A Guide on How to Solve Any Problem.

by Ibukunoluwa Ogundare
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A teacher showing children how to solve school problems

This is not your regular DIY article.  How do we solve any problem that comes our way? Problems are everywhere. Challenges are also everywhere too. This is what we face daily that makes working difficult. Wouldn’t we all love a world without problems and challenges? Yeah, your response is as good as mine.

The truth is problems and challenges will always abound. This is because of our insatiable nature as humans. When we find a solution to a challenge, the solution leads to a new standard of thinking that leads us to aspire for more which in turn brings new challenges. And the cycle continues. This is indeed the beauty of life. The quest for more as well as a better quality of life. 

According to the Oxford dictionary, a problem is a thing that is difficult to deal with or understand. The solution to a problem lies within the problem in itself. This is the point where you say hmmm. Word!

This is it. 

To solve any problem, you just need to understand the problem. 

This begs the question; how does one understand a problem?  Let’s assume a bottle of water is a problem we are trying to understand. We better understand the water by analyzing the water. What is the water made of, how does it respond in varying conditions, how does it react with other elements, etc. Taking the bottled water problem example, you can deduce that you understand a problem by asking questions, researching, analyzing, and testing. 

As a product manager poised with a user challenge or need that needs to be solved, the only way to solve any problem is through questions and analyzing the problem. This is what is called User research. User research is very important for the success of any product. There are products out there that are deemed irrelevant. Mostly because the product manager did not thoroughly understand the needs of the user before building it. If a product doesn’t solve a problem, it becomes redundant. 

To avoid making likely-to-fail products, let user research be your guide always. If you have anything you want to clarify, be sure that you are not making assumptions by asking questions from the owners of the challenge. It sure does not make sense to anyone to be analyzing Fanta when the problem you want to solve is bottled water. As a product manager, ask questions from potential users and create anonymous surveys for your product team or stakeholders.  Find out what people truly think and feel about the importance of a product.

“Seek for the ‘need’ from its source!”

This also applies to any problem you have. You greatly reduce the occurrence of a mistake by asking questions. Seeking to know more about User Research, click here.

Or do you want to know more about asking the right questions? Let me know in the comment section. 

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