How To Run A Problem Solving Meeting

To run a problem-solving meeting effectively, it’s crucial to clearly define the problem, invite relevant and knowledgeable participants, foster an environment encouraging open discussion, use structured methodologies to analyze the problem and create actionable solutions, and ensure adequate follow-ups for execution.

A problem-solving meeting is a gathering where a group of individuals comes together to discuss and address a specific problem or challenge that has been identified. The main objective of such a meeting is to collectively find a solution or develop strategies to overcome the problem at hand. This type of meeting usually involves brainstorming, analyzing data and information, evaluating options, and making decisions in order to reach the desired outcome for the organization or project.

What is the purpose of a Problem Solving Meeting?

The purpose of running a problem-solving meeting as a leader is to gather a team, identify and analyze challenges, and brainstorm effective solutions. By facilitating open communication and collaboration, leaders can promote problem-solving skills, foster innovation, and ultimately drive towards successful outcomes.

How To Run A Problem Solving Meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Problem Identification

Having an open and clear discussion within the team is essential in identifying and addressing the problem at hand. This initial step is crucial and sets the foundation for finding an effective solution.

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Step 2: Problem Analysis

During the analysis step, participants will carefully examine the problem, deconstructing it into smaller components, adopting various viewpoints, and identifying the underlying causes behind it.

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Step 3: Goal Setting

Establishing clear, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals is crucial for the team to effectively solve the problem and drive success. These goals provide a focus and direction, ensuring the team stays on track and has a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished.


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Step 4: Brainstorming Solutions

At this stage, it’s crucial to foster a free flow of ideas. Encourage a multitude of proposals, even if seemingly unattainable. The focus should be on gathering a plethora of options rather than evaluating their viability.

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Step 5: Evaluating Solutions

During this critical thinking and analysis phase, the team diligently evaluates each proposal, weighing its advantages, disadvantages, feasibility, and efficacy to make informed decisions.

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Step 6: Solution Selection

Participants should come together and reach a consensus on the most suitable solution to implement. This decision should be based on the thorough evaluations conducted in the previous step, ensuring that all relevant factors are considered and a well-informed choice is made.

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Step 7: Action Plan Development

During this crucial step, the team strategically formulates an action plan outlining the specific implementation details, including the time frame, location, and methodology to be employed for executing the chosen solution effectively.

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Step 8: Assigning Tasks and Responsibilities

Assigning specific tasks and responsibilities to each team member in relation to the action plan is crucial for ensuring clear accountability and coordination, enabling everyone to know their role and contribute effectively towards achieving the objectives.

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Step 9: Implementation of the Solution

Now, the team actively implements the action plan, staying dedicated and focused on accomplishing the set objective. They execute each step to ensure progress towards achieving their desired outcome.

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Step 10: Monitoring and Evaluation

Continually monitoring and evaluating progress towards the goal ensures that any necessary adjustments or corrective actions can be made in a timely manner to ensure successful implementation and achievement of the desired outcomes.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What is the actual problem we are facing? This question helps clarify the specific issue and ensures everyone is clear on what needs to be addressed.

2. What are the root causes of the problem? Understanding the underlying reasons behind the problem is crucial to find effective solutions.

3. What resources do we currently have to resolve the problem? Identifying the available resources provides insights into potential solutions and helps utilize existing capabilities.

4. What are the potential solutions or approaches we can consider? This question encourages brainstorming and generates a range of possible strategies.

5. What other alternatives have we explored or considered in the past? Learning from past experiences and considering alternative solutions can bring insights or inform the decision-making process.

6. What are the potential risks or obstacles associated with each proposed solution? Assessing the risks helps evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of each solution.

7. Have we involved all relevant stakeholders in the problem-solving process? Engaging relevant stakeholders ensures diverse perspectives and promotes more comprehensive solutions.

8. How will each proposed solution impact our short-term and long-term goals? Understanding the consequences of each solution helps prioritize and align with broader organizational objectives.

9. What is the recommended course of action based on the information and analysis? This question prompts the identification of the best solution or combination of solutions.

10. How will we measure the success or effectiveness of the chosen solution? Defining clear metrics or indicators allows for evaluating the success of the solution and making necessary adjustments if needed.

11. What is the timeline for implementation, and who will be responsible for each step? This question ensures accountability and provides a clear roadmap for execution.

12. How will we communicate the chosen solution and progress to relevant stakeholders? Establishing an effective communication plan helps manage expectations and keeps everyone informed.

13. What can we learn from this problem-solving process to prevent similar issues in the future? Reflecting on the process and identifying lessons learned contributes to continuous improvement and helps avoid recurring problems.

As a leader, preparing a problem-solving meeting agenda involves careful consideration of the issue at hand, desired outcomes, and the needs of the team. Start by clearly stating the problem, discussing its impact, and identifying potential solutions. Include time for open discussion, encourage active participation, and assign action items to ensure progress is made.

How To Prepare For A Problem Solving Meeting
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On a problem-solving meeting, it is crucial to discuss the specific issue at hand, evaluate its impact, and gather relevant information. Possible topics include identifying the root cause, brainstorming solutions, assessing potential risks, assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and establishing a communication plan. The meeting should aim to generate effective strategies and ensure everyone is aligned to resolve the problem efficiently.

See Our Problem Solving Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Problem Solving Meeting

Software can greatly assist leaders in running problem-solving meetings. With intuitive interfaces and collaborative features, it enables participants to easily contribute their ideas and suggestions. Additionally, software automates task allocation, tracks progress, and provides data analysis, making it easier for leaders to prioritize actions and establish effective solutions. By streamlining the process, software boosts productivity and enhances decision-making in problem-solving meetings.

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In conclusion, running a problem-solving meeting successfully requires careful planning, clear communication, and active participation from all team members. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can effectively tackle and resolve challenges, fostering a collaborative and productive work environment.

Remember, setting a clear agenda, establishing ground rules, and encouraging open and respectful discussion will empower your team to brainstorm innovative ideas and find solutions to complex problems. Additionally, integrating problem-solving techniques such as SWOT analysis, Pareto analysis, or the 5 Whys can provide valuable insights and guide the decision-making process.

Furthermore, don’t forget to document the meeting outcomes, action items, and responsible individuals to ensure accountability and follow-up. By implementing the discussed strategies and promoting a culture of continuous improvement, you can transform problem-solving meetings into dynamic sessions that fuel creativity, teamwork, and ultimately drive success for your organization. So, start applying these techniques in your next problem-solving meeting, and witness the positive impact it can have on your team’s problem-solving capabilities.

Popular Questions

What is the purpose of a problem-solving meeting?

The purpose of a problem-solving meeting is to identify a problem or challenge faced by an organization, generate potential solutions, evaluate these for viability, and finally make a decision about which solution to implement.

How to prepare for a problem-solving meeting?

To prepare for a problem-solving meeting, first identify the problem and gather all necessary information related to it. Make sure the relevant team members are invited and that they also understand what the problem is. You should also come prepared with potential solutions to discuss.

Who should be involved in a problem-solving meeting?

The people who should be involved in a problem-solving meeting include those who are directly affected by the problem, those who have influence over the problem, and those who have skills or knowledge relevant to finding a solution. This might include managers, team leaders, and individuals who have expert knowledge in the subject area of the problem.

What is the best approach to make a decision in a problem-solving meeting?

After all potential solutions have been presented and discussed, it’s crucial to reach a consensus about the most viable solution. This can be done through voting, ranking the options, or through detailed discussion to reach unanimous agreement. It could take more than one meeting to reach a decision if there’s no unanimous agreement.

How to manage conflict during a problem-solving meeting?

Conflict during a problem-solving meeting should be managed by acknowledging the disagreement, facilitating open communication, focusing on the issue rather than individuals, and finding common ground. A neutral third party or mediator may also be helpful in resolving conflicts. Focus on the solution rather than the problem can also help to diffuse any tensions.