Difference between Issues and Problems

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What is the difference between Issue and Problem?

Some business managers mistakenly use the term “issue” and “problem” interchangeably; however, doing so may complicate the daily decision making processes by lumping all issues and problems together and possibly make a bad situation worse. Separating issues from problems helps to prevent smaller issues from becoming problems. This business practice is so important that there is an entire management discipline predictably called, “issue management” (IM). The Dow Jones says that “successful issue management depends on addressing concerns before they become full blown problems.” 1Therefore, it is deduced that issues are smaller, less threatening and require minimal effort to find resolution – but left unchecked could expose the organization to greater risk. There is an analogy to help put this concept into proper perspective – “forgetting your lunch is an issue, but losing your job is a problem.2 Therefore, the difference between an Issue and a problem can be explained this way, “Problems are solved. Issues need to be resolved…. To solve is to explain and to resolve is to separate a thing into its component parts or elements, then determine a course of action.” (Jaques 2007. P 36, 37)

With this robust understanding and definition, we can apply this to the Kundler Food

Kathy’s work schedule
Succession planning
Aggressive expansion plan
Bonus Structure

1 - http://www.dowjones.com/info/issue-management.asp
2 - http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-issue-and-problem/ Tony Jaques.  (2007). Issue or problem? Managing the difference and averting crises. The Journal of Business Strategy, 28(6), 25-28.  Retrieved March 19, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Complete. (Document ID: 1369331491).
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