Once a root cause analysis (RCA) team has uncovered the reasons behind a contingent staffing problem, it can be tempting to jump toward a particular solution. However, MSP program managers can avoid misfires and unintended consequences by considering a full range of viable solutions and evaluating the effectiveness of each one before reaching a conclusion.
Brainstorm as a team to come up with as many solutions as possible. Don’t pre-judge. You may inadvertently overlook a superb idea if you limit or discourage submissions. Apply each solution to the causes of the problem and answer the following questions to evaluate its effectiveness and narrow down your choices.
To what extent does the solution alleviate the underlying causes and resolve our defined problem?
What are the costs, benefits and any negative or unintended consequences?
Is the solution technically and operationally feasible?
Can we mitigate risk and overcome any obstacles?
How will the solution impact each set of stakeholders across the supply chain?
Will they accept the solution? What are the pressures for and against change?
Is the solution easy to implement? Is it scalable?
Sometimes, the answers to the evaluation questions will dictate which ideas will work and which will not. If you end up with several possibilities, ask your team to debate the pluses and minuses and go deeper into the analysis of each idea before taking a vote. If necessary, combine a number of options or adapt the frontrunner to come up with a solution that appeals to everyone.
Once you’ve settled on a solution, create an assignment responsibility matrix, which assigns responsibility and completion dates for each task and component in the implementation and maintenance phases to various team members. Then, outline the specific objectives or results you hope to achieve, how they will be measured and when the benchmarking assessments will take place.
Once you distribute the matrix, you’re almost done. Next week, I’ll describe the final phase of an effective, collaborative problem-solving process. Until then, happy collaborating.