Addressing Challenges

Overcoming challenges and maximizing opportunities are the daily realities of your job

We provide a systematic process to help you address them. To guide your thinking, we recommend using

the 5Q Framework.

Q1: What challenge are you addressing? Describe the challenge that you are facing.

  • Nature of the challenge or problem

    • At what level is the problem? Is it broad and strategic, or narrow and tactical?

    • Are you solving an existing problem or are you creating something new (e.g. new product development)?

  • Are you tacking the “right” problem?

    • Is it defined broadly enough to avoid myopia and allow creativity?  ​    

    • Is it defined narrowly enough to be manageable?     

  • Is the problem focused on the customer, or user, or stakeholder?

    • Is it “need-focused”?

Q2: Where are you now? Why?​ Develop a challenge statement.

  • Describe the problem

    • Utilize cross-functional insights

    • Involve internal and external stakeholders, including customers

  • Frame the problem

    • Frame the problem in a way the invites creative solutions

    • “What if …?”

  • Ideate the problem statement / challenge statement

    • Convene a creative session with sole purpose of defining the challenge statement

    • Employ brainstorming techniques.

  • Understand the underlying context of the challenge by using a Root-Cause Analysis

Q3: Where do you want to be? When? Describe what success looks like.

  • Visioning techniques to imagine future scenarios, a minimal viable product, and so forth.

Q4: How will you get there? Bridging the gap between the current situation and the desired future.

  • Devise options (strategies and tactics) to address the challenge.

    • Employ any of several problem-solving techniques

    • For multi-faceted, systemic, multi-functional challenges, consider using Scenario Planning, and Business Simulations (also known as "war games")

  • Use prioritization techniques to select the most promising option(s).​

  • Use implementation techniques to put the solution in motion.

Q5: How are you progressing? Monitor the implementation and take any corrective action.​

  • Decide which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will use.

    • Monitor activities, deadlines, and deliverables.

    • Measure results.

    • Using the appropriate leading and lagging indicators.

  • What lessons can be learned? How will these lessons impact future projects?​