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What are some basic steps to problem solving?  
Most experts would agree that the first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge that there is one and then define it. Ask yourself and others specific questions to determine exactly what the problem is; where it is; when it developed; how it developed; and why it occurred. As you define the problem, begin to look at potential causes for the problem. Gather all the facts you can about the problem and make legitimate assumptions, if necessary. Then develop possible solutions and/or approaches to resolve the problem. Analyze and compare the solutions, taking into account any risk associated with each of the alternatives and the resources available (e.g., time, people, and money) to resolve the problem. Select the best course of action; define indicators that can be used to determine whether or not your plan is successful. Lastly, implement your plan. Communicate it to others who are involved in implementing it, and monitor the indicators of success you defined to make sure your course of action stays on track. Note that these are basic problem solving steps. There are other methods and tools that can assist you in defining and resolving problems. For example, there are computer aids that can help analyze different alternatives to resolving a problem, or professional indicators that can assist you in defining problems. Use some of the listed references to explore these other methods and/or to obtain more information on how to carry out each step in the problem-solving process.
Keywords: Problem definition, problem solving

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U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Field Manual 22-100 Publication

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