W.2_Lilly Wasitova_ What is the Problem?

Problem Statement

The revelation of “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” is happening very fast during the first week AACE Certification Program. After our program plan is approved by the customer, we were working very hard in order to follow the approved plan; however it seems that the more we do, the more we find things that we don’t understand. This is the turning point to the state of “You Know What You Don’t Know”, in terms of how to measure the performance of our team. We are putting more time than planned for the result that is not satisfactory enough yet.

Alternative Solutions

Using the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) technique shall help us to answer the question of why the problem mentioned above occurred so that we can:

  • Determine what happened.
  • Determine why it happened.
  • Figure out what to do to reduce the likelihood that it will happen again.

Selection Criteria

Using the five-step-problem-solving process, as described in [1]:

Figure 1. A powerful five-step problem-solving process © iStockphoto


Step One: Define the Problem

  • Team Work has not been performed as planned

Step Two: Collect Data



Figure 2. Gap Target vs. Actual

  • The gap between Target and Actual is too big for individual works
  • Since we are in the start-up phase of the project and considering that the project schedule is very tight, some team member may find it hard to catch up later.
  • The impact will be later on the task to be performed by the team.

Step Three: Identify Possible Causal Factors

  • The time and location constraints
  • Professional responsibilities apart from projects
  • Confusion and communication
  • Stage of urgency for the project success
  • Fear of making mistakes
  • Trust

Step Four: Identify the Root Cause(s)

  • Stage of urgency for the project success
  • The time and location constraints

Step Five: Recommend and Implement Solutions

  • As per below

Analysis and Comparison of Alternatives

Taking the Situational Leadership® Model from Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® Model [2] and considering that the team now has to deliver the result of the given tasks as planned, this situation brought the team to the Team Development Level 2 – Disillusioned Learner.

Figure 3: Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® Model

The cause of disillusionment may be some of the below:

  • The task is harder than I thought it was going to be
  • I’m not getting the help I need to get better
  • The more I learn, the more I realize I have to learn
  • The task is boring
  • There are conflicting goals and a lack of priorities

Selection of the preferred alternatives

According to Harsey and Blanchard’s Model, the needs of a team in the Development Level 2 are:

  • Clear goals
  • Perspective
  • Frequent feedback on results
  • Praise for making progress
  • Assurance that it is okay to make mistakes
  • Opportunities to discuss concerns
  • Involvement in decision making and problem solving
  • Encouragement

The Directive-Supportive Leadership is the most suitable to this development stage, where in one hand the ‘what to do, when and how to do’ direction as well as close performance supervision is required, but at the other hand encourage/facilitate a two-way communication and self-reliant problem solving.

Performance Monitoring & Post Evaluation of Results

In conclusion to the Root Cause Analysis and taking the Situational Leadership® Model from Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® Model:

  1. Take the chance of making mistakes, so that correction can take place before it is too late. This will bring solution on how to ‘eat an elephant’ situation.
  2. The Team needs to resolve the conflicting goal and restructure the priorities.
  3. Perspective and outcome expectation shall be drawn bigger now, so that team can be motivated by itself.
  4. The Team Development Level II as Disillusioned Learner is one stage to pass in order to get the answers to the “You Know What You Don’t Know” and continue to the next stage.


  1. Root Cause Analysis – Tracing a problem to its origin.

    Retrieved from Web site: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_80.htm

  2. Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Leadership® Model, Retrieved from Web Site : http://leadershipchamps.wordpress.com/2008/03/26/variations-in-situational-leadership/

About Lilly Wasitova

Goal oriented professional who like to have fun
This entry was posted in Lilly Wasitova, Week #2, Weekly Submission. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to W.2_Lilly Wasitova_ What is the Problem?

  1. DrPDG says:

    AWESOME, Bu Lilly!!!

    Very nicely researched, written and documented. A little bit bigger than I would like to see (~670 words) but we can work on getting your writing to be more concise and to the point.

    Other than that, you are exactly on track and your “leadership by example” is to be commended.

    As for the time factor, as you get over the learning curve and start to get your systems in place, you will find that much like Pak Teguh in class, that once you can develop a functional system, you can get your life back. BUT, it takes work to get that system developed and in place.

    Keep up the good work and continue to motivate your teams.

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta

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