Solve problems in an hour or less

Keep problem-solving meetings brief by enforcing strict time limits on discussions. Divide meetings into these three 20-minute segments:

  1. Define.When possible, specify the problem in advance. Then use the first 20 minutes of the meeting to identify potential root causes and to reach a consensus on which ones are the most prevalent.
  2. Brainstorm. Designate someone to collect or record the ideas, and then you can lead the team in grouping related approaches.
  3. Prioritize. Have the team prioritize potential solutions based on possible benefits and ease of implementation. Use an effort/benefit matrix that groups solutions into three categories: high-priority solutions (high benefit and low effort), further consideration needed (high benefit and high effort, as well as low benefit but low effort), and low-priority or rejected solutions (low benefit and high effort).

Note: The 60-minute format might not uncover every possible solution, but its efficiency compensates for that shortfall.

ā€” Adapted from ā€œ60 Minutes to a Solution,ā€ Matt Redmond, Quality Progress,

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