Problem-Solving Outline

Step 1: Define the problem

Reach an agreement on exactly what the problem is; describe it in specific terms.

Step 2: List alternatives

Brainstorm a list of all ideas, even if you think they might not be very good ones. Try to generate as many options as possible. At this point, do not discuss the merits of each alternative.

Step 3: Review the alternatives

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. Expand on the most promising options.

Step 4: Choose the best alternative (or combination of alternatives)

Step 5: Implement the solution

Plan specific steps for implementing the solution, with goals and follow-up dates for review and evaluation.

Step 6: Review progress

At the agreed upon times, review how well the solution was implemented and whether or not additional problem-solving efforts should be made. Don't forget to praise efforts toward improvement.