The first thing to do is to do some thinking on your own. I call this brainstorming. Take out a sheet of paper or use your computer and start by listing everything you can think of that might cause this problem. After you've made a list, take a look at it and circle or bold print the causes and divide them into some groups. Here are some ideas of how you can categorize them:
1. Most important causes (the ones which, if solved, would make the biggest dent in solving the problem).
2. Easiest to solve.
3. Hardest (or impossible) to solve.
4. Least important to solve.
Then, starting with the easiest to solve and most important to solve, think of some ways that it can be solved. Look at my list of how people can solve problems to get some idea.
After you've really thought this out as much as you can yourself, it is time to do some research and see what other people have already done, as well as to get some ideas. Here is how to research:
1. Google or use the library to see what other causes of the problem people have suggested.
2. Look for what has already been done to try to solve the problem. If it hasn't worked, you need to find out why.
3. Sometimes, you can find a solution to the problem that has worked in another location. That can be a great starting place for your solution.
4. Ask friends and family to give their ideas.