Operational Problem Solving Strategies in Transactional Environments
Transactional Processing environments are people and process driven with information technology increasingly becoming more prominent. While technical problems can be deduced from a description of a specific object and a single fault, problems in transactional environments mostly involve a human component. If the problem is the performance of an individual, that can be managed and suitable coaching implemented to assist that individual. Mistake proofing can also be applied to the process.
More difficult, however, are those problems that involve the collaboration of multiple individuals across a value chain, with all pointing fingers at others when a problem arises. Lack of collaboration often occurs at handoff points between functional areas or departments. This lack of collaboration is compounded by differing functional goals and how these goals are measured. This is a problem because the real issues are never addressed, because stakeholders do not collaborate to solve them. There are therefore, two problems to resolve when problem solving across functional boundaries… the actual technical problem that arises and the collaboration needed to address that problem.
People Problem Solving has to be approached sensitively, yet must have a rational basis in order to work toward solutions. Deficiencies in individual behavior, mostly dealt with as an individual performance problem, need to be viewed against the backdrop of the systemic environment created by the company for its employees and stakeholders. Following a situational assessment of the systemic environment, the people performance problem can be clarified and its core issues listed.
Following a rational and systemic approach is needed to determine the “lay of the land.” Understanding the performance system within which individuals are required to perform is critical to solving problems in transactional environments, especially in cases where the performance deficiency is impacted by organizational policies, procedures and systems. Solutions for these problems can then be aligned to ensure that the technical causes of problems can be found and addressed collaboratively, quickly, effectively and permanently.
Behavior change and collaboration are key ingredients to align stakeholders for the analysis and resolution of problems in a transactional environment.