by Eileen Russo and the HRDQ Development Team

With the wide range of problems you face at work, it’s the small, everyday problems - the ones that need quick but effective solutions - that really take a chunk out of your day. So how do you solve these problems and still leave time for the more complex issues at hand?

Problem Solved! is a 25-item assessment providing participants with an easy-to-use, 5-step problem-solving process. By using this process, individuals can identify and monitor their skill level at each step. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn an effective way to solve everyday problems
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses at each step of the process
  • Create action plans for improvement


Problem Solved! is based on a process of 5 steps (The Problem Solved! Process). The instrument takes the perspective that a systematic method of problem solving followed and practiced on a regular basis yields rapid and efficient problem solving (Hesselberth, 1994). Drawing on the work of Sternberg (1986) and Klubnik & Greenwood (1994), the Problem Solved! Process is based on the most common and most sensible steps. 

How It Works

With a recent problem in mind, participants respond to 25 behavior-related statements, indicating the extent to which they practiced the behavior. By scoring and charting results, they create a visual depiction of their comfort level with each of the 5 problem-solving steps. Participants learn about the 5-step Problem Solved! Process, discuss everyday problem solving, apply the Problem Solved! Process to a current problem, and make action plans.

Uses for Problem Solved!

Problem Solved! is best used with participants who require a quick problem-solving method. Other instruments (e.g., the Force Field Problem Solving Model) can be used for working with in-depth problems. Effective when used as a stand-alone tool as well as part of a larger programme, Problem Solved! is particularly helpful for individuals or groups who:

  • Face repeated short-term problems
  • Must engage in problem solving daily or weekly
  • Need to solve problems within a short period of time (e.g., one hour)
  • Need a standard method for problem solving that can be applied universally
  • Tend to spend too long solving everyday problems

What to Order/Product Contents

Order one Facilitator Guide per trainer and one Participant Guide per participant. 

Facilitator Guide includes:

  • Administrative guidelines
  • Theoretical background
  • Training design
  • Detailed descriptions of the 5 problem-solving steps
  • Tips for problem solving
  • Case study
  • Overhead transparency and participant handout masters

Participant Guide includes:

  • 25-item assessment
  • Pressure-sensitive response form
  • Detailed descriptions of the 5 problem-solving steps
  • Tips for problem solving
  • Chart to record assessment results
  • Reflection questions
  • Action planning