Problem solving is an interrelated and interconnected chain of events in which one is dependent on the other in order to achieve the goal of actually reaching a solution.
There are seven recognized steps for problem solving which are:
- Problem Definition.
- Problem Analysis.
- Generating possible Solutions.
- Analyzing the Solutions.
- Selecting the best Solution(s).
- Planning the next course of action (Next Steps)
If, parting from this premise, you would want to give importance to one specific step, the safe bet is to go with Step No. 1: Problem Definition.
Imagine going through an entire process to solve a problem and then discover that, somewhere in your process, you misunderstood the reason for problem solving in the first place!
Therefore, in order to be successful one must understand what the problem is, re-state it so that you can be 100% sure, and from then on get a plan of action.