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Patrick Noonan - How to Approach Problems Like a Management Consultant - Summary 🔗

This is my summary of the video, mostly quoting the slides.

Structured Problem Solving Process (SPS) 🔗

Step 1: Define the problem 🔗

Focus: What is the problem really about?

Step 2: Break down the problem 🔗

Focus: How should we break down the key question into pieces that can deepen our understanding, and shape our work?


Step 3: Plan the work 🔗

Focus: How can we turn the issues into coherent, manageable work plans?

Step 4: Work the plan 🔗

Focus: How can we move forward effectively, pivoting from questions to insights to answers?

“So what?” brings analysis back to reality and connects it to action.

Factspieces of unprocessed informationWhat do we know?
What data do we have?
Findingsobjective results of the analysis of the factsWhat do the data say?
What is the direct result of the analysis?
Conclusionsimplications of applying business judgment to the findingsWhat is the significance of this?
How might the analytical results matter to the business question?
Recommendationprescribed decisions and actions, based on the conclusionsWhat should we do?
Which direction is best?
Implementationspecific process steps for making the recommended direction a realityHow should we move forward?
What are the steps?

Step 5: Build the case 🔗

Focus: How do we assemble and strengthen the case for our recommendations?

Step 6: Make the case 🔗

Focus: How can we provide others with the clarity and confidence needed to make decisions and take action?

Step 7: Start the change 🔗

Focus: How can we further increase the value that will be created by our work?

Principles 🔗

Have a process 🔗

Structured Problem Solving Process above.

Be intentional 🔗

Why are you doing it that way?

Have the right fight at the right time 🔗

Facilitate constructive conflict: focused on tasks and progress.

Let questions do the heavy lifting 🔗

Asking good questions is the heart of every step of the process.

Disambiguate 🔗

Getting clarity is essential to making progress.

Synthesize 🔗

Simplifying is not so simple.

Keep it simple and start 🔗

Good work is iterative.

Do the right thing 🔗

Ethical and moral behavior remain central.

Play well with others 🔗

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Updated on 2023 Jul 26.

DISCLAIMER: This is not professional advice. The ideas and opinions presented here are my own, not necessarily those of my employer.