Planning Your Next Steps

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Once you have selected one or more solutions to the problem, it is time to implement them. This module looks at identifying tasks and resources, and re-evaluating the solution and adapting as necessary.

Identifying Tasks

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This part of the creative problem solving process is the time to think about the steps for making the solution become reality. What steps are necessary to put the solution into place? 

Brainstorm with people involved with the problem to determine the specific steps necessary to make the solution become a reality. At this stage of the process, working with a smaller group may be more effective, unless you need approval from a large group. While making that list, identify any tasks that are critical to the timing of the solution implementation. Critical tasks are items that will delay the entire implementation schedule if they are not completed on time. Non-critical tasks are items that can be done as time and resources permit.

Identifying Resources

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This part of the creative problem solving process is the time to think about the resources for making the solution become reality. What else is necessary to put the solution into place? 

The types of resources that may be involved are listed below, along with some questions to think about to assign resources to the project of implementing the solution.

  • Time: How will you schedule the project? When would you like the solution completed? How much time will each task identified take?
  • Personnel: Who will complete each identified task? 
  • Equipment: Is there any special equipment required to implement the task? Does the equipment exist or need to be obtained?
  • Money: How much will the solution cost? Where will the money come from?
  • Information: Is any additional information required to implement the solution? Who will obtain it? How?

Implementing, Evaluating, and Adapting

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Once you have determined the tasks and the resources necessary to implement the solution, take action! Now is the time to use your project management skills to keep the solution implementation on track. 

As part of the implementation process, you will also continue to evaluate the solution(s). It is important to be flexible and adapt the solutions as necessary, based on the evaluation of the solution’s effectiveness at solving the problem. You may need to make adjustments to the plan as new information about the solution comes to light.

Case Study

Jeremy and Stacy were holed up in a hot office on a summer afternoon, after just creating and analyzing a workable solution to their accounting problem. Though they had the solution, they were still unsure of how to proceed. Stacy suggested they use the method of Identifying Resources to better understand their options for proceeding on to the actionable phase of implementing the solution. Jeremy agreed and was more than happy to oblige, and they wrote down their resources: time, money, personnel, equipment and information. With this information, they were able to create an action plan, and move forward to implement the solution. Stacy was happy that they had the resources and could identify them with Jeremy’s expertise.