How to Solve Problem as Product Manager

product management 101

Written by: Vincent

Steps for Solving problems might differ based on what type of problems, what industry, what product and many other indicators that affect the issue.

But, here below is some of our insight to help you understand how to solve problems properly. Here we go!

1. First thing First, Don't panic!

      1. Whatever the issues are, if you are in panic mode, there are more chances you will ruin it instead of solve the problems.
      2. What I mean by ruining the problem is if you are hasty and do not calm down you will end up trying to solve based on an existing solution. Sometimes it might work, but the essential point is to digest the issue itself entirely rather than trying to solve or came up with half baked solution
        1. This often resort to binary problem solving. That is why u need to learn to make a decision

2. Ask great questions as the first problem-solving method

      1. Came up with different scenarios and asks some of these questions
        1. What if …
        2. Why not …
      2. You need to know how the issue/problem happened in the first place by running back how it happened
        1. Only with that you can analyze the issue properly

3. Don’t just trust yourself

      1. Even though you are sure about yourself, Don’t! Just don’t be so sure!
        1. P.S this is for explanation because some people might think you’re dumb or can’t understand instead of being thorough. So be careful!
        2. With this mindset you will always confirm everything before speaking up.
        • Always remember to set a disclaimer or explanation why you sometimes asked confirmation for the same things. Because it's not always true!

4. Brainstorm Solution

    1. HMW or How Might We
      • Start the session with a question such as “How might we…” to inspire creativity among your team. The question should be open enough to inspire and foster creativity. However, it should also be focused and narrow enough to keep your session participants focused on the problem at hand. 
    2. Write down everything
      • Every member of your brainstorming session should write down all of their ideas, either on a board or on sticky notes. Once you have all of your ideas, put them down on a common board. If you can’t come up with enough ideas, repeat the session with the same question.
    3. Discuss your ideas
      • Use phrases such as “I like…”, “I wish…”, “What if…” and others to discuss each of the ideas you and your team came up with. 
    4. Select the best ideas
      1. Now that you have all of your ideas in one place, it’s time to find the best one. For example, you could let the participants vote using sticky notes. You can also create buckets for ideas, such as “Rational choice”, “The best solution for everyone”, and others.
      2. Using this approach, you’ll be able to save some ideas that at first seem crazy but actually make a lot of sense in the long run. 
    5. Figure out problem-solving methods
      • At this stage, you have your best brainstorming ideas. This is the time to choose the best ones and come up with a plan on how to make them come to life.

Other thing that might help is to use Wear the six thinking hats

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you know the Sorting Hat very well. It’s a hat that students wear and it appoints them to a house in Hogwarts that best matches their personality. Along those lines, there is a technique that Edward de Bono came up with, called The Six Hats. Using this technique, you can wear six different hats with six different perspectives.

Here are the hats that you can wear to become a master of problem-solving techniques.

  1. White hat. This is the neutral hat that uses facts and figures required to solve a problem. When the problem just comes up, this is the hat that you want to wear.
  2. Red hat. This hat is all about emotion and intuition. When you wear this hat, you can show your gut reactions to ideas and freely express exactly how you feel.
  3. Black hat. When you want to show caution and express a critical viewpoint, this is the hat you want to wear. The black hat will make sure that you steer clear of bad decisions.
  4. Yellow hat. When you want to be positive, this hat is the one you should choose. It helps you identify the positive sides of an idea and an excellent counterweight to the black hat.
  5. Green hat. To explore creativity, possibilities, alternatives and fresh ideas, wear a hat in green. Contributing new ideas and options is crucial, which is why everyone should wear a green hat.
  6. Blue hat. This is the hat that organizes all others. This is the person that manages the entire decision-making process and makes sure that all other hats follow the rules and guidelines.

The six hat problem-solving method is excellent because it lets you see the same problem from several different angles, very quickly and easily. Honestly there are too many ways or methods, but I personally think that this will be enough to help you solve the problems. Just don't ever stop learning and don't be afraid to make mistakes!


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