5 D’s Every Effective Problem Solver Should Know

5 D’s Every Effective Problem Solver Should Know

become a master problem solver—rule your problems instead of letting them rule you


Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by a problem that your immediate reaction was to put it on the back burner? Or maybe you’ve avoided it altogether only to discover that doing so escalated the issue and made it more difficult to resolve? Learning to work through problems and find a reasonable solution can give you an added measure of confidence and control. With each difficulty you experience, your ability to overcome problems that arise will be strengthened. With more fine-tuned problem solving skills you will be better equipped to effectively handle life’s unexpected hiccups.


So what are the stages of effective problem solving? Implement the 5 D’s below to become a master problem solver—to rule your problems instead of letting them rule you.


5 D's Every Problem Solver Should Know

DEFINE – Identify the problem

You can’t begin to address an issue until it is clearly defined. Do you know what the main source of the problem is? Take the time to identify exactly what difficulty is obstructing your success. Getting to the root of the issue is an important step to solving it. Do your best not to attempt to tackle multiple problems at once. Instead, focus on one issue at a time.




DEVELOP – Develop a plan of action

Gather information, ask for help, and develop a plan of action. Having a plan is key to making sure you stay on track and find the appropriate solution in the shortest amount of time. As you develop your plan, build a comprehensive overview of both your objective and the barriers standing in your way.





DELIVER – Implement your plan

Now that you understand the root of the problem and have appropriately prepared to solve it, implement your plan. Take note of the impact it has on your desired outcome. Taking action can be overwhelming, especially if unexpected difficulties arise along the way. But be diligent, give it your all, and stick with it.




DISCOVER— Evaluate and learn from your results

After pushing through difficulty and making necessary changes, it will be time to check your progress and stack it up against where you started. Evaluate the results and effects of your plan. What did you learn? What worked well, and what did not? Learn from these results and prepare to take the next steps.



DETERMINE— What are the next steps?

Based on your experience, were you able to solve your problem? Measure the effectiveness of the plan you chose and determine whether you need to go back to the drawing board. It may be helpful to solicit feedback from those close to you who may have been aware of your problem or affected by the changes you made.



Fear of failure is one of the most common reasons people put off the necessary steps to solve their problems and ultimately achieve their goals. Keep a positive attitude, maintain a focused perspective, and implement the 5 D’s to help you work through your problems on your way to success.■



1)   http://www.educational-business-articles.com/problem-solving-strategies.html

2)   http://www.businessinsider.com/nine-steps-to-effective-business-problem-solving-2011-7