Improving Processes & Services

Structured Problem Solving

Starting an Action Team

The following are seven tips for starting an action team.

Tips for Starting an Action Team

1. Use Structured Problem Solving Approach

Try to ensure that all members of the team understand the Structured Problem Solving approach and tools and why it is helpful. This establishes the teams expectations as to how it is going to work together on the project. 

2. Diagnose the Problem

Try to get the team to devote the first one or two meetings to understanding the problem and establishing the Root Causes what is really causing the problem. This stops the team from leaping at solutions at too early a stage. 

3. Work as a Team

As much of the diagnosis as possible, particularly at the start, should be done as a team, around a whiteboard or flip chart. This helps the team to bed-in and the teambuilding to start. 

4. Involve the Team members

Use participative approaches like brainstorming. This helps to get everybody involved and to get everybody’s ideas and knowledge used. 

5. Involve Others

Call others into the meetings for short spells. To check out their ideas or to get more information. 

6. Home-in

Try to home-in on key points rather than trying to solve everything. 

7. Plan and organise the project well

At the end of each meeting, conclude with a simple action plan as to who is doing what over the next month or so. As soon as you can, draw a simple milestone plan of the likely path forward.