Structure the Problem: Pyramids and Trees
Most business people tend to have a hypothesis-driven approach to problem solving. When confronted with a problem, they naturally and almost immediately generate a candidate solution. In such circumstances, the problem-solving process essentially consists in trying to prove this solution right or wrong by confronting it with relevant evidence. The method is to build a hypothesis pyramid, in which you identify the set of conditions for the hypothesis to be true. While this approach can be extremely efficient, it might entail the “solution confirmation pitfall” discussed in Chap. 2. The alternative is to use an issue tree, in which you break the problem into issues and sub-issues that you can investigate one by one. Breakdowns of hypotheses and issues into their smaller components must be MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive).