrective action. However, we must recognise that on many occasions the manifestation of a particular problem does not necessarily have a unique and identifiable cause and so there may be other intermediate steps to take into account in determining the real cause of the problem. This situation can be described schematically as follows:

Problem ^ primary cause ^ contributing factors ^ corrective action

Or in more simple terms as:

What is seen ^ why ^ because of ... ^ corrective action

The basic process becomes apparent if we consider two examples of problems in bread making; the first low bread volume and the second collapse of the sides of an open top pan loaf, often referred to as 'keyholing'.

Continue reading here: Low bread volume

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