Quarantines and Quandaries

You’ve found yourself in a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation. Do you impose isolation on the problem or people involved? While that might work in the short term, it’s doubtful it will do much more than just buy you a little more time before you have to deal with the situation head on.

That being the case, it’s time to focus on how SSSIFTing can resolve the problem.


Before you can resolve the problem, you must have a thorough understanding of the problem. This means acquainting yourself with what’s happened and how things are veering off course. If you don’t understand the situation, you won’t be able to problem solve effectively.

Spot The Problem

Once you understand the situation, look for the point where things began to diverge. The events that led up to that point is where you’ll find the initial problem. Once you know the initial problem popped up, you can identify how it happened. Once you’ve identified how it happened, you know who and what was involved in the evolution of the situation. Keep in mind that just because someone or something is integral to the creation of the problem, they purposely sabotaged the project. It’s possible that their involvement is part of the natural consequences of poor planning by others, technology, technological advancements that contraindicate what is in place, changes in government policies, and any other number of unexpected variables. The focus should be on identifying the problem, not trying to affix blame for the problem’s existence.

Solutions To The Problem

There’s rarely ever just one solution to a problem. In fact, there are usually a handful of workable solutions. The focus should be on prioritizing the workable solutions on a list from ‘most likely’ to ‘least likely’ to address and resolve the problem. Every workable solution should be considered and retained in case the first option fails.

Implement the Best Solution

It only makes sense that, once the workable solutions have been prioritized, the first solution at the top of the list is implemented. If it fails, move on to the next workable solution on the list.

Follow Through

Too often, once a problem seems to be resolved, the team leaders and management forget it ever existed and move on to the next troublesome situation. That’s a recipe for disaster. Follow through the day after the problem has been addressed. Then go for longer periods between check ins. Seeing that the problem has created a possible weak spot in the project, it’s imperative to stay on top of things in case that weak spot should spring another unexpected leak.

Track The Results

It’s just as important to track the problems, the solutions and the results of implementing the best solution as it is to track the project in its entirety. We all love to keep an eye on projects that are moving through the stages smoothly, but it’s in tracking those projects that are troublesome that a team leader can identify problem areas for future projects of a similar nature, thereby avoiding them altogether.

The nice thing about SSSIFTing is that the steps can be applied to everyday life just as effectively as to business. As the parent of a teen with multiple disabilities, I can attest to the success SSSIFTing has created both in my personal life and in my professional life, and I know that my son appreciates the fact that I originated the SSSIFTing method of problem solving.

Elyse Bruce


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