Analyze Your Problem
Tools to help you analyze your problem.
Become familiar with general problem-solving principles and find answers to a few fundamental questions.
General Principles: Overview of problem-solving principles.
Getting Started Checklist: Checklist of fundamental questions designed to get you started.
A well-crafted problem statement will help guide your analysis.
Problem Statement: Define your problem in a clear and concise written statement.
Problem Redefinition: Techniques for redefining your problem statement.
Separate your problem into its component parts.
Factors: List all the factors related to your problem.
Sorting: Sort your problem into its component parts.
Drill Down: Break your problem down into progressively smaller parts.
Appreciation: Extract the maximum amount of information from a single factor.
Forces: Identify forces that cause change.
SWOT Analysis: Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Outside-In Thinking: Thinking outside-the-box to find new major categories.
Future State vs. Present Reality: Compare your desired state to your current state.
Major Categories: Identify the major categories of your problem.
Five Whys: Discover the distilled essence of your problem.
Hierarchical Abstractions: Perceive your problem from different levels of abstraction.
Emotional Thinking: Identify and manage your emotional thinking.
Negative Thinking: Recognize and manage your negative thoughts.
Fear of the Unknown: Explore your fears associated with the unknowns of the problem.
Past-Present-Future: Analyze your time perspective.
Chronology: Organize your events and actions in chronological order.
Organize the parts of your problem into graphical representations.
Timeline: Graphic depiction of events and actions on a timescale.
Cross Impact Matrix: Determine how the relationships between variables impact future events.
Flow Chart: Diagram a process.
Causal Flow Chart: Visualize your cause and effect relationships.
Why - Decision Tree Diagram: Diagram a decision tree of the causes.
Cause and Effect - Fishbone Diagram: Diagram your cause and effect relationships.
Obstacles - Tree Diagram: Create a tree diagram of your obstacles.
Mind Mapping: Map the structure and linkages between your related factors.
Thought Provoking Questions
Determine your key questions.
Key Questions: Create a list of your key questions.
Who: Preliminary list of standard "Who" questions.
What: Preliminary list of standard "What" questions.
When: Preliminary list of standard "When" questions.
Where: Preliminary list of standard "Where" questions.
Why: Preliminary list of standard "Why" questions.
How: Preliminary list of standard "How" questions.
From Where: Preliminary list of standard "From Where" questions.
To Where: Preliminary list of standard "To Where" questions.
Phoenix Checklist: The original problem-solving checklist developed by the CIA.
Examine and test your keywords.
One Word Problem: Identify your keywords.
Keywords List: Create a list of your keywords.
Relational Words: Combine your keywords with relational words.
Paraphrase Keywords: Paraphrase the keywords in your problem statement.
Surface, examine, and optimize your unquestioned mental models.
Intentions: Create a list of your intentions.
Expectations: Create a list of your expectations.
Assumptions: Create a list of your assumptions.
Intuitions: Create a list of your intuitions.
Opinions: Create a list of your opinions.
Conclusions: Create a list of your conclusions.
Judgments: Create a list of your judgments.
Beliefs: Create a list of your beliefs.
Hopes: Create a list of your hopes.
Gut Feelings: Create a list of your gut feelings.
Predispositions Analysis: Optimize your thinking.
Navigation - Toolkit: All the tools listed on one page.