One must be careful of numbering systems. They often indicate sequence where there is none. They enforce linear perspective where lateral or even multi-dimensional perspective is necessary. This is yet another example of how our language can interfere with our thinking.
In most cases, I’m able to divide analysis into two components: elements and actions. In doing so, I can discern a solution by considering the whole in its elements (parts), and its actions (steps). This natural division, though somewhat artificial, becomes a useful device. Still, one must bear in a mind the danger of helpful devices. What is artificial can become artifice.