Solution Laddering


Use this template to both expand and narrow the focus of your problem, finding both macro and micro-level solutions. By doing this you should be able to find the right level of focus to solve your current problem.

Using the solution laddering template is a great way to visualize one of the oldest problem-solving tricks, by asking probing “why” and “how” questions.

By asking these questions you keep finding new layers of answers that bring you closer to either a root issue or an actionable solution. While it is very simplistic, this solution-building strategy is actually one of the most effective ways to find root problems and new solutions. It’s extremely efficient due to its simplicity. Asking simple why & how questions is something anyone can easily grasp and participate in, making collaboration in this activity as easy as ever.

If you are ever looking to dig up a root problem or find a new actionable solution, the solution laddering template is a fantastic option.


  1. In the middle, create a statement defining the problem you’re brainstorming solutions for.
  2. Use the “Why” spaces to stretch your challenge statement into a more macro version, focusing on the reasons you need to solve the problem and why you need to accomplish it. As you move to the second box, apply the same logic and take your thought process even further.
  3. Use the “How” spaces to narrowly define your challenge statement, going into detail about the specific ways you will be able to accomplish this. As you move to the second box, apply the same logic and take your thought process even further.
  4. After you fill out all the boxes, look at each level of thinking to determine what scale you should analyze your problems.

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