Solve Business Problems - NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Business and Administration - 2
In the process of solving business problems, after identifying and analysing the problem and finding out solutions to solve the problem, one needs to check on the possible effects that the organisations policies and procedures may have on the problem solving task. You also need to keep an eye on the effects of legal requirements or regulations on the problem solving procedure. Once you have researched about these and are satisfied, you will need to evaluate the approaches to solving business problems and evaluate effective solutions for problems.
This is the second part to the NVQ Unit, “Solve Business Problems.” Learning outcomes 3 and 4 of this unit are covered here.
3. Understand factors that influence solutions to business problems (3.1, 3.2)
4. Understand how to evaluate approaches to solving business problems (4.1, 4.2)
To have a look at the first part that covers learning outcomes 1 and 2, please follow the link below.
Note: On a kind note, please write down the knowledge based outcomes relating the outcomes to your area of work quoting examples and experiences wherever you can. Please do not re-present what is published here. Thank you. All the best!
3. Understand factors that influence solutions to business problems
In this section we will look at understanding factors that influence solutions to business problems and understanding how to evaluate approaches to solving business problems.
3.1 Describe the possible effects of organisational policies and procedures when solving business problems
Many people possess excellent analytical skills and problem solving skills that they would have gained from years of experience in various fields and industries. When it comes to problem solving, every organisation has its own policies and procedures that one has to adhere to while solving problems. This stands as an issue or barrier when one tries to implement certain solutions to a problem. So under this condition, a person needs to be supported and encouraged by the company when applying solutions to a problem. Policies and procedures have both positive and negative effects on problem solving and it varies for different companies.
Let us have a look at some of the effects these organisational policies and procedures have when solving business problems.
Some positive ones:
- Allow employees to implement their ideas and provide resources and inter departmental support.
- Helps with working safely without worrying when one adheres to the business’ policies and procedures
- It provides the proper channels and systems and the employees can see the ideas from start to finish
Some negative ones:
- It removes the flexibility of working and places constraints thereby making the problem solving tasks complex.
- It places a barrier and hence stops employees from working to their full potential
- It puts a barrier on the problem skills that the employees possess
- It can sometimes make things frustrating and employees may lose their enthusiasm
- Restricts employees from taking complete control of the problem and hence restricts them from developing and applying new and effective methods and concepts
- Not much freedom to experiment and implement ideas
Although there are some negative points about the policies and procedures, one needs to understand that these are devised for safer working of the employees and the business and anything not covered or restricted in the policies and procedures can be included if appropriate evidence of its importance and need is brought into attention to the relevant people.
3.2 Describe the possible effects of legal or regulatory requirements when solving business problems
When we look at a business or an organisation, there will be a lot of legal requirements and regulations that the organisation and its employees have to take into consideration. Since every aspect and process in a business, for example sales, profit, employee relations, manufacture or production, sales, etc., has legal requirements and is controlled by legislations, one needs to look at the possible effects these may have during the problem solving process.
Business problems may be internal or external, and this will involve a proper procedure. For example if there are quality issues in a product that was sold to a customer, they will look at the specifications on the box and will expect the same to be inside the box, or for example if there was a problem in a building contract, legal issues like contracts, agreements and other issues will be taken into consideration. So care needs to be taken while specifying products or writing down contracts and agreements and any other records or documents related to legal requirements and regulations.
A few effects of legal and regulatory requirements that we can expect during a problem solving process are,
- Sales, profit, production, labour related issues. In these cases, employment laws and trade laws etc. need to be taken into account
- A business needs to make sure that all agreements related to business transactions and processes are updated and filed for future reference and a copy of this available in hand with everyone involved.
- Agreements, contracts and policies related to employment must be provided to all employees and a signed copy has to be with the employer and the employee
- A business and its employees should by all means be bound by law and not ignore it, as ignoring legal issues can lead to complex problems and have serious effects.
- When utilising resources from other departments or external sources, check that you follow the legal procedures and regulations to do so
- Make sure you follow the legal procedures and regulations while communicating with restricted agencies and departments
Not abiding by the laws and regulations can be disastrous and can lead to serious errors and outcomes. Also laws and regulations are updated frequently and an organisation has to update to the recent ones and take respective measures in order to avoid any problems.
4. Understand how to evaluate approaches to solving business problems
In this section, we will look at ways to evaluate approaches in problem solving and ways to evaluate solutions to these problems effectively.
4.1 Describe ways of evaluating approaches to solving business problems
Now you know what the problem is, you have identified it, found the causes, analysed and arrived at a solution, implemented it and the result may have been positive or negative. One needs to consult with colleagues, managers and other higher management and get their feedback and evaluation or do a self-evaluation to see if the approaches to problem solving were appropriate and correct.
There are various ways in which you can evaluate the approaches to problem solving in a business. The points to consider are,
- Evaluate to see if the approach is realistic
- Check to see that the task is defined clearly with all the requirements noted down clearly.
- Check to see that you have all the resources, information and money required to carry out the process
- Check if the process once started can be completed without any interruption.
- Check to see if you have prioritised the different steps involved in the process.
- Communication needs to exist between all the individuals involved and hence check to see if everyone involved is available for that period or length of time. Use experiences from the past if any.
- Check to see if the entire process adheres to the organisation’s policies and procedures and abides by the laws and regulations. If there are any exceptions, you need to make sure that all the relevant procedures and permissions to carry out the process have been acquired.
- Check if any training is required and if yes, make sure that you complete it before starting the problem solving process.
- Check to see if resources have to be utilised from other departments and if you have the permissions and authority to do so
- Check to see if you will receive all the support for completing the problem solving task and make sure that the environment where you work is supportive too.
- Some organisations have restrictions in communicating with certain departments or agencies, so make sure you have the permission for communication if needed for solving this problem.
- Set targets and draw an action plan, as these will motivate you and keep you on track
- Keep monitoring and reviewing your performance all through the task of problem solving as this will help you meet your targets and will also help you with solving future problems.
- Do not rush, be patient in defining the task because any task done in a rush will be less successful.
- Prepare a summary of the entire task and follow the DMAIC (Define Measure Analyse Improve Control) approach
4.2 Describe ways of evaluating solutions to problems for effectiveness
Once you have evaluated all the approaches required to solve the problem, you then need to evaluate the solutions to see how feasible they will be. While working towards solutions to a problem, be very patient. Do not dive into conclusions or any other tasks without properly planning. Look at the advantages and drawbacks involved. Check to see if there are any flaws in the process.
Problem Solving Ideas That Work
Some ways in which you can evaluate solutions to problems so that they can be effective are,
- Research for the best possible solution and check to see how practical it can be. Define the solution
- You need to then check to see if this solution will meet the requirements and the deadline. See if the task can be achieved on time. Check the benefits of following this method to arrive at a solution
- Put forward the ideas and thoughts to experienced staff and other colleagues and ask for suggestions, discuss the ideas and any outcomes that you expect and also ask for feedback and other suggestions
- Check to see if the costs to cover the problem solving process are readily available along with any resources that are necessary.
- Check to see if you have experience in this task and if not, undertake any training that is required.
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
- Check to see how successful the process will be, draw out charts and plans, research to see if there is a better process than this.
- Analyse the risks involved and see if they are acceptable. Check for any obstacles and constraints
- Check to see if this solution will satisfy the needs of all the people, departments, customers and organisations involved and also check to see if everyone is in agreement
- Finally make sure that the process conforms to the policies and procedures of the organisation and that it adheres to the legal requirements and regulations
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I hope you found this information here useful. For learning outcomes 1 and 2 that cover
1. Understand business problems and their causes (1.1 to 1.3)
2. Understand techniques for solving business problems (2.1 to 2.5)
please follow the link below.
If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to ask.
Please make sure that you write down the knowledge based outcomes relating the outcomes to your area of work quoting examples and experiences wherever you can. Please do not re-present what is published here.
Thank you. All the best!
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