# Techniques of Problem Solving

Problem solving is the key skill, which puts winners ahead of the pack. In this article, I have compiled some of the best techniques, that have been developed over the years. Read to get an insight into some radical ways of solving a problem.

Omkar Phatak

What is Problem Solving?

A problem is anything that obstructs your path to achieve a goal. Solving it is about devising a strategy and executing it to achieve the goal, by overcoming the difficulty. A problem may have more than one possible solutions. Many times, what is needed is an optimized solution, which represents the shortest path to overcome the difficulty, with economy of resources.

Solution Techniques

The Method of Trial and Error

The idea is to keep trying out solutions and improving on them, by learning through mistakes. It is a kind of brute force method, which does work, but can be time-consuming.

Method of Abstraction

This method of abstraction is modeling the problem by taking the core details into consideration, while chiseling away the unnecessary stuff. Then you solve the problem in an abstract way, before handling it in reality.

Break and Conquer

The break and conquer method of solving problems works by cutting the larger problem down, into smaller parts and then attacking them separately. It is putting the jigsaw puzzle of a solution together, by solving the problem partially.

Brainstorming

This technique is about synthesizing an optimum solution, through discussion of a range of solutions that every member of a team comes up with. Large teams often work this way, by selecting a part of multiple solutions to make the best one.

Reductive Analysis

Reductive analysis is all about transforming an unknown problem, for which solution doesn't exist, into a known problem for which a solution exists. If you do not have a solution to a problem, then you don't change the solution, but transform the problem and restate it in such a way, that you can have a solution.

Research Based Methods

Research based solution depends on the pre-existing library of known solutions. From these known solutions, a new customized solution can be constructed, which is suited for your specific problem. You research available solutions and improve on them.

Attacking the Root Cause

This one solves the problem by attacking the root cause, from which the problem emanates. It is about solving the problem deeply and entirely, by studying it thoroughly and identifying its root causes. Once the root cause is negated, the problem no longer remains.

Lateral Thinking

This is a technique, which employs unconventional, creative, or '

*out of the box*' thinking. This is the method that geniuses often employ, as they harness their unique powers of visualizing a solution, from a radical perspective.