The Secret to Virtual Collaboration

By Mat-thys Fourie on Mar 18, 2015 5:49:27 PM a Common Problem Solving Process

How do we ensure we get the best information at all times for virtual collaboration, especially if our company is located over different time zones?

Global organizations find it increasingly more difficult to deal with decisions and investigations effectively, especially if some of the stakeholders and information sources are not in the same location. What do you do if you need to make a decision and one of your most important stakeholders is on the other side of the world?

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Asking, “What It Is Not?” Will Create Significant Insights

By Mat-thys Fourie on Mar 4, 2015 5:27:37 PM

Into the Incident Experienced

In an incident situation,we are always looking for that “Silver Bullet” question – the one question that would bring some insight to the incident being experienced. The good news is that there is such a question; in fact there are a few of these questions that could provide you with that insight needed. We call that the “but not” question.

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Insist on Identifying the Correct Fault in Problem Solving Sessions

By Mat-thys Fourie on Feb 18, 2015 6:11:00 PM

Over the years as a consultant, I’ve learned how to listen to what people are saying, albeit doing it for a different reason you might have had in mind. I am doing it to eliminate the “noise” and “clutter” normally surrounding problem solving sessions. This might surprise you, but the biggest obstacle in solving problems and incidents effectively, is the human nature to “elevate” or escalate things in order to get the appropriate attention of the other person.

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The 5 Whys may not always be the best way to arrive at Root Cause

By Adriaan du Plessis on Nov 6, 2014 5:44:01 PM

When people skills are discussed in respect of Root Cause Analysis, the remark is often heard that it should be easy to use and also that it should be quick.  From this perspective, often the choice is to use the “5 Whys” method, since it is ‘easy’ and ‘quick’.  This approach to selecting a problem solving tool clearly demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding in respect of not only root cause analysis, but problem solving in general.

When deciding about root cause analysis and problem solving skills, we need to start with the issues we need solve and not people.  Not all problems are the same, it is common that problems differ vastly and that some are more difficult to solve than others.  Keeping the foregoing in mind, the nature and level of difficulty of a problem must therefore dictate the selection of the problem solving tool, rather than the fact that the tool may fit the desire of being simplistic and easy to use.

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Problem Management: The ITIL Orphan?

By Adriaan du Plessis on Sep 24, 2014 4:16:00 PM

Dealing with end user incidents dominates service management environments.  Once the incidents are resolved, the service environment relaxes.  Resolving an incident implies less pressure from users, because no problem exists. 

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