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Problem Solving*

The expertise to ask the right questions, to identify issues, obstacles, and opportunities and leverage that information to develop and implement effective solutions.

*This competency is part of the Management and Leadership Competencies at UF

Behavior Statements

Proficiency Level 1 - Basic understanding

Explains the value of a disciplined approach to problem solving.

Describes problem reporting and escalation practices.

Utilizes accepted procedures for problem analysis and resolution.

Identifies key aspects of problem-solving techniques used in own area.

Proficiency Level 2 - Working experience

Uses fact-finding techniques and diagnostic tools to identify problems.

Identifies and documents specific problems and resolution alternatives.

Develops alternative techniques for assessing accuracy and relevance of information.

Helps to analyze risks and benefits of alternative approaches and obtain decision on resolution.

Examines a specific problem and understands the perspective of each involved stakeholder.

Proficiency Level 3 - Extensive experience

Uses varying problem-solving approaches and techniques as appropriate.

Develops successful resolutions to critical or wide-impact problems.

Organizes potential problem solvers and leads problem resolution efforts.

Analyzes and synthesizes information and devises alternative resolution strategies.

Contributes to standard practices for problem-solving approaches, tools, and processes.

Ensures capture of lessons to be learned from a problem-solving effort.

Proficiency Level 4 - Subject matter depth and breadth

Gains agreement on the problem-solving process, risk assessment, decision points, and criteria.

Predicts and explains long-term trends and implications for alternatives.

Monitors industry for best practices and new techniques in problem-solving.

Successfully organizes problem solvers and stakeholders for high-impact problems.

Trains others in the process of eliciting alternatives and assessing their impact.

Orchestrates the resolution of high-impact and cross-functional problems.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me about a problem at your organization that was never resolved. What was the impact on business processes, and was there a work-around used?
  • Tell me about a persistent problem that existed at your organization. How was it finally resolved?
  • Tell me about a time when a solution to a project did not work. How was the solution revised, and what could have been done to prevent the issue?
  • Tell me about a time that two or more colleagues had conflicting ideas on the best way to solve a problem. How were the ideas evaluated and the issue resolved?
  • How did market research help you develop a solution to a lingering product/service problem?

Titles with Shared Competencies