10 Effective Techniques To Master Problem Solving And Decision Making Skills
Understanding problem solving & decision making, why are problem solving and decision making skills essential in the workplace, five techniques for effective problem solving, five techniques for effective decision making, frequently asked questions.
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- Improved efficiency and productivity: Employees with strong problem solving and decision making skills are better equipped to identify and solve issues that may arise in their work. This leads to improved efficiency and productivity as they can complete their work more timely and effectively.
- Improved customer satisfaction: Problem solving and decision making skills also help employees address any concerns or issues customers may have. This leads to enhanced customer satisfaction as customers feel their needs are being addressed and their problems are resolved.
- Effective teamwork: When working in teams, problem solving and decision making skills are essential for effective collaboration . Groups that can effectively identify and solve problems together are more likely to successfully achieve their goals.
- Innovation: Effective problem-solving and decision-making skills are also crucial for driving innovation in the workplace. Employees who think creatively and develop new solutions to problems are more likely to develop innovative ideas to move the business forward.
- Risk management: Problem solving and decision making skills are also crucial for managing risk in the workplace. By identifying potential risks and developing strategies to mitigate them, employees can help minimize the negative impact of risks on the business.
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a technique for generating creative ideas and solutions to problems. In a brainstorming session, a group of people share their thoughts and build on each other’s suggestions. The goal is to generate a large number of ideas in a short amount of time. For example, a team of engineers could use brainstorming to develop new ideas for improving the efficiency of a manufacturing process.
- Root Cause Analysis: Root cause analysis is a technique for identifying the underlying cause of a problem. It involves asking “why” questions to uncover the root cause of the problem. Once the root cause is identified, steps can be taken to address it. For example, a hospital could use root cause analysis to investigate why patient falls occur and identify the root cause, such as inadequate staffing or poor lighting.
- SWOT Analysis: SWOT analysis is a technique for evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to a problem or situation. It involves assessing internal and external factors that could impact the problem and identifying ways to leverage strengths and opportunities while minimizing weaknesses and threats. For example, a small business could use SWOT analysis to evaluate its market position and identify opportunities to expand its product line or improve its marketing.
- Pareto Analysis: Pareto analysis is a technique for identifying the most critical problems to address. It involves ranking problems by impact and frequency and first focusing on the most significant issues. For example, a software development team could use Pareto analysis to prioritize bugs and issues to fix based on their impact on the user experience.
- Decision Matrix Analysis: Decision matrix analysis evaluates alternatives and selects the best course of action. It involves creating a matrix to compare options based on criteria and weighting factors and selecting the option with the highest score. For example, a manager could use decision matrix analysis to evaluate different software vendors based on criteria such as price, features, and support and select the vendor with the best overall score.
- Cost-Benefit Analysis: Cost-benefit analysis is a technique for evaluating the costs and benefits of different options. It involves comparing each option’s expected costs and benefits and selecting the one with the highest net benefit. For example, a company could use cost-benefit analysis to evaluate a new product line’s potential return on investment.
- Decision Trees: Decision trees are a visual representation of the decision-making process . They involve mapping out different options and their potential outcomes and probabilities. This helps to identify the best course of action based on the likelihood of different outcomes. For example, a farmer could use a decision tree to choose crops to plant based on the expected weather patterns.
- SWOT Analysis: SWOT analysis can also be used for decision making. By identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of different options, a decision maker can evaluate each option’s potential risks and benefits. For example, a business owner could use SWOT analysis to assess the potential risks and benefits of expanding into a new market.
- Pros and Cons Analysis: Pros and cons analysis lists the advantages and disadvantages of different options. It involves weighing the pros and cons of each option to determine the best course of action. For example, an individual could use a pros and cons analysis to decide whether to take a job offer.
- Six Thinking Hats: The six thinking hats technique is a way to think about a problem from different perspectives. It involves using six different “hats” to consider various aspects of the decision. The hats include white (facts and figures), red (emotions and feelings), black (risks and drawbacks), yellow (benefits and opportunities), green (creativity and new ideas), and blue (overview and control). For example, a team could use the six thinking hats technique to evaluate different options for a marketing campaign.
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- INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
- Decision-Making and Problem Solving
- A - Z List of Interpersonal Skills
- Interpersonal Skills Self-Assessment
- Communication Skills
- Emotional Intelligence
- Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills
- Customer Service Skills
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Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
- Effective Decision Making
- Decision-Making Framework
- Introduction to Problem Solving
Identifying and Structuring Problems
Investigating Ideas and Solutions
Implementing a Solution and Feedback
- Creative Problem-Solving
- Negotiation and Persuasion Skills
- Personal and Romantic Relationship Skills
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The SkillsYouNeed Guide to Interpersonal Skills
Making decisions and solving problems are two key areas in life, whether you are at home or at work. Whatever you’re doing, and wherever you are, you are faced with countless decisions and problems, both small and large, every day.
Many decisions and problems are so small that we may not even notice them. Even small decisions, however, can be overwhelming to some people. They may come to a halt as they consider their dilemma and try to decide what to do.
Small and Large Decisions
In your day-to-day life you're likely to encounter numerous 'small decisions', including, for example:
Tea or coffee?
What shall I have in my sandwich? Or should I have a salad instead today?
What shall I wear today?
Larger decisions may occur less frequently but may include:
Should we repaint the kitchen? If so, what colour?
Should we relocate?
Should I propose to my partner? Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with him/her?
These decisions, and others like them, may take considerable time and effort to make.
The relationship between decision-making and problem-solving is complex. Decision-making is perhaps best thought of as a key part of problem-solving: one part of the overall process.
Our approach at Skills You Need is to set out a framework to help guide you through the decision-making process. You won’t always need to use the whole framework, or even use it at all, but you may find it useful if you are a bit ‘stuck’ and need something to help you make a difficult decision.
This page provides information about ways of making a decision, including basing it on logic or emotion (‘gut feeling’). It also explains what can stop you making an effective decision, including too much or too little information, and not really caring about the outcome.
A Decision-Making Framework
This page sets out one possible framework for decision-making.
The framework described is quite extensive, and may seem quite formal. But it is also a helpful process to run through in a briefer form, for smaller problems, as it will help you to make sure that you really do have all the information that you need.
Introduction to Problem-Solving
This page provides a general introduction to the idea of problem-solving. It explores the idea of goals (things that you want to achieve) and barriers (things that may prevent you from achieving your goals), and explains the problem-solving process at a broad level.
The first stage in solving any problem is to identify it, and then break it down into its component parts. Even the biggest, most intractable-seeming problems, can become much more manageable if they are broken down into smaller parts. This page provides some advice about techniques you can use to do so.
Sometimes, the possible options to address your problem are obvious. At other times, you may need to involve others, or think more laterally to find alternatives. This page explains some principles, and some tools and techniques to help you do so.
Having generated solutions, you need to decide which one to take, which is where decision-making meets problem-solving. But once decided, there is another step: to deliver on your decision, and then see if your chosen solution works. This page helps you through this process.
‘Social’ problems are those that we encounter in everyday life, including money trouble, problems with other people, health problems and crime. These problems, like any others, are best solved using a framework to identify the problem, work out the options for addressing it, and then deciding which option to use.
This page provides more information about the key skills needed for practical problem-solving in real life.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
The Skills You Need Guide to Interpersonal Skills eBooks.
Develop your interpersonal skills with our series of eBooks. Learn about and improve your communication skills, tackle conflict resolution, mediate in difficult situations, and develop your emotional intelligence.
Guiding you through the key skills needed in life
As always at Skills You Need, our approach to these key skills is to provide practical ways to manage the process, and to develop your skills.
Neither problem-solving nor decision-making is an intrinsically difficult process and we hope you will find our pages useful in developing your skills.
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See also: Improving Communication Interpersonal Communication Skills Building Confidence
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Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making
This course is part of multiple programs. Learn more
This course is part of multiple programs
Taught in English
Some content may not be translated
Instructor: Diane Spiegel
Financial aid available
238,091 already enrolled
What you'll learn
Explain both the affordances and limitations associated with problem-solving and decision-making
Reflect on how mindset and personal bias influence your ability to solve problems and make decisions
Explain and discuss how organizational decisions or non-decisions impact personal development, team dynamics, and company-wide performance
Articulate how both good and bad team decisions can benefit your professional growth
Skills you'll gain
- Critical Thinking
- Decision Theory
- Problem Solving
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There are 4 modules in this course
Problem-solving and effective decision-making are essential skills in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing workplace. Both require a systematic yet creative approach to address today’s business concerns. This course will teach an overarching process of how to identify problems to generate potential solutions and how to apply decision-making styles in order to implement and assess those solutions. Through this process, you will gain confidence in assessing problems accurately, selecting the appropriate decision-making approaches for the situation at hand, making team decisions, and measuring the success of the solution’s implementation. Using case studies and situations encountered by class members, you will explore proven, successful problem-solving and decision-making models and methods that can be readily transferred to workplace projects.
Upon completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Identify key terms, styles, and approaches to effective problem-solving and decision-making 2. Explain both the affordances and limitations associated with problem-solving and decision-making 3. Reflect on how mindset and personal bias influence your ability to solve problems and make decisions 4. Explain and discuss how organizational decisions or non-decisions impact personal development, team dynamics, and company-wide performance 5. Articulate how both good and bad team decisions can benefit your professional growth
Identify the Problem
Problem-solving is an essential skill in today's fast-paced and ever-changing workplace. It requires a systematic approach that incorporates effective decision-making. Throughout this course, we will learn an overarching process of identifying problems to generate potential solutions, then apply decision-making styles in order to implement and assess those solutions. In this module, we will learn to identify problems by using a root cause approach as a foundational tool. Additionally, we will address problem parameters that often occur in business situations. Throughout this course, we will utilize a case scenario that will provide specific examples to illustrate the steps in the problem-solving and decision-making process.
2 videos 7 readings 1 quiz 1 discussion prompt
2 videos • Total 5 minutes
- Accurately Identify the Problem • 5 minutes • Preview module
- New Video • 0 minutes
7 readings • Total 55 minutes
- Problem Solving in Today’s Workplace • 5 minutes
- Introduction: Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Process • 10 minutes
- The Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Process • 5 minutes
- Course Example: Hybrid Work Environment • 5 minutes
- Parameters • 10 minutes
- Identify the Problem • 15 minutes
- Review: Identify the Problem • 5 minutes
1 quiz • Total 30 minutes
- Module 1 Quiz • 30 minutes
1 discussion prompt • Total 30 minutes
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Process • 30 minutes
In the previous module, we learned how to identify the root cause of a problem. Now we will discuss how mindset and personal bias can potentially limit creativity in solving workplace challenges. We’ll review problem-solving styles and creativity enhancement approaches to generate a variety of unique solutions while addressing constraints and limited resources.
1 video 6 readings 1 quiz 1 discussion prompt
1 video • Total 4 minutes
- Generate Multiple Solutions with Various Team Perspectives • 4 minutes • Preview module
6 readings • Total 80 minutes
- Introduction • 5 minutes
- Mindset & Personal Bias • 10 minutes
- Problem Solving Styles • 20 minutes
- Generate Solutions • 30 minutes
- Generate Solutions: Hybrid Work Environment Example • 10 minutes
- Review: Generate Solutions • 5 minutes
- Module 2 Quiz • 30 minutes
- Mindset & Personal Bias • 30 minutes
Make the Decision
In the previous module, we learned how to generate a variety of creative solutions. Now we need to decide which solution is the best option. We will explore which decision-making styles lend themselves to best solve the problem given its affordances and limitations. Tips for making better decisions are outlined as well as hazards to avoid.
1 video 5 readings 1 quiz 1 discussion prompt
1 video • Total 3 minutes
- Make the Decision • 3 minutes • Preview module
5 readings • Total 55 minutes
- Decisions Making Styles • 10 minutes
- Choose a Solution • 20 minutes
- Make the Decision: Hybrid Work Environment Example • 10 minutes
- Review: Make the Decision • 10 minutes
- Module 3 Quiz • 30 minutes
- The Impact of Decisions • 30 minutes
Implement and Assess the Solution
In the previous module, we learned how to make the decision given the best information at hand. Once the decision is made, it’s time to implement and assess the chosen solution. As we get ready to implement, we are well-served to review situational variables as elements in the environment may have shifted during the decision-making process. We will also need to define the solution’s performance metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in order to later measure or assess the solution’s impact on the organization. Anecdotal data is equally valuable as it can share the emotional impact on employees.
- Measure Success Through Data • 3 minutes • Preview module
- Implement the Solution • 30 minutes
- Assess the Solution • 10 minutes
- Review: Implement and Assess the Solution • 5 minutes
- Final Message • 5 minutes
- Module 4 Quiz • 30 minutes
- Implement & Assess the Solution • 30 minutes
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Reviewed on Dec 24, 2022
thanks to this course i been more enhance my skill of problem solving in my profession and using different technique to solve the problems and making the best decission making
Reviewed on May 16, 2023
The course was like a refresher to me and it was fun learning it. It was easy to understand and the videos makes it more easy to summarize the content of the topic.
Reviewed on Aug 9, 2023
Easy to go through course. Well build up with good example. Last part of the course was a bit confusing (situational variables / metrics KPI's) as it actually used same wording.
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Problem-Solving Strategies and Obstacles
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Sean is a fact-checker and researcher with experience in sociology, field research, and data analytics.
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From deciding what to eat for dinner to considering whether it's the right time to buy a house, problem-solving is a large part of our daily lives. Learn some of the problem-solving strategies that exist and how to use them in real life, along with ways to overcome obstacles that are making it harder to resolve the issues you face.
What Is Problem-Solving?
In cognitive psychology , the term 'problem-solving' refers to the mental process that people go through to discover, analyze, and solve problems.
A problem exists when there is a goal that we want to achieve but the process by which we will achieve it is not obvious to us. Put another way, there is something that we want to occur in our life, yet we are not immediately certain how to make it happen.
Maybe you want a better relationship with your spouse or another family member but you're not sure how to improve it. Or you want to start a business but are unsure what steps to take. Problem-solving helps you figure out how to achieve these desires.
The problem-solving process involves:
- Discovery of the problem
- Deciding to tackle the issue
- Seeking to understand the problem more fully
- Researching available options or solutions
- Taking action to resolve the issue
Before problem-solving can occur, it is important to first understand the exact nature of the problem itself. If your understanding of the issue is faulty, your attempts to resolve it will also be incorrect or flawed.
Problem-Solving Mental Processes
Several mental processes are at work during problem-solving. Among them are:
- Perceptually recognizing the problem
- Representing the problem in memory
- Considering relevant information that applies to the problem
- Identifying different aspects of the problem
- Labeling and describing the problem
There are many ways to go about solving a problem. Some of these strategies might be used on their own, or you may decide to employ multiple approaches when working to figure out and fix a problem.
An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure that, by following certain "rules" produces a solution. Algorithms are commonly used in mathematics to solve division or multiplication problems. But they can be used in other fields as well.
In psychology, algorithms can be used to help identify individuals with a greater risk of mental health issues. For instance, research suggests that certain algorithms might help us recognize children with an elevated risk of suicide or self-harm.
One benefit of algorithms is that they guarantee an accurate answer. However, they aren't always the best approach to problem-solving, in part because detecting patterns can be incredibly time-consuming.
There are also concerns when machine learning is involved—also known as artificial intelligence (AI)—such as whether they can accurately predict human behaviors.
Heuristics are shortcut strategies that people can use to solve a problem at hand. These "rule of thumb" approaches allow you to simplify complex problems, reducing the total number of possible solutions to a more manageable set.
If you find yourself sitting in a traffic jam, for example, you may quickly consider other routes, taking one to get moving once again. When shopping for a new car, you might think back to a prior experience when negotiating got you a lower price, then employ the same tactics.
While heuristics may be helpful when facing smaller issues, major decisions shouldn't necessarily be made using a shortcut approach. Heuristics also don't guarantee an effective solution, such as when trying to drive around a traffic jam only to find yourself on an equally crowded route.
Trial and Error
A trial-and-error approach to problem-solving involves trying a number of potential solutions to a particular issue, then ruling out those that do not work. If you're not sure whether to buy a shirt in blue or green, for instance, you may try on each before deciding which one to purchase.
This can be a good strategy to use if you have a limited number of solutions available. But if there are many different choices available, narrowing down the possible options using another problem-solving technique can be helpful before attempting trial and error.
In some cases, the solution to a problem can appear as a sudden insight. You are facing an issue in a relationship or your career when, out of nowhere, the solution appears in your mind and you know exactly what to do.
Insight can occur when the problem in front of you is similar to an issue that you've dealt with in the past. Although, you may not recognize what is occurring since the underlying mental processes that lead to insight often happen outside of conscious awareness .
Research indicates that insight is most likely to occur during times when you are alone—such as when going on a walk by yourself, when you're in the shower, or when lying in bed after waking up.
How to Apply Problem-Solving Strategies in Real Life
If you're facing a problem, you can implement one or more of these strategies to find a potential solution. Here's how to use them in real life:
- Create a flow chart . If you have time, you can take advantage of the algorithm approach to problem-solving by sitting down and making a flow chart of each potential solution, its consequences, and what happens next.
- Recall your past experiences . When a problem needs to be solved fairly quickly, heuristics may be a better approach. Think back to when you faced a similar issue, then use your knowledge and experience to choose the best option possible.
- Start trying potential solutions . If your options are limited, start trying them one by one to see which solution is best for achieving your desired goal. If a particular solution doesn't work, move on to the next.
- Take some time alone . Since insight is often achieved when you're alone, carve out time to be by yourself for a while. The answer to your problem may come to you, seemingly out of the blue, if you spend some time away from others.
Obstacles to Problem-Solving
Problem-solving is not a flawless process as there are a number of obstacles that can interfere with our ability to solve a problem quickly and efficiently. These obstacles include:
- Assumptions: When dealing with a problem, people can make assumptions about the constraints and obstacles that prevent certain solutions. Thus, they may not even try some potential options.
- Functional fixedness : This term refers to the tendency to view problems only in their customary manner. Functional fixedness prevents people from fully seeing all of the different options that might be available to find a solution.
- Irrelevant or misleading information: When trying to solve a problem, it's important to distinguish between information that is relevant to the issue and irrelevant data that can lead to faulty solutions. The more complex the problem, the easier it is to focus on misleading or irrelevant information.
- Mental set: A mental set is a tendency to only use solutions that have worked in the past rather than looking for alternative ideas. A mental set can work as a heuristic, making it a useful problem-solving tool. However, mental sets can also lead to inflexibility, making it more difficult to find effective solutions.
How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
In the end, if your goal is to become a better problem-solver, it's helpful to remember that this is a process. Thus, if you want to improve your problem-solving skills, following these steps can help lead you to your solution:
- Recognize that a problem exists . If you are facing a problem, there are generally signs. For instance, if you have a mental illness , you may experience excessive fear or sadness, mood changes, and changes in sleeping or eating habits. Recognizing these signs can help you realize that an issue exists.
- Decide to solve the problem . Make a conscious decision to solve the issue at hand. Commit to yourself that you will go through the steps necessary to find a solution.
- Seek to fully understand the issue . Analyze the problem you face, looking at it from all sides. If your problem is relationship-related, for instance, ask yourself how the other person may be interpreting the issue. You might also consider how your actions might be contributing to the situation.
- Research potential options . Using the problem-solving strategies mentioned, research potential solutions. Make a list of options, then consider each one individually. What are some pros and cons of taking the available routes? What would you need to do to make them happen?
- Take action . Select the best solution possible and take action. Action is one of the steps required for change . So, go through the motions needed to resolve the issue.
- Try another option, if needed . If the solution you chose didn't work, don't give up. Either go through the problem-solving process again or simply try another option.
You can find a way to solve your problems as long as you keep working toward this goal—even if the best solution is simply to let go because no other good solution exists.
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Stewart SL, Celebre A, Hirdes JP, Poss JW. Risk of suicide and self-harm in kids: The development of an algorithm to identify high-risk individuals within the children's mental health system . Child Psychiat Human Develop . 2020;51:913-924. doi:10.1007/s10578-020-00968-9
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By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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The Difference Between Problem Solving and Decision Making
Decision making and problem solving are two related but different skill sets that apply to distinct business challenges. Sometimes leaders use decision-making techniques when they should be using a problem-solving approach, and vice versa. Knowing the difference between problem solving and decision making and understanding which skill to utilize in a particular situation will help you overcome challenges more quickly.
Seeking a Solution, or Choosing Between Options?
Both decision making and problem solving use information to inform a certain action, but that’s where the similarities end. Problem solving is the process of finding a solution to an ongoing, intermittent, or one-time failure of a process or system to perform at an acceptable level — or perform at all. It consists of identifying the causes through asking basic questions like “where,” “how,” “who,” and “why” to find the solution. Decision making involves choosing between different courses of action by evaluating each based on a set of criteria. It requires implementing an action plan based on what you have learned from problem solving.
A helpful way to illustrate the difference between problem solving and decision making is to consider the difference between a detective and a judge. As anyone who has seen an episode of Law & Order knows, a detective is a problem-solver. Their role is to determine who committed the crime based on evidence. A judge is a decision-maker. They weigh evidence, circumstances, and precedent to arrive at a judgment.
Understanding Differences in Processes and Outcomes
The process of decision making is clear: each option is evaluated based on a set of parameters or criteria. But the outcome is uncertain until a specific decision is made and time tells how well it worked — or didn’t work.
The process of problem solving is not immediately clear. Initially you might not understand the root of the problem, which makes it difficult to know where to start. For example, you can see that the conveyor belt in your warehouse isn’t working, but what made the motor controlling it stop working remains a mystery until you diagnose the problem, system by system. Once the problem is determined and addressed, the outcome is clear: the conveyor belt is again working.
In business, typical problems could be:
- Customer churn is increasing. Solution: expand product offering.
- The organization’s carbon footprint is too big and costly. Solution: implement green initiatives.
- A team is struggling to keep up with leads and organize customer data. Solution: implement a customer relationship management [CRM] system.
The associated complex decisions would be:
- Determining what new product to launch
- Selecting the green strategies that best balance cost and effectiveness
- Identifying which CRM solution is right for your organization
Problem solving and Decision Making: Best Practices
Whether problem solving or decision making, there are some factors you should consider to make the process as successful and efficient as possible. When problem solving, make sure to gather as many facts as you can, which will help make the solution more obvious. For example, app development companies will often take a “ test and learn ” approach to determine what customers want and need in an app. They’ll create a beta version, provide it free-of-charge to customers, and then analyze that data to develop a paid app that meets customer needs.
When making decisions, be action-oriented. This means that you should be able to act on your decisions. Many of your decisions, especially those concerning complex issues, should involve other key employees and subject matter experts for the best results. Gather a team with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to help you consider a wide range of options. Be open to feedback; even the most carefully made decision may not work out as expected when implemented. And lastly, you should adopt a decision-making framework that enables you to make the best decisions possible on a consistent basis, in a variety of scenarios.
- Ken Thompson
5 thoughts on “the difference between problem solving and decision making”.
Hi Ken. Problem solving is a skill based on creativity and the ability to see things from many points of view. Decision making in particular requires the ability to manage emotions and a strong sense of responsibility. These are two very important skills in every area and in great demand at work. In the business environment, every good leader should be provided with them to perform at his best in his role.
Thank you for the insight. Agreed – creativity is key for problem solving. Thank you again for visiting the blog, and if you’re interested in learning more on the topic, you might find our Complex Decision Making for Leaders guide helpful. https://alignorg.com/guide/complex-decision-making-for-leaders/
I need help about the similarities of problem solving and decision making
We have an Executive Guide that might help you. You can find it here: https://alignorg.com/guide/complex-decision-making-for-leaders/ .
Every problem solving procedure is made of at least one process of divergent and convergent thinking. In the first part after determining the problem we should look for many many possible solutions in hand (which is one of the many many definitions of creativity). This is the divergent part of thinking (one to many). After having the options in hand, we encounter the second obstacle, i.e. looking for the best option from the many. This second part needs some convergent thinking and decision making skills (many to one). Then, I think the decision making in many cases is a part of problem solving procedure.
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- 7 important steps in the decision makin ...
7 important steps in the decision making process
The decision making process is a method of gathering information, assessing alternatives, and making a final choice with the goal of making the best decision possible. In this article, we detail the step-by-step process on how to make a good decision and explain different decision making methodologies.
We make decisions every day. Take the bus to work or call a car? Chocolate or vanilla ice cream? Whole milk or two percent?
There's an entire process that goes into making those tiny decisions, and while these are simple, easy choices, how do we end up making more challenging decisions?
At work, decisions aren't as simple as choosing what kind of milk you want in your latte in the morning. That’s why understanding the decision making process is so important.
What is the decision making process?
The decision making process is the method of gathering information, assessing alternatives, and, ultimately, making a final choice.
Decision-making tools for agile businesses
In this ebook, learn how to equip employees to make better decisions—so your business can pivot, adapt, and tackle challenges more effectively than your competition.
The 7 steps of the decision making process
Step 1: identify the decision that needs to be made.
When you're identifying the decision, ask yourself a few questions:
What is the problem that needs to be solved?
What is the goal you plan to achieve by implementing this decision?
How will you measure success?
These questions are all common goal setting techniques that will ultimately help you come up with possible solutions. When the problem is clearly defined, you then have more information to come up with the best decision to solve the problem.
Step 2: Gather relevant information
Gathering information related to the decision being made is an important step to making an informed decision. Does your team have any historical data as it relates to this issue? Has anybody attempted to solve this problem before?
It's also important to look for information outside of your team or company. Effective decision making requires information from many different sources. Find external resources, whether it’s doing market research, working with a consultant, or talking with colleagues at a different company who have relevant experience. Gathering information helps your team identify different solutions to your problem.
Step 3: Identify alternative solutions
This step requires you to look for many different solutions for the problem at hand. Finding more than one possible alternative is important when it comes to business decision-making, because different stakeholders may have different needs depending on their role. For example, if a company is looking for a work management tool, the design team may have different needs than a development team. Choosing only one solution right off the bat might not be the right course of action.
Step 4: Weigh the evidence
This is when you take all of the different solutions you’ve come up with and analyze how they would address your initial problem. Your team begins identifying the pros and cons of each option, and eliminating alternatives from those choices.
There are a few common ways your team can analyze and weigh the evidence of options:
Pros and cons list
Step 5: Choose among the alternatives
The next step is to make your final decision. Consider all of the information you've collected and how this decision may affect each stakeholder.
Sometimes the right decision is not one of the alternatives, but a blend of a few different alternatives. Effective decision-making involves creative problem solving and thinking out of the box, so don't limit you or your teams to clear-cut options.
One of the key values at Asana is to reject false tradeoffs. Choosing just one decision can mean losing benefits in others. If you can, try and find options that go beyond just the alternatives presented.
Step 6: Take action
Once the final decision maker gives the green light, it's time to put the solution into action. Take the time to create an implementation plan so that your team is on the same page for next steps. Then it’s time to put your plan into action and monitor progress to determine whether or not this decision was a good one.
Step 7: Review your decision and its impact (both good and bad)
Once you’ve made a decision, you can monitor the success metrics you outlined in step 1. This is how you determine whether or not this solution meets your team's criteria of success.
Here are a few questions to consider when reviewing your decision:
Did it solve the problem your team identified in step 1?
Did this decision impact your team in a positive or negative way?
Which stakeholders benefited from this decision? Which stakeholders were impacted negatively?
If this solution was not the best alternative, your team might benefit from using an iterative form of project management. This enables your team to quickly adapt to changes, and make the best decisions with the resources they have.
Types of decision making models
While most decision making models revolve around the same seven steps, here are a few different methodologies to help you make a good decision.
Rational decision making models
This type of decision making model is the most common type that you'll see. It's logical and sequential. The seven steps listed above are an example of the rational decision making model.
When your decision has a big impact on your team and you need to maximize outcomes, this is the type of decision making process you should use. It requires you to consider a wide range of viewpoints with little bias so you can make the best decision possible.
Intuitive decision making models
This type of decision making model is dictated not by information or data, but by gut instincts. This form of decision making requires previous experience and pattern recognition to form strong instincts.
This type of decision making is often made by decision makers who have a lot of experience with similar kinds of problems. They have already had proven success with the solution they're looking to implement.
Creative decision making model
The creative decision making model involves collecting information and insights about a problem and coming up with potential ideas for a solution, similar to the rational decision making model.
The difference here is that instead of identifying the pros and cons of each alternative, the decision maker enters a period in which they try not to actively think about the solution at all. The goal is to have their subconscious take over and lead them to the right decision, similar to the intuitive decision making model.
This situation is best used in an iterative process so that teams can test their solutions and adapt as things change.
Track key decisions with a work management tool
Tracking key decisions can be challenging when not documented correctly. Learn more about how a work management tool like Asana can help your team track key decisions, collaborate with teammates, and stay on top of progress all in one place.
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When Your Go-To Problem-Solving Approach Fails
- Cheryl Strauss Einhorn
Eight steps to help you assess what’s not working — and why.
We make decisions all day, every day. The way we make decisions depends largely on context and our own unique problem-solving style. But, sometimes a tough workplace situation turns our usual problem-solving style on its head. Situationality is the culmination of many factors including location, life stage, decision ownership, and team dynamics. To make effective choices in the workplace, we often need to put our well-worn decision-making habits to the side and carefully ponder all aspects of the situation at hand.
Have you ever noticed that when you go home to your parents’ house, no matter what age you are, you make decisions differently than when you’re at work or out with a group of friends? For many of us, this is a familiar and sometimes frustrating experience — for example, allowing our parent to serve us more food than we want to eat. We feel like adults in our day-to-day lives, but when we step into our childhood homes we revert.
- Cheryl Strauss Einhorn is the founder and CEO of Decisive, a decision sciences company using her AREA Method decision-making system for individuals, companies, and nonprofits looking to solve complex problems. Decisive offers digital tools and in-person training, workshops, coaching and consulting. Cheryl is a long-time educator teaching at Columbia Business School and Cornell and has won several journalism awards for her investigative news stories. She’s authored two books on complex problem solving, Problem Solved for personal and professional decisions, and Investing In Financial Research about business, financial, and investment decisions. Her new book, Problem Solver, is about the psychology of personal decision-making and Problem Solver Profiles. For more information please watch Cheryl’s TED talk and visit areamethod.com .
35 problem-solving techniques and methods for solving complex problems
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All teams and organizations encounter challenges as they grow. There are problems that might occur for teams when it comes to miscommunication or resolving business-critical issues . You may face challenges around growth , design , user engagement, and even team culture and happiness. In short, problem-solving techniques should be part of every team’s skillset.
Problem-solving methods are primarily designed to help a group or team through a process of first identifying problems and challenges , ideating possible solutions , and then evaluating the most suitable .
Finding effective solutions to complex problems isn’t easy, but by using the right process and techniques, you can help your team be more efficient in the process.
So how do you develop strategies that are engaging, and empower your team to solve problems effectively?
In this blog post, we share a series of problem-solving tools you can use in your next workshop or team meeting. You’ll also find some tips for facilitating the process and how to enable others to solve complex problems.
Let’s get started!
How do you identify problems?
How do you identify the right solution.
- Tips for more effective problem-solving
Complete problem-solving methods
- Problem-solving techniques to identify and analyze problems
- Problem-solving techniques for developing solutions
Problem-solving warm-up activities
Closing activities for a problem-solving process.
Before you can move towards finding the right solution for a given problem, you first need to identify and define the problem you wish to solve.
Here, you want to clearly articulate what the problem is and allow your group to do the same. Remember that everyone in a group is likely to have differing perspectives and alignment is necessary in order to help the group move forward.
Identifying a problem accurately also requires that all members of a group are able to contribute their views in an open and safe manner. It can be scary for people to stand up and contribute, especially if the problems or challenges are emotive or personal in nature. Be sure to try and create a psychologically safe space for these kinds of discussions.
Remember that problem analysis and further discussion are also important. Not taking the time to fully analyze and discuss a challenge can result in the development of solutions that are not fit for purpose or do not address the underlying issue.
Successfully identifying and then analyzing a problem means facilitating a group through activities designed to help them clearly and honestly articulate their thoughts and produce usable insight.
With this data, you might then produce a problem statement that clearly describes the problem you wish to be addressed and also state the goal of any process you undertake to tackle this issue.
Finding solutions is the end goal of any process. Complex organizational challenges can only be solved with an appropriate solution but discovering them requires using the right problem-solving tool.
After you’ve explored a problem and discussed ideas, you need to help a team discuss and choose the right solution. Consensus tools and methods such as those below help a group explore possible solutions before then voting for the best. They’re a great way to tap into the collective intelligence of the group for great results!
Remember that the process is often iterative. Great problem solvers often roadtest a viable solution in a measured way to see what works too. While you might not get the right solution on your first try, the methods below help teams land on the most likely to succeed solution while also holding space for improvement.
Every effective problem solving process begins with an agenda . A well-structured workshop is one of the best methods for successfully guiding a group from exploring a problem to implementing a solution.
In SessionLab, it’s easy to go from an idea to a complete agenda . Start by dragging and dropping your core problem solving activities into place . Add timings, breaks and necessary materials before sharing your agenda with your colleagues.
The resulting agenda will be your guide to an effective and productive problem solving session that will also help you stay organized on the day!
Tips for more effective problem solving
Problem-solving activities are only one part of the puzzle. While a great method can help unlock your team’s ability to solve problems, without a thoughtful approach and strong facilitation the solutions may not be fit for purpose.
Let’s take a look at some problem-solving tips you can apply to any process to help it be a success!
Clearly define the problem
Jumping straight to solutions can be tempting, though without first clearly articulating a problem, the solution might not be the right one. Many of the problem-solving activities below include sections where the problem is explored and clearly defined before moving on.
This is a vital part of the problem-solving process and taking the time to fully define an issue can save time and effort later. A clear definition helps identify irrelevant information and it also ensures that your team sets off on the right track.
Don’t jump to conclusions
It’s easy for groups to exhibit cognitive bias or have preconceived ideas about both problems and potential solutions. Be sure to back up any problem statements or potential solutions with facts, research, and adequate forethought.
The best techniques ask participants to be methodical and challenge preconceived notions. Make sure you give the group enough time and space to collect relevant information and consider the problem in a new way. By approaching the process with a clear, rational mindset, you’ll often find that better solutions are more forthcoming.
Try different approaches
Problems come in all shapes and sizes and so too should the methods you use to solve them. If you find that one approach isn’t yielding results and your team isn’t finding different solutions, try mixing it up. You’ll be surprised at how using a new creative activity can unblock your team and generate great solutions.
Don’t take it personally
Depending on the nature of your team or organizational problems, it’s easy for conversations to get heated. While it’s good for participants to be engaged in the discussions, ensure that emotions don’t run too high and that blame isn’t thrown around while finding solutions.
You’re all in it together, and even if your team or area is seeing problems, that isn’t necessarily a disparagement of you personally. Using facilitation skills to manage group dynamics is one effective method of helping conversations be more constructive.
Get the right people in the room
Your problem-solving method is often only as effective as the group using it. Getting the right people on the job and managing the number of people present is important too!
If the group is too small, you may not get enough different perspectives to effectively solve a problem. If the group is too large, you can go round and round during the ideation stages.
Creating the right group makeup is also important in ensuring you have the necessary expertise and skillset to both identify and follow up on potential solutions. Carefully consider who to include at each stage to help ensure your problem-solving method is followed and positioned for success.
The best solutions can take refinement, iteration, and reflection to come out. Get into a habit of documenting your process in order to keep all the learnings from the session and to allow ideas to mature and develop. Many of the methods below involve the creation of documents or shared resources. Be sure to keep and share these so everyone can benefit from the work done!
Bring a facilitator
Facilitation is all about making group processes easier. With a subject as potentially emotive and important as problem-solving, having an impartial third party in the form of a facilitator can make all the difference in finding great solutions and keeping the process moving. Consider bringing a facilitator to your problem-solving session to get better results and generate meaningful solutions!
Develop your problem-solving skills
It takes time and practice to be an effective problem solver. While some roles or participants might more naturally gravitate towards problem-solving, it can take development and planning to help everyone create better solutions.
You might develop a training program, run a problem-solving workshop or simply ask your team to practice using the techniques below. Check out our post on problem-solving skills to see how you and your group can develop the right mental process and be more resilient to issues too!
Design a great agenda
Workshops are a great format for solving problems. With the right approach, you can focus a group and help them find the solutions to their own problems. But designing a process can be time-consuming and finding the right activities can be difficult.
Check out our workshop planning guide to level-up your agenda design and start running more effective workshops. Need inspiration? Check out templates designed by expert facilitators to help you kickstart your process!
In this section, we’ll look at in-depth problem-solving methods that provide a complete end-to-end process for developing effective solutions. These will help guide your team from the discovery and definition of a problem through to delivering the right solution.
If you’re looking for an all-encompassing method or problem-solving model, these processes are a great place to start. They’ll ask your team to challenge preconceived ideas and adopt a mindset for solving problems more effectively.
- Six Thinking Hats
- Lightning Decision Jam
- Problem Definition Process
- Discovery & Action Dialogue
Design Sprint 2.0
- Open Space Technology
1. Six Thinking Hats
Individual approaches to solving a problem can be very different based on what team or role an individual holds. It can be easy for existing biases or perspectives to find their way into the mix, or for internal politics to direct a conversation.
Six Thinking Hats is a classic method for identifying the problems that need to be solved and enables your team to consider them from different angles, whether that is by focusing on facts and data, creative solutions, or by considering why a particular solution might not work.
Like all problem-solving frameworks, Six Thinking Hats is effective at helping teams remove roadblocks from a conversation or discussion and come to terms with all the aspects necessary to solve complex problems.
2. Lightning Decision Jam
Featured courtesy of Jonathan Courtney of AJ&Smart Berlin, Lightning Decision Jam is one of those strategies that should be in every facilitation toolbox. Exploring problems and finding solutions is often creative in nature, though as with any creative process, there is the potential to lose focus and get lost.
Unstructured discussions might get you there in the end, but it’s much more effective to use a method that creates a clear process and team focus.
In Lightning Decision Jam, participants are invited to begin by writing challenges, concerns, or mistakes on post-its without discussing them before then being invited by the moderator to present them to the group.
From there, the team vote on which problems to solve and are guided through steps that will allow them to reframe those problems, create solutions and then decide what to execute on.
By deciding the problems that need to be solved as a team before moving on, this group process is great for ensuring the whole team is aligned and can take ownership over the next stages.
Lightning Decision Jam (LDJ) #action #decision making #problem solving #issue analysis #innovation #design #remote-friendly The problem with anything that requires creative thinking is that it’s easy to get lost—lose focus and fall into the trap of having useless, open-ended, unstructured discussions. Here’s the most effective solution I’ve found: Replace all open, unstructured discussion with a clear process. What to use this exercise for: Anything which requires a group of people to make decisions, solve problems or discuss challenges. It’s always good to frame an LDJ session with a broad topic, here are some examples: The conversion flow of our checkout Our internal design process How we organise events Keeping up with our competition Improving sales flow
3. Problem Definition Process
While problems can be complex, the problem-solving methods you use to identify and solve those problems can often be simple in design.
By taking the time to truly identify and define a problem before asking the group to reframe the challenge as an opportunity, this method is a great way to enable change.
Begin by identifying a focus question and exploring the ways in which it manifests before splitting into five teams who will each consider the problem using a different method: escape, reversal, exaggeration, distortion or wishful. Teams develop a problem objective and create ideas in line with their method before then feeding them back to the group.
This method is great for enabling in-depth discussions while also creating space for finding creative solutions too!
Problem Definition #problem solving #idea generation #creativity #online #remote-friendly A problem solving technique to define a problem, challenge or opportunity and to generate ideas.
4. The 5 Whys
Sometimes, a group needs to go further with their strategies and analyze the root cause at the heart of organizational issues. An RCA or root cause analysis is the process of identifying what is at the heart of business problems or recurring challenges.
The 5 Whys is a simple and effective method of helping a group go find the root cause of any problem or challenge and conduct analysis that will deliver results.
By beginning with the creation of a problem statement and going through five stages to refine it, The 5 Whys provides everything you need to truly discover the cause of an issue.
The 5 Whys #hyperisland #innovation This simple and powerful method is useful for getting to the core of a problem or challenge. As the title suggests, the group defines a problems, then asks the question “why” five times, often using the resulting explanation as a starting point for creative problem solving.
5. World Cafe
World Cafe is a simple but powerful facilitation technique to help bigger groups to focus their energy and attention on solving complex problems.
World Cafe enables this approach by creating a relaxed atmosphere where participants are able to self-organize and explore topics relevant and important to them which are themed around a central problem-solving purpose. Create the right atmosphere by modeling your space after a cafe and after guiding the group through the method, let them take the lead!
Making problem-solving a part of your organization’s culture in the long term can be a difficult undertaking. More approachable formats like World Cafe can be especially effective in bringing people unfamiliar with workshops into the fold.
World Cafe #hyperisland #innovation #issue analysis World Café is a simple yet powerful method, originated by Juanita Brown, for enabling meaningful conversations driven completely by participants and the topics that are relevant and important to them. Facilitators create a cafe-style space and provide simple guidelines. Participants then self-organize and explore a set of relevant topics or questions for conversation.
6. Discovery & Action Dialogue (DAD)
One of the best approaches is to create a safe space for a group to share and discover practices and behaviors that can help them find their own solutions.
With DAD, you can help a group choose which problems they wish to solve and which approaches they will take to do so. It’s great at helping remove resistance to change and can help get buy-in at every level too!
This process of enabling frontline ownership is great in ensuring follow-through and is one of the methods you will want in your toolbox as a facilitator.
Discovery & Action Dialogue (DAD) #idea generation #liberating structures #action #issue analysis #remote-friendly DADs make it easy for a group or community to discover practices and behaviors that enable some individuals (without access to special resources and facing the same constraints) to find better solutions than their peers to common problems. These are called positive deviant (PD) behaviors and practices. DADs make it possible for people in the group, unit, or community to discover by themselves these PD practices. DADs also create favorable conditions for stimulating participants’ creativity in spaces where they can feel safe to invent new and more effective practices. Resistance to change evaporates as participants are unleashed to choose freely which practices they will adopt or try and which problems they will tackle. DADs make it possible to achieve frontline ownership of solutions.
7. Design Sprint 2.0
Want to see how a team can solve big problems and move forward with prototyping and testing solutions in a few days? The Design Sprint 2.0 template from Jake Knapp, author of Sprint, is a complete agenda for a with proven results.
Developing the right agenda can involve difficult but necessary planning. Ensuring all the correct steps are followed can also be stressful or time-consuming depending on your level of experience.
Use this complete 4-day workshop template if you are finding there is no obvious solution to your challenge and want to focus your team around a specific problem that might require a shortcut to launching a minimum viable product or waiting for the organization-wide implementation of a solution.
8. Open space technology
Open space technology- developed by Harrison Owen – creates a space where large groups are invited to take ownership of their problem solving and lead individual sessions. Open space technology is a great format when you have a great deal of expertise and insight in the room and want to allow for different takes and approaches on a particular theme or problem you need to be solved.
Start by bringing your participants together to align around a central theme and focus their efforts. Explain the ground rules to help guide the problem-solving process and then invite members to identify any issue connecting to the central theme that they are interested in and are prepared to take responsibility for.
Once participants have decided on their approach to the core theme, they write their issue on a piece of paper, announce it to the group, pick a session time and place, and post the paper on the wall. As the wall fills up with sessions, the group is then invited to join the sessions that interest them the most and which they can contribute to, then you’re ready to begin!
Everyone joins the problem-solving group they’ve signed up to, record the discussion and if appropriate, findings can then be shared with the rest of the group afterward.
Open Space Technology #action plan #idea generation #problem solving #issue analysis #large group #online #remote-friendly Open Space is a methodology for large groups to create their agenda discerning important topics for discussion, suitable for conferences, community gatherings and whole system facilitation
Techniques to identify and analyze problems
Using a problem-solving method to help a team identify and analyze a problem can be a quick and effective addition to any workshop or meeting.
While further actions are always necessary, you can generate momentum and alignment easily, and these activities are a great place to get started.
We’ve put together this list of techniques to help you and your team with problem identification, analysis, and discussion that sets the foundation for developing effective solutions.
Let’s take a look!
- The Creativity Dice
- Fishbone Analysis
- Problem Tree
- SWOT Analysis
- Agreement-Certainty Matrix
- The Journalistic Six
- LEGO Challenge
- What, So What, Now What?
Individual and group perspectives are incredibly important, but what happens if people are set in their minds and need a change of perspective in order to approach a problem more effectively?
Flip It is a method we love because it is both simple to understand and run, and allows groups to understand how their perspectives and biases are formed.
Participants in Flip It are first invited to consider concerns, issues, or problems from a perspective of fear and write them on a flip chart. Then, the group is asked to consider those same issues from a perspective of hope and flip their understanding.
No problem and solution is free from existing bias and by changing perspectives with Flip It, you can then develop a problem solving model quickly and effectively.
Flip It! #gamestorming #problem solving #action Often, a change in a problem or situation comes simply from a change in our perspectives. Flip It! is a quick game designed to show players that perspectives are made, not born.
10. The Creativity Dice
One of the most useful problem solving skills you can teach your team is of approaching challenges with creativity, flexibility, and openness. Games like The Creativity Dice allow teams to overcome the potential hurdle of too much linear thinking and approach the process with a sense of fun and speed.
In The Creativity Dice, participants are organized around a topic and roll a dice to determine what they will work on for a period of 3 minutes at a time. They might roll a 3 and work on investigating factual information on the chosen topic. They might roll a 1 and work on identifying the specific goals, standards, or criteria for the session.
Encouraging rapid work and iteration while asking participants to be flexible are great skills to cultivate. Having a stage for idea incubation in this game is also important. Moments of pause can help ensure the ideas that are put forward are the most suitable.
The Creativity Dice #creativity #problem solving #thiagi #issue analysis Too much linear thinking is hazardous to creative problem solving. To be creative, you should approach the problem (or the opportunity) from different points of view. You should leave a thought hanging in mid-air and move to another. This skipping around prevents premature closure and lets your brain incubate one line of thought while you consciously pursue another.
11. Fishbone Analysis
Organizational or team challenges are rarely simple, and it’s important to remember that one problem can be an indication of something that goes deeper and may require further consideration to be solved.
Fishbone Analysis helps groups to dig deeper and understand the origins of a problem. It’s a great example of a root cause analysis method that is simple for everyone on a team to get their head around.
Participants in this activity are asked to annotate a diagram of a fish, first adding the problem or issue to be worked on at the head of a fish before then brainstorming the root causes of the problem and adding them as bones on the fish.
Using abstractions such as a diagram of a fish can really help a team break out of their regular thinking and develop a creative approach.
Fishbone Analysis #problem solving ##root cause analysis #decision making #online facilitation A process to help identify and understand the origins of problems, issues or observations.
12. Problem Tree
Encouraging visual thinking can be an essential part of many strategies. By simply reframing and clarifying problems, a group can move towards developing a problem solving model that works for them.
In Problem Tree, groups are asked to first brainstorm a list of problems – these can be design problems, team problems or larger business problems – and then organize them into a hierarchy. The hierarchy could be from most important to least important or abstract to practical, though the key thing with problem solving games that involve this aspect is that your group has some way of managing and sorting all the issues that are raised.
Once you have a list of problems that need to be solved and have organized them accordingly, you’re then well-positioned for the next problem solving steps.
Problem tree #define intentions #create #design #issue analysis A problem tree is a tool to clarify the hierarchy of problems addressed by the team within a design project; it represents high level problems or related sublevel problems.
13. SWOT Analysis
Chances are you’ve heard of the SWOT Analysis before. This problem-solving method focuses on identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is a tried and tested method for both individuals and teams.
Start by creating a desired end state or outcome and bare this in mind – any process solving model is made more effective by knowing what you are moving towards. Create a quadrant made up of the four categories of a SWOT analysis and ask participants to generate ideas based on each of those quadrants.
Once you have those ideas assembled in their quadrants, cluster them together based on their affinity with other ideas. These clusters are then used to facilitate group conversations and move things forward.
SWOT analysis #gamestorming #problem solving #action #meeting facilitation The SWOT Analysis is a long-standing technique of looking at what we have, with respect to the desired end state, as well as what we could improve on. It gives us an opportunity to gauge approaching opportunities and dangers, and assess the seriousness of the conditions that affect our future. When we understand those conditions, we can influence what comes next.
14. Agreement-Certainty Matrix
Not every problem-solving approach is right for every challenge, and deciding on the right method for the challenge at hand is a key part of being an effective team.
The Agreement Certainty matrix helps teams align on the nature of the challenges facing them. By sorting problems from simple to chaotic, your team can understand what methods are suitable for each problem and what they can do to ensure effective results.
If you are already using Liberating Structures techniques as part of your problem-solving strategy, the Agreement-Certainty Matrix can be an invaluable addition to your process. We’ve found it particularly if you are having issues with recurring problems in your organization and want to go deeper in understanding the root cause.
Agreement-Certainty Matrix #issue analysis #liberating structures #problem solving You can help individuals or groups avoid the frequent mistake of trying to solve a problem with methods that are not adapted to the nature of their challenge. The combination of two questions makes it possible to easily sort challenges into four categories: simple, complicated, complex , and chaotic . A problem is simple when it can be solved reliably with practices that are easy to duplicate. It is complicated when experts are required to devise a sophisticated solution that will yield the desired results predictably. A problem is complex when there are several valid ways to proceed but outcomes are not predictable in detail. Chaotic is when the context is too turbulent to identify a path forward. A loose analogy may be used to describe these differences: simple is like following a recipe, complicated like sending a rocket to the moon, complex like raising a child, and chaotic is like the game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” The Liberating Structures Matching Matrix in Chapter 5 can be used as the first step to clarify the nature of a challenge and avoid the mismatches between problems and solutions that are frequently at the root of chronic, recurring problems.
Organizing and charting a team’s progress can be important in ensuring its success. SQUID (Sequential Question and Insight Diagram) is a great model that allows a team to effectively switch between giving questions and answers and develop the skills they need to stay on track throughout the process.
Begin with two different colored sticky notes – one for questions and one for answers – and with your central topic (the head of the squid) on the board. Ask the group to first come up with a series of questions connected to their best guess of how to approach the topic. Ask the group to come up with answers to those questions, fix them to the board and connect them with a line. After some discussion, go back to question mode by responding to the generated answers or other points on the board.
It’s rewarding to see a diagram grow throughout the exercise, and a completed SQUID can provide a visual resource for future effort and as an example for other teams.
SQUID #gamestorming #project planning #issue analysis #problem solving When exploring an information space, it’s important for a group to know where they are at any given time. By using SQUID, a group charts out the territory as they go and can navigate accordingly. SQUID stands for Sequential Question and Insight Diagram.
16. Speed Boat
To continue with our nautical theme, Speed Boat is a short and sweet activity that can help a team quickly identify what employees, clients or service users might have a problem with and analyze what might be standing in the way of achieving a solution.
Methods that allow for a group to make observations, have insights and obtain those eureka moments quickly are invaluable when trying to solve complex problems.
In Speed Boat, the approach is to first consider what anchors and challenges might be holding an organization (or boat) back. Bonus points if you are able to identify any sharks in the water and develop ideas that can also deal with competitors!
Speed Boat #gamestorming #problem solving #action Speedboat is a short and sweet way to identify what your employees or clients don’t like about your product/service or what’s standing in the way of a desired goal.
17. The Journalistic Six
Some of the most effective ways of solving problems is by encouraging teams to be more inclusive and diverse in their thinking.
Based on the six key questions journalism students are taught to answer in articles and news stories, The Journalistic Six helps create teams to see the whole picture. By using who, what, when, where, why, and how to facilitate the conversation and encourage creative thinking, your team can make sure that the problem identification and problem analysis stages of the are covered exhaustively and thoughtfully. Reporter’s notebook and dictaphone optional.
The Journalistic Six – Who What When Where Why How #idea generation #issue analysis #problem solving #online #creative thinking #remote-friendly A questioning method for generating, explaining, investigating ideas.
18. LEGO Challenge
Now for an activity that is a little out of the (toy) box. LEGO Serious Play is a facilitation methodology that can be used to improve creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
The LEGO Challenge includes giving each member of the team an assignment that is hidden from the rest of the group while they create a structure without speaking.
What the LEGO challenge brings to the table is a fun working example of working with stakeholders who might not be on the same page to solve problems. Also, it’s LEGO! Who doesn’t love LEGO!
LEGO Challenge #hyperisland #team A team-building activity in which groups must work together to build a structure out of LEGO, but each individual has a secret “assignment” which makes the collaborative process more challenging. It emphasizes group communication, leadership dynamics, conflict, cooperation, patience and problem solving strategy.
19. What, So What, Now What?
If not carefully managed, the problem identification and problem analysis stages of the problem-solving process can actually create more problems and misunderstandings.
The What, So What, Now What? problem-solving activity is designed to help collect insights and move forward while also eliminating the possibility of disagreement when it comes to identifying, clarifying, and analyzing organizational or work problems.
Facilitation is all about bringing groups together so that might work on a shared goal and the best problem-solving strategies ensure that teams are aligned in purpose, if not initially in opinion or insight.
Throughout the three steps of this game, you give everyone on a team to reflect on a problem by asking what happened, why it is important, and what actions should then be taken.
This can be a great activity for bringing our individual perceptions about a problem or challenge and contextualizing it in a larger group setting. This is one of the most important problem-solving skills you can bring to your organization.
W³ – What, So What, Now What? #issue analysis #innovation #liberating structures You can help groups reflect on a shared experience in a way that builds understanding and spurs coordinated action while avoiding unproductive conflict. It is possible for every voice to be heard while simultaneously sifting for insights and shaping new direction. Progressing in stages makes this practical—from collecting facts about What Happened to making sense of these facts with So What and finally to what actions logically follow with Now What . The shared progression eliminates most of the misunderstandings that otherwise fuel disagreements about what to do. Voila!
Problem analysis can be one of the most important and decisive stages of all problem-solving tools. Sometimes, a team can become bogged down in the details and are unable to move forward.
Journalists is an activity that can avoid a group from getting stuck in the problem identification or problem analysis stages of the process.
In Journalists, the group is invited to draft the front page of a fictional newspaper and figure out what stories deserve to be on the cover and what headlines those stories will have. By reframing how your problems and challenges are approached, you can help a team move productively through the process and be better prepared for the steps to follow.
Journalists #vision #big picture #issue analysis #remote-friendly This is an exercise to use when the group gets stuck in details and struggles to see the big picture. Also good for defining a vision.
Problem-solving techniques for developing solutions
The success of any problem-solving process can be measured by the solutions it produces. After you’ve defined the issue, explored existing ideas, and ideated, it’s time to narrow down to the correct solution.
Use these problem-solving techniques when you want to help your team find consensus, compare possible solutions, and move towards taking action on a particular problem.
- Improved Solutions
- Four-Step Sketch
- 15% Solutions
- How-Now-Wow matrix
- Impact Effort Matrix
Brainstorming is part of the bread and butter of the problem-solving process and all problem-solving strategies benefit from getting ideas out and challenging a team to generate solutions quickly.
With Mindspin, participants are encouraged not only to generate ideas but to do so under time constraints and by slamming down cards and passing them on. By doing multiple rounds, your team can begin with a free generation of possible solutions before moving on to developing those solutions and encouraging further ideation.
This is one of our favorite problem-solving activities and can be great for keeping the energy up throughout the workshop. Remember the importance of helping people become engaged in the process – energizing problem-solving techniques like Mindspin can help ensure your team stays engaged and happy, even when the problems they’re coming together to solve are complex.
MindSpin #teampedia #idea generation #problem solving #action A fast and loud method to enhance brainstorming within a team. Since this activity has more than round ideas that are repetitive can be ruled out leaving more creative and innovative answers to the challenge.
22. Improved Solutions
After a team has successfully identified a problem and come up with a few solutions, it can be tempting to call the work of the problem-solving process complete. That said, the first solution is not necessarily the best, and by including a further review and reflection activity into your problem-solving model, you can ensure your group reaches the best possible result.
One of a number of problem-solving games from Thiagi Group, Improved Solutions helps you go the extra mile and develop suggested solutions with close consideration and peer review. By supporting the discussion of several problems at once and by shifting team roles throughout, this problem-solving technique is a dynamic way of finding the best solution.
Improved Solutions #creativity #thiagi #problem solving #action #team You can improve any solution by objectively reviewing its strengths and weaknesses and making suitable adjustments. In this creativity framegame, you improve the solutions to several problems. To maintain objective detachment, you deal with a different problem during each of six rounds and assume different roles (problem owner, consultant, basher, booster, enhancer, and evaluator) during each round. At the conclusion of the activity, each player ends up with two solutions to her problem.
23. Four Step Sketch
Creative thinking and visual ideation does not need to be confined to the opening stages of your problem-solving strategies. Exercises that include sketching and prototyping on paper can be effective at the solution finding and development stage of the process, and can be great for keeping a team engaged.
By going from simple notes to a crazy 8s round that involves rapidly sketching 8 variations on their ideas before then producing a final solution sketch, the group is able to iterate quickly and visually. Problem-solving techniques like Four-Step Sketch are great if you have a group of different thinkers and want to change things up from a more textual or discussion-based approach.
Four-Step Sketch #design sprint #innovation #idea generation #remote-friendly The four-step sketch is an exercise that helps people to create well-formed concepts through a structured process that includes: Review key information Start design work on paper, Consider multiple variations , Create a detailed solution . This exercise is preceded by a set of other activities allowing the group to clarify the challenge they want to solve. See how the Four Step Sketch exercise fits into a Design Sprint
24. 15% Solutions
Some problems are simpler than others and with the right problem-solving activities, you can empower people to take immediate actions that can help create organizational change.
Part of the liberating structures toolkit, 15% solutions is a problem-solving technique that focuses on finding and implementing solutions quickly. A process of iterating and making small changes quickly can help generate momentum and an appetite for solving complex problems.
Problem-solving strategies can live and die on whether people are onboard. Getting some quick wins is a great way of getting people behind the process.
It can be extremely empowering for a team to realize that problem-solving techniques can be deployed quickly and easily and delineate between things they can positively impact and those things they cannot change.
15% Solutions #action #liberating structures #remote-friendly You can reveal the actions, however small, that everyone can do immediately. At a minimum, these will create momentum, and that may make a BIG difference. 15% Solutions show that there is no reason to wait around, feel powerless, or fearful. They help people pick it up a level. They get individuals and the group to focus on what is within their discretion instead of what they cannot change. With a very simple question, you can flip the conversation to what can be done and find solutions to big problems that are often distributed widely in places not known in advance. Shifting a few grains of sand may trigger a landslide and change the whole landscape.
25. How-Now-Wow Matrix
The problem-solving process is often creative, as complex problems usually require a change of thinking and creative response in order to find the best solutions. While it’s common for the first stages to encourage creative thinking, groups can often gravitate to familiar solutions when it comes to the end of the process.
When selecting solutions, you don’t want to lose your creative energy! The How-Now-Wow Matrix from Gamestorming is a great problem-solving activity that enables a group to stay creative and think out of the box when it comes to selecting the right solution for a given problem.
Problem-solving techniques that encourage creative thinking and the ideation and selection of new solutions can be the most effective in organisational change. Give the How-Now-Wow Matrix a go, and not just for how pleasant it is to say out loud.
How-Now-Wow Matrix #gamestorming #idea generation #remote-friendly When people want to develop new ideas, they most often think out of the box in the brainstorming or divergent phase. However, when it comes to convergence, people often end up picking ideas that are most familiar to them. This is called a ‘creative paradox’ or a ‘creadox’. The How-Now-Wow matrix is an idea selection tool that breaks the creadox by forcing people to weigh each idea on 2 parameters.
26. Impact and Effort Matrix
All problem-solving techniques hope to not only find solutions to a given problem or challenge but to find the best solution. When it comes to finding a solution, groups are invited to put on their decision-making hats and really think about how a proposed idea would work in practice.
The Impact and Effort Matrix is one of the problem-solving techniques that fall into this camp, empowering participants to first generate ideas and then categorize them into a 2×2 matrix based on impact and effort.
Activities that invite critical thinking while remaining simple are invaluable. Use the Impact and Effort Matrix to move from ideation and towards evaluating potential solutions before then committing to them.
Impact and Effort Matrix #gamestorming #decision making #action #remote-friendly In this decision-making exercise, possible actions are mapped based on two factors: effort required to implement and potential impact. Categorizing ideas along these lines is a useful technique in decision making, as it obliges contributors to balance and evaluate suggested actions before committing to them.
If you’ve followed each of the problem-solving steps with your group successfully, you should move towards the end of your process with heaps of possible solutions developed with a specific problem in mind. But how do you help a group go from ideation to putting a solution into action?
Dotmocracy – or Dot Voting -is a tried and tested method of helping a team in the problem-solving process make decisions and put actions in place with a degree of oversight and consensus.
One of the problem-solving techniques that should be in every facilitator’s toolbox, Dot Voting is fast and effective and can help identify the most popular and best solutions and help bring a group to a decision effectively.
Dotmocracy #action #decision making #group prioritization #hyperisland #remote-friendly Dotmocracy is a simple method for group prioritization or decision-making. It is not an activity on its own, but a method to use in processes where prioritization or decision-making is the aim. The method supports a group to quickly see which options are most popular or relevant. The options or ideas are written on post-its and stuck up on a wall for the whole group to see. Each person votes for the options they think are the strongest, and that information is used to inform a decision.
All facilitators know that warm-ups and icebreakers are useful for any workshop or group process. Problem-solving workshops are no different.
Use these problem-solving techniques to warm up a group and prepare them for the rest of the process. Activating your group by tapping into some of the top problem-solving skills can be one of the best ways to see great outcomes from your session.
- Doodling Together
- Show and Tell
- Draw a Tree
28. Check-in / Check-out
Solid processes are planned from beginning to end, and the best facilitators know that setting the tone and establishing a safe, open environment can be integral to a successful problem-solving process.
Check-in / Check-out is a great way to begin and/or bookend a problem-solving workshop. Checking in to a session emphasizes that everyone will be seen, heard, and expected to contribute.
If you are running a series of meetings, setting a consistent pattern of checking in and checking out can really help your team get into a groove. We recommend this opening-closing activity for small to medium-sized groups though it can work with large groups if they’re disciplined!
Check-in / Check-out #team #opening #closing #hyperisland #remote-friendly Either checking-in or checking-out is a simple way for a team to open or close a process, symbolically and in a collaborative way. Checking-in/out invites each member in a group to be present, seen and heard, and to express a reflection or a feeling. Checking-in emphasizes presence, focus and group commitment; checking-out emphasizes reflection and symbolic closure.
29. Doodling Together
Thinking creatively and not being afraid to make suggestions are important problem-solving skills for any group or team, and warming up by encouraging these behaviors is a great way to start.
Doodling Together is one of our favorite creative ice breaker games – it’s quick, effective, and fun and can make all following problem-solving steps easier by encouraging a group to collaborate visually. By passing cards and adding additional items as they go, the workshop group gets into a groove of co-creation and idea development that is crucial to finding solutions to problems.
Doodling Together #collaboration #creativity #teamwork #fun #team #visual methods #energiser #icebreaker #remote-friendly Create wild, weird and often funny postcards together & establish a group’s creative confidence.
30. Show and Tell
You might remember some version of Show and Tell from being a kid in school and it’s a great problem-solving activity to kick off a session.
Asking participants to prepare a little something before a workshop by bringing an object for show and tell can help them warm up before the session has even begun! Games that include a physical object can also help encourage early engagement before moving onto more big-picture thinking.
By asking your participants to tell stories about why they chose to bring a particular item to the group, you can help teams see things from new perspectives and see both differences and similarities in the way they approach a topic. Great groundwork for approaching a problem-solving process as a team!
Show and Tell #gamestorming #action #opening #meeting facilitation Show and Tell taps into the power of metaphors to reveal players’ underlying assumptions and associations around a topic The aim of the game is to get a deeper understanding of stakeholders’ perspectives on anything—a new project, an organizational restructuring, a shift in the company’s vision or team dynamic.
Who doesn’t love stars? Constellations is a great warm-up activity for any workshop as it gets people up off their feet, energized, and ready to engage in new ways with established topics. It’s also great for showing existing beliefs, biases, and patterns that can come into play as part of your session.
Using warm-up games that help build trust and connection while also allowing for non-verbal responses can be great for easing people into the problem-solving process and encouraging engagement from everyone in the group. Constellations is great in large spaces that allow for movement and is definitely a practical exercise to allow the group to see patterns that are otherwise invisible.
Constellations #trust #connection #opening #coaching #patterns #system Individuals express their response to a statement or idea by standing closer or further from a central object. Used with teams to reveal system, hidden patterns, perspectives.
32. Draw a Tree
Problem-solving games that help raise group awareness through a central, unifying metaphor can be effective ways to warm-up a group in any problem-solving model.
Draw a Tree is a simple warm-up activity you can use in any group and which can provide a quick jolt of energy. Start by asking your participants to draw a tree in just 45 seconds – they can choose whether it will be abstract or realistic.
Once the timer is up, ask the group how many people included the roots of the tree and use this as a means to discuss how we can ignore important parts of any system simply because they are not visible.
All problem-solving strategies are made more effective by thinking of problems critically and by exposing things that may not normally come to light. Warm-up games like Draw a Tree are great in that they quickly demonstrate some key problem-solving skills in an accessible and effective way.
Draw a Tree #thiagi #opening #perspectives #remote-friendly With this game you can raise awarness about being more mindful, and aware of the environment we live in.
Each step of the problem-solving workshop benefits from an intelligent deployment of activities, games, and techniques. Bringing your session to an effective close helps ensure that solutions are followed through on and that you also celebrate what has been achieved.
Here are some problem-solving activities you can use to effectively close a workshop or meeting and ensure the great work you’ve done can continue afterward.
- One Breath Feedback
- Who What When Matrix
- Response Cards
How do I conclude a problem-solving process?
All good things must come to an end. With the bulk of the work done, it can be tempting to conclude your workshop swiftly and without a moment to debrief and align. This can be problematic in that it doesn’t allow your team to fully process the results or reflect on the process.
At the end of an effective session, your team will have gone through a process that, while productive, can be exhausting. It’s important to give your group a moment to take a breath, ensure that they are clear on future actions, and provide short feedback before leaving the space.
The primary purpose of any problem-solving method is to generate solutions and then implement them. Be sure to take the opportunity to ensure everyone is aligned and ready to effectively implement the solutions you produced in the workshop.
Remember that every process can be improved and by giving a short moment to collect feedback in the session, you can further refine your problem-solving methods and see further success in the future too.
33. One Breath Feedback
Maintaining attention and focus during the closing stages of a problem-solving workshop can be tricky and so being concise when giving feedback can be important. It’s easy to incur “death by feedback” should some team members go on for too long sharing their perspectives in a quick feedback round.
One Breath Feedback is a great closing activity for workshops. You give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback on what they’ve done but only in the space of a single breath. This keeps feedback short and to the point and means that everyone is encouraged to provide the most important piece of feedback to them.
One breath feedback #closing #feedback #action This is a feedback round in just one breath that excels in maintaining attention: each participants is able to speak during just one breath … for most people that’s around 20 to 25 seconds … unless of course you’ve been a deep sea diver in which case you’ll be able to do it for longer.
34. Who What When Matrix
Matrices feature as part of many effective problem-solving strategies and with good reason. They are easily recognizable, simple to use, and generate results.
The Who What When Matrix is a great tool to use when closing your problem-solving session by attributing a who, what and when to the actions and solutions you have decided upon. The resulting matrix is a simple, easy-to-follow way of ensuring your team can move forward.
Great solutions can’t be enacted without action and ownership. Your problem-solving process should include a stage for allocating tasks to individuals or teams and creating a realistic timeframe for those solutions to be implemented or checked out. Use this method to keep the solution implementation process clear and simple for all involved.
Who/What/When Matrix #gamestorming #action #project planning With Who/What/When matrix, you can connect people with clear actions they have defined and have committed to.
35. Response cards
Group discussion can comprise the bulk of most problem-solving activities and by the end of the process, you might find that your team is talked out!
Providing a means for your team to give feedback with short written notes can ensure everyone is head and can contribute without the need to stand up and talk. Depending on the needs of the group, giving an alternative can help ensure everyone can contribute to your problem-solving model in the way that makes the most sense for them.
Response Cards is a great way to close a workshop if you are looking for a gentle warm-down and want to get some swift discussion around some of the feedback that is raised.
Response Cards #debriefing #closing #structured sharing #questions and answers #thiagi #action It can be hard to involve everyone during a closing of a session. Some might stay in the background or get unheard because of louder participants. However, with the use of Response Cards, everyone will be involved in providing feedback or clarify questions at the end of a session.
Save time and effort discovering the right solutions
A structured problem solving process is a surefire way of solving tough problems, discovering creative solutions and driving organizational change. But how can you design for successful outcomes?
With SessionLab, it’s easy to design engaging workshops that deliver results. Drag, drop and reorder blocks to build your agenda. When you make changes or update your agenda, your session timing adjusts automatically , saving you time on manual adjustments.
Collaborating with stakeholders or clients? Share your agenda with a single click and collaborate in real-time. No more sending documents back and forth over email.
Explore how to use SessionLab to design effective problem solving workshops or watch this five minute video to see the planner in action!
Over to you
The problem-solving process can often be as complicated and multifaceted as the problems they are set-up to solve. With the right problem-solving techniques and a mix of creative exercises designed to guide discussion and generate purposeful ideas, we hope we’ve given you the tools to find the best solutions as simply and easily as possible.
Is there a problem-solving technique that you are missing here? Do you have a favorite activity or method you use when facilitating? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!
thank you very much for these excellent techniques
Certainly wonderful article, very detailed. Shared!
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8 Steps in the Decision-Making Process
- 04 Feb 2020
Strong decision-making skills are essential for newly appointed and seasoned managers alike. The ability to navigate complex challenges and develop a plan can not only lead to more effective team management but drive key organizational change initiatives and objectives.
Despite decision-making’s importance in business, a recent survey by McKinsey shows that just 20 percent of professionals believe their organizations excel at it. Survey respondents noted that, on average, they spend 37 percent of their time making decisions, but more than half of it’s used ineffectively.
For managers, it’s critical to ensure effective decisions are made for their organizations’ success. Every managerial decision must be accompanied by research and data , collaboration, and alternative solutions.
Few managers, however, reap the benefits of making more thoughtful choices due to undeveloped decision-making models.
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Why Is Making Decisions Important?
According to Harvard Business School Professor Leonard Schlesinger, who’s featured in the online course Management Essentials , most managers view decision-making as a single event, rather than a process. This can lead to managers overestimating their abilities to influence outcomes and closing themselves off from alternative perspectives and diverse ways of thinking.
“The reality is, it’s very rare to find a single point in time where ‘a decision of significance’ is made and things go forward from there,” Schlesinger says. “Embedded in this work is the notion that what we’re really talking about is a process. The role of the manager in managing that process is actually quite straightforward, yet, at the same time, extraordinarily complex.”
If you want to further your business knowledge and be more effective in your role, it’s critical to become a strong decision-maker. Here are eight steps in the decision-making process you can employ to become a better manager and have greater influence in your organization.
Steps in the Decision-Making Process
1. frame the decision.
Pinpointing the issue is the first step to initiating the decision-making process. Ensure the problem is carefully analyzed, clearly defined, and everyone involved in the outcome agrees on what needs to be solved. This process will give your team peace of mind that each key decision is based on extensive research and collaboration.
Schlesinger says this initial action can be challenging for managers because an ill-formed question can result in a process that produces the wrong decision.
“The real issue for a manager at the start is to make sure they are actively working to shape the question they’re trying to address and the decision they’re trying to have made,” Schlesinger says. “That’s not a trivial task.”
2. Structure Your Team
Managers must assemble the right people to navigate the decision-making process.
“The issue of who’s going to be involved in helping you to make that decision is one of the most central issues you face,” Schlesinger says. “The primary issue being the membership of the collection of individuals or group that you’re bringing together to make that decision.”
As you build your team, Schlesinger advises mapping the technical, political, and cultural underpinnings of the decision that needs to be made and gathering colleagues with an array of skills and experience levels to help you make an informed decision. .
“You want some newcomers who are going to provide a different point of view and perspective on the issue you’re dealing with,” he says. “At the same time, you want people who have profound knowledge and deep experience with the problem.”
It’s key to assign decision tasks to colleagues and invite perspectives that uncover blindspots or roadblocks. Schlesinger notes that attempting to arrive at the “right answer” without a team that will ultimately support and execute it is a “recipe for failure.”
3. Consider the Timeframe
This act of mapping the issue’s intricacies should involve taking the decision’s urgency into account. Business problems with significant implications sometimes allow for lengthier decision-making processes, whereas other challenges call for more accelerated timelines.
“As a manager, you need to shape the decision-making process in terms of both of those dimensions: The criticality of what it is you’re trying to decide and, more importantly, how quickly it needs to get decided given the urgency,” Schlesinger says. “The final question is, how much time you’re going to provide yourself and the group to invest in both problem diagnosis and decisions.”
4. Establish Your Approach
In the early stages of the decision-making process, it’s critical to set ground rules and assign roles to team members. Doing so can help ensure everyone understands how they contribute to problem-solving and agrees on how a solution will be reached.
“It’s really important to get clarity upfront around the roles people are going to play and the ways in which decisions are going to get made,” Schlesinger says. “Often, managers leave that to chance, so people self-assign themselves to roles in ways that you don’t necessarily want, and the decision-making process defers to consensus, which is likely to lead to a lower evaluation of the problem and a less creative solution.”
5. Encourage Discussion and Debate
One of the issues of leading a group that defaults to consensus is that it can shut out contrarian points of view and deter inventive problem-solving. Because of this potential pitfall, Schlesinger notes, you should designate roles that focus on poking holes in arguments and fostering debate.
“What we’re talking about is establishing a process of devil’s advocacy, either in an individual or a subgroup role,” he says. “That’s much more likely to lead to a deeper critical evaluation and generate a substantial number of alternatives.”
Schlesinger adds that this action can take time and potentially disrupt group harmony, so it’s vital for managers to guide the inner workings of the process from the outset to ensure effective collaboration and guarantee more quality decisions will be made.
“What we need to do is establish norms in the group that enable us to be open to a broader array of data and decision-making processes,” he says. “If that doesn’t happen upfront, but in the process without a conversation, it’s generally a source of consternation and some measure of frustration.”
Related: 3 Group Decision-Making Techniques for Success
6. Navigate Group Dynamics
In addition to creating a dynamic in which candor and debate are encouraged, there are other challenges you need to navigate as you manage your team throughout the decision-making process.
One is ensuring the size of the group is appropriate for the problem and allows for an efficient workflow.
“In getting all the people together that have relevant data and represent various political and cultural constituencies, each incremental member adds to the complexity of the decision-making process and the amount of time it takes to get a decision made and implemented,” Schlesinger says.
Another task, he notes, is identifying which parts of the process can be completed without face-to-face interaction.
“There’s no question that pieces of the decision-making process can be deferred to paper, email, or some app,” Schlesinger says. “But, at the end of the day, given that so much of decision-making requires high-quality human interaction, you need to defer some part of the process for ill-structured and difficult tasks to a face-to-face meeting.”
7. Ensure the Pieces Are in Place for Implementation
Throughout your team’s efforts to arrive at a decision, you must ensure you facilitate a process that encompasses:
- Shared goals that were presented upfront
- Alternative options that have been given rigorous thought and fair consideration
- Sound methods for exploring decisions’ consequences
According to Schlesinger, these components profoundly influence the quality of the solution that’s ultimately identified and the types of decisions that’ll be made in the future.
“In the general manager’s job, the quality of the decision is only one part of the equation,” he says. “All of this is oriented toward trying to make sure that once a decision is made, we have the right groupings and the right support to implement.”
8. Achieve Closure and Alignment
Achieving closure in the decision-making process requires arriving at a solution that sufficiently aligns members of your group and garners enough support to implement it.
As with the other phases of decision-making, clear communication ensures your team understands and commits to the plan.
In a video interview for the online course Management Essentials , Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria says it’s essential to explain the rationale behind the decision to your employees.
“If it’s a decision that you have to make, say, ‘I know there were some of you who thought differently, but let me tell you why we went this way,’” Nohria says. “This is so the people on the other side feel heard and recognize the concerns they raised are things you’ve tried to incorporate into the decision and, as implementation proceeds, if those concerns become real, then they’ll be attended to.”
How to Improve Your Decision-Making
An in-depth understanding of the decision-making process is vital for all managers. Whether you’re an aspiring manager aiming to move up at your organization or a seasoned executive who wants to boost your job performance, honing your approach to decision-making can improve your managerial skills and equip you with the tools to advance your career.
Do you want to become a more effective decision-maker? Explore Management Essentials —one of our online leadership and management courses —to learn how you can influence the context and environment in which decisions get made.
This article was update on July 15, 2022. It was originally published on February 4, 2020.
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Decision-making and Problem-solving
Appreciate the complexities involved in decision-making & problem solving.
Develop evidence to support views
Analyze situations carefully
Discuss subjects in an organized way
Predict the consequences of actions
Generate and organize ideas
Form and apply concepts
Design systematic plans of action
A 5-Step Problem-Solving Strategy
Specify the problem – a first step to solving a problem is to identify it as specifically as possible. It involves evaluating the present state and determining how it differs from the goal state.
Analyze the problem – analyzing the problem involves learning as much as you can about it. It may be necessary to look beyond the obvious, surface situation, to stretch your imagination and reach for more creative options.
seek other perspectives
be flexible in your analysis
consider various strands of impact
brainstorm about all possibilities and implications
research problems for which you lack complete information. Get help.
Formulate possible solutions – identify a wide range of possible solutions.
try to think of all possible solutions
consider similar problems and how you have solved them
Evaluate possible solutions – weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. Think through each solution and consider how, when, and where you could accomplish each. Consider both immediate and long-term results. Mapping your solutions can be helpful at this stage.
Choose a solution – consider 3 factors:
compatibility with your priorities
amount of risk
Keys to Problem Solving
Think aloud – problem solving is a cognitive, mental process. Thinking aloud or talking yourself through the steps of problem solving is useful. Hearing yourself think can facilitate the process.
Allow time for ideas to "gel" or consolidate. If time permits, give yourself time for solutions to develop. Distance from a problem can allow you to clear your mind and get a new perspective.
Talk about the problem – describing the problem to someone else and talking about it can often make a problem become more clear and defined so that a new solution will surface.
Decision Making Strategies
Decision making is a process of identifying and evaluating choices. We make numerous decisions every day and our decisions may range from routine, every-day types of decisions to those decisions which will have far reaching impacts. The types of decisions we make are routine, impulsive, and reasoned. Deciding what to eat for breakfast is a routine decision; deciding to do or buy something at the last minute is considered an impulsive decision; and choosing your college major is, hopefully, a reasoned decision. College coursework often requires you to make the latter, or reasoned decisions.
Decision making has much in common with problem solving. In problem solving you identify and evaluate solution paths; in decision making you make a similar discovery and evaluation of alternatives. The crux of decision making, then, is the careful identification and evaluation of alternatives. As you weigh alternatives, use the following suggestions:
Consider the outcome each is likely to produce, in both the short term and the long term.
Compare alternatives based on how easily you can accomplish each.
Evaluate possible negative side effects each may produce.
Consider the risk involved in each.
Be creative, original; don't eliminate alternatives because you have not heard or used them before.
An important part of decision making is to predict both short-term and long-term outcomes for each alternative. You may find that while an alternative seems most desirable at the present, it may pose problems or complications over a longer time period.
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Team Building Exercises – Problem Solving and Decision Making
Fun ways to turn problems into opportunities.
By the Mind Tools Content Team
Whether there's a complex project looming or your team members just want to get better at dealing with day-to-day issues, your people can achieve much more when they solve problems and make decisions together.
By developing their problem-solving skills, you can improve their ability to get to the bottom of complex situations. And by refining their decision-making skills, you can help them work together maturely, use different thinking styles, and commit collectively to decisions.
In this article, we'll look at three team-building exercises that you can use to improve problem solving and decision making in a new or established team.
Exercises to Build Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills
Use the following exercises to help your team members solve problems and make decisions together more effectively.
Exercise 1: Lost at Sea*
In this activity, participants must pretend that they've been shipwrecked and are stranded in a lifeboat. Each team has a box of matches, and a number of items that they've salvaged from the sinking ship. Members must agree which items are most important for their survival.
Download and print our team-building exercises worksheet to help you with this exercise.
This activity builds problem-solving skills as team members analyze information, negotiate and cooperate with one another. It also encourages them to listen and to think about the way they make decisions.
What You'll Need
- Up to five people in each group.
- A large, private room.
- A "lost at sea" ranking chart for each team member. This should comprise six columns. The first simply lists each item (see below). The second is empty so that each team member can rank the items. The third is for group rankings. The fourth is for the "correct" rankings, which are revealed at the end of the exercise. And the fifth and sixth are for the team to enter the difference between their individual and correct score, and the team and correct rankings, respectively.
- The items to be ranked are: a mosquito net, a can of petrol, a water container, a shaving mirror, a sextant, emergency rations, a sea chart, a floating seat or cushion, a rope, some chocolate bars, a waterproof sheet, a fishing rod, shark repellent, a bottle of rum, and a VHF radio. These can be listed in the ranking chart or displayed on a whiteboard, or both.
- The experience can be made more fun by having some lost-at-sea props in the room.
Flexible, but normally between 25 and 40 minutes.
- Divide participants into their teams, and provide everyone with a ranking sheet.
- Ask team members to take 10 minutes on their own to rank the items in order of importance. They should do this in the second column of their sheet.
- Give the teams a further 10 minutes to confer and decide on their group rankings. Once agreed, they should list them in the third column of their sheets.
- Ask each group to compare their individual rankings with their collective ones, and consider why any scores differ. Did anyone change their mind about their own rankings during the team discussions? How much were people influenced by the group conversation?
- Now read out the "correct" order, collated by the experts at the US Coast Guard (from most to least important): - Shaving mirror. (One of your most powerful tools, because you can use it to signal your location by reflecting the sun.) - Can of petrol. (Again, potentially vital for signaling as petrol floats on water and can be lit by your matches.) - Water container. (Essential for collecting water to restore your lost fluids.) -Emergency rations. (Valuable for basic food intake.) - Plastic sheet. (Could be used for shelter, or to collect rainwater.) -Chocolate bars. (A handy food supply.) - Fishing rod. (Potentially useful, but there is no guarantee that you're able to catch fish. Could also feasibly double as a tent pole.) - Rope. (Handy for tying equipment together, but not necessarily vital for survival.) - Floating seat or cushion. (Useful as a life preserver.) - Shark repellent. (Potentially important when in the water.) - Bottle of rum. (Could be useful as an antiseptic for treating injuries, but will only dehydrate you if you drink it.) - Radio. (Chances are that you're out of range of any signal, anyway.) - Sea chart. (Worthless without navigational equipment.) - Mosquito net. (Assuming that you've been shipwrecked in the Atlantic, where there are no mosquitoes, this is pretty much useless.) - Sextant. (Impractical without relevant tables or a chronometer.)
Advice for the Facilitator
The ideal scenario is for teams to arrive at a consensus decision where everyone's opinion is heard. However, that doesn't always happen naturally: assertive people tend to get the most attention. Less forthright team members can often feel intimidated and don't always speak up, particularly when their ideas are different from the popular view. Where discussions are one-sided, draw quieter people in so that everyone is involved, but explain why you're doing this, so that people learn from it.
You can use the Stepladder Technique when team discussion is unbalanced. Here, ask each team member to think about the problem individually and, one at a time, introduce new ideas to an appointed group leader – without knowing what ideas have already been discussed. After the first two people present their ideas, they discuss them together. Then the leader adds a third person, who presents his or her ideas before hearing the previous input. This cycle of presentation and discussion continues until the whole team has had a chance to voice their opinions.
After everyone has finished the exercise, invite your teams to evaluate the process to draw out their experiences. For example, ask them what the main differences between individual, team and official rankings were, and why. This will provoke discussion about how teams arrive at decisions, which will make people think about the skills they must use in future team scenarios, such as listening , negotiating and decision-making skills, as well as creativity skills for thinking "outside the box."
A common issue that arises in team decision making is groupthink . This can happen when a group places a desire for mutual harmony above a desire to reach the right decision, which prevents people from fully exploring alternative solutions.
If there are frequent unanimous decisions in any of your exercises, groupthink may be an issue. Suggest that teams investigate new ways to encourage members to discuss their views, or to share them anonymously.
Exercise 2: The Great Egg Drop*
In this classic (though sometimes messy!) game, teams must work together to build a container to protect an egg, which is dropped from a height. Before the egg drop, groups must deliver presentations on their solutions, how they arrived at them, and why they believe they will succeed.
This fun game develops problem-solving and decision-making skills. Team members have to choose the best course of action through negotiation and creative thinking.
- Ideally at least six people in each team.
- Raw eggs – one for each group, plus some reserves in case of accidents!
- Materials for creating the packaging, such as cardboard, tape, elastic bands, plastic bottles, plastic bags, straws, and scissors.
- Aprons to protect clothes, paper towels for cleaning up, and paper table cloths, if necessary.
- Somewhere – ideally outside – that you can drop the eggs from. (If there is nowhere appropriate, you could use a step ladder or equivalent.)
- Around 15 to 30 minutes to create the packages.
- Approximately 15 minutes to prepare a one-minute presentation.
- Enough time for the presentations and feedback (this will depend on the number of teams).
- Time to demonstrate the egg "flight."
- Put people into teams, and ask each to build a package that can protect an egg dropped from a specified height (say, two-and-a-half meters) with the provided materials.
- Each team must agree on a nominated speaker, or speakers, for their presentation.
- Once all teams have presented, they must drop their eggs, assess whether the eggs have survived intact, and discuss what they have learned.
When teams are making their decisions, the more good options they consider, the more effective their final decision is likely to be. Encourage your groups to look at the situation from different angles, so that they make the best decision possible. If people are struggling, get them to brainstorm – this is probably the most popular method of generating ideas within a team.
Ask the teams to explore how they arrived at their decisions, to get them thinking about how to improve this process in the future. You can ask them questions such as:
- Did the groups take a vote, or were members swayed by one dominant individual?
- How did the teams decide to divide up responsibilities? Was it based on people's expertise or experience?
- Did everyone do the job they volunteered for?
- Was there a person who assumed the role of "leader"?
- How did team members create and deliver the presentation, and was this an individual or group effort?
Exercise 3: Create Your Own*
In this exercise, teams must create their own, brand new, problem-solving activity.
This game encourages participants to think about the problem-solving process. It builds skills such as creativity, negotiation and decision making, as well as communication and time management. After the activity, teams should be better equipped to work together, and to think on their feet.
- Ideally four or five people in each team.
- Paper, pens and flip charts.
Around one hour.
- As the participants arrive, you announce that, rather than spending an hour on a problem-solving team-building activity, they must design an original one of their own.
- Divide participants into teams and tell them that they have to create a new problem-solving team-building activity that will work well in their organization. The activity must not be one that they have already participated in or heard of.
- After an hour, each team must present their new activity to everyone else, and outline its key benefits.
There are four basic steps in problem solving : defining the problem, generating solutions, evaluating and selecting solutions, and implementing solutions. Help your team to think creatively at each stage by getting them to consider a wide range of options. If ideas run dry, introduce an alternative brainstorming technique, such as brainwriting . This allows your people to develop one others' ideas, while everyone has an equal chance to contribute.
After the presentations, encourage teams to discuss the different decision-making processes they followed. You might ask them how they communicated and managed their time . Another question could be about how they kept their discussion focused. And to round up, you might ask them whether they would have changed their approach after hearing the other teams' presentations.
Successful decision making and problem solving are at the heart of all effective teams. While teams are ultimately led by their managers, the most effective ones foster these skills at all levels.
The exercises in this article show how you can encourage teams to develop their creative thinking, leadership , and communication skills , while building group cooperation and consensus.
* Original source unknown. Please let us know if you know the original source.
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Decision-Making & Its Importance in Problem-Solving
Life is all about making decisions. From getting out of bed in the morning until you call it a day,…
Life is all about making decisions. From getting out of bed in the morning until you call it a day, we are constantly making choices and making decisions.
Whether it is your personal or professional life, you are often defined by your decisions.
Some of your decisions are mundane and almost automatic such as brushing your teeth and taking a bath, while some tasks require minor decision-making such as planning your daily schedule.
However, in a professional environment, decision-making skills can make all the difference as they can determine your growth and future career development. Depending on your role in an organization, your decisions can also impact other employees and even the overall image of the business.
When it comes to challenges and taking critical decisions, a lot of people shy away from taking responsibility. However, people with a decisive approach and a knack for taking well-measured and well-timed decisions are automatically regarded as leaders.
By honing your decision-making skills, you can create a strong bond with your colleagues and create a harmonious environment around you.
What is Decision-Making?
If we have to define decision-making in the context of the workplace, it is safe to say that management is nothing but a continuous process of decision-making. It is the responsibility of business managers to make operational decisions and ensure that their teams execute the tasks. In fact, the success of every manager depends largely on her decision-making skills.
The process of business planning depends on the art of decision-making. During the planning stage, managers need to make various decisions such as setting organizational goals. They decide on key products, marketing strategies, role assignments and timelines for every task.
In situations where the plans don’t deliver the desired outcome or are derailed due to external issues or lack of performance, it is the managers who need to bring things back on track by taking contingency decisions.
The charting of business plans is in effect great evidence of the importance of decision making. The care and research put in before taking a decision shape the impact it will make. Managers decide individual targets, team goals and various other rules and regulations related to the team’s functioning and conflict resolution, wherever needed.
Importance of decision-making
Iconic 20th-century management guru Peter F. Drucker said once, “Whatever a manager does, he does through making decisions.” That is exactly what we are talking about here.
It doesn’t matter whether you are working in a small company with less than 10 employees or in a large enterprise that has thousands of employees, things and situations always change. Over time, old practices, rules and personnel make space for new processes, especially in uncertain situations. However, these changed situations need people to make decisions.
The meaning of decision-making is strongly connected with management roles. Whether you create plans or organize discussions, give orders or advice, approve plans or reject them, every action involves decision-making. Thus, it can be considered an essential function of management.
If you work in a highly profitable enterprise, you will need to make a lot of critical decisions such as pricing a product, deciding which products to market, controlling production costs, advertising, capital investments, creating a policy for dividends and taking care of employee issues, among others.
Such decisions also need to be taken even by managers in government or social service enterprises where profit is not the criterion of success.
Decision-making and its importance in problem-solving
The importance of decision making lies in the way it helps you in choosing between various options. Before making a decision, there is a need to gather all available information and to weigh its pros and cons. It is crucial to focus on steps that can help in taking the right decisions.
There is a strong correlation between decision-making and problem-solving.
To further understand the importance of decision-making skills, let us take a look at the various ways in which decision-making can help solve problems:
Decision-making is not a random process. Before taking crucial decisions that can have a long-term impact on individual as well as organizational goals and performance, it is important to avoid various challenges.
Many times, we tend to get influenced by the majority opinion. Even if you feel that the group is not moving towards the right decision, you are scared of voicing your opinion due to the fear of isolation.
A systematic decision process ensures such erroneous situations are avoided.
By using the correct approaches and ethical decision-making processes, we can evaluate the impact of different choices. For instance, it is important to know whether a decision is long-term or temporary. We can assess the impact that a decision might have on people in the organization and whether they will feel happy about it or not.
Finding decision alternatives:
The decision-making process brings to fore skills such as probing and creativity. By using probing skills, you can gather more information about the various alternatives and creativity can help you in finding options that were previously not known.
The importance of decision making is amply seen in its ability to allow future forecasting. When we make a decision through a systematic process, we can calculate the likely impact of the decision on a business’s future growth.
Evaluating various options:
One of the characteristics of decision-making is that it is a fact-based process. Before making a decision, we gather all information about the various options and evaluate their feasibility and impact on the company’s present and future scenarios. This gives us the ability to make ethical decisions that are generally also the right decisions.
Strong decision-making skills are crucial in the risk assessment of decisions. They give us the ability to not only take the various options into account and weigh their pros and cons but also to assess the risk. By thoroughly evaluating all the options, market scenarios and past data, we can anticipate the chances of success and prepare for worst-case scenarios. Such a risk analysis comes handy for contingency planning as well as during any course corrections.
Impact on human resources:
Good decision-making can reap rich benefits for the organization. It can help foster a collaborative work environment and create clarity of communication among various stakeholders. By adopting group decision-making processes, it is possible to make different team members understand each other’s perspectives, strengths and weaknesses.
Leadership and emotional management:
Strong decision-making helps solve problems promptly and creates a leadership position for the decision-makers. Strong decisions should be impartial and devoid of any emotional influences that might make us overlook shortcomings. Such decision-making should also be transparent and logical.
These aspects of decision-making reduce stress and friction and increase cohesiveness as well as mutual understanding among team members and respect for the leaders.
Our daily life decisions give us opportunities to become better at what we do. Most of our decisions are made out of habit. However, by bringing our choices in the conscious domain, we can evaluate them, assess their impact and indulge in self-reflection. Such steps eventually lead to better decisions and outcomes.
Hence, it is very important to learn what is decision-making, and Harappa Education’s Making Decisions specially-curated course helps you learn the techniques of ethical decision-making. It has a section on the good decision process which will help you remove obstacles such as biases, peer pressure and lack of clarity that come in the path of good decision-making. Sign up for the course and start making smart decisions for success.
Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about the topic related to the Solve habit – Ethical Decision Making in order to develop your problem solving and decision making skills.
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Executive Certificate Problem Solving and Decision Making
3 days or 5 days, 8 hours per day
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- Problem Solving and Decision Making
Executive Certificate Problem Solving and Decision Making A few days to go through what people experience in years with a company
This course focuses on business skills that are relevant for any job, in any industry and in any organisation. Independent from their working experience, “Problem Solving & Decision Making” will provide valuable input to the participants’ existing foundation for future growth in their professional careers.
PSDM aims to support the learning of a structured work method so that participants can:
- learn how to solve problems independently
- experience how to work in teams
- get the fundamentals of finance
- practise decision-making techniques and tools
- conduct interviews
- structure presentations
- develop communication skills
Challenge yourself and embark on a fascinating journey of discovery
Starting from a real case and analysing it in depth, you will be presented with and solve problems, taking on your own decision responsibilities. This is a way to grow quickly, practically and effectively.
A strategic approach to problem solving, to put yourself to the test with real situations
- analysing and defining the situation;
- structuring and prioritising the problem, using logic trees, issue analysis and pyramid thinking;
- synthesising appropriate conclusions and recommendations to different stakeholders
How to take responsibility for your actions and decisions in front of a group: choosing, arguing, presenting
Participants will experience and learn how to leverage on a structured decision-making process, focusing on how to choose between comparable alternatives.
The redundancy of information on the case will allow for the use of techniques on how to collect information, select pieces of it and prioritise.
In the final part of the programme, participants will be asked to synthesise the solutions into memorable messages and to present them to a tough audience in an effective way.
Teamwork: a valuable resource to learn independent decision making
80% of the programme will have participants working in groups, experiencing the challenges and advantages of teamwork and learning relevant high-performance techniques on the field.
Sylvian Qui Sourcing & Procurement Specialist CARIOCA S.p.a.
" I chose ESCP's PSDM Certificate due to its unique approach, which offers practical applicability in everyday life beyond the confines of one's job. This course has significantly enhanced my independence and decision-making skills, enabling me to make prompt choices. Today, I bear significant responsibilities within my company for which I am held accountable. I highly recommend this course and am considering continuing my educational journey at ESCP. "
Your Host Vittorio De Pedys Affiliate Professor - Turin Finance
Vittorio de Pedys , graduate with honours and laude in 1985 in Economics, is Affiliate Professor of Finance and Management since 2006 at ESCP Turin Campus. He teaches all modules of Finance from Fundamentals of Finance to Corporate Finance to Mergers and Acquisitions at MEB, MIM, and MBA courses. With ESCP he teaches Finance topics extensively at Executive Custom education for several corporations. For ESCP he also teaches courses of problem Solving and Decision making.
Executives or High-potential Talents
Double option depending on the profile
€4,500 for Executives (3-day course)
€4,900 for High-potential Talents (5-day course)
Creative problem solving and decision making training in adelaide.
Our classroom training provides you the opportunity to interact with instructors and benefit from face-to-face instruction.
Select date and time
- Thursday November 23 9:00am
- Thursday December 14 9:00am
For venue details reach us at: [email protected]
About this event.
- Mobile eTicket
Certificate: Course Completion Certificate Language: English
Duration: 2 Days Credits: 16
Course Delivery: Classroom/ Virtual/On-site
This highly interactive workshop introduces a variety of creative problem solving and decision making tools and techniques. Participants will learn to analyze problems, generate creative solutions, and decide which solution most closely matches their needs. In addition to the numerous activities and exercises throughout the training where participants get to practice the different tools and techniques learned, they will also apply the learning and their problem solving skills on an interesting case study that will take them back to the days of Ancient Egypt and building the great pyramids.
Employees at all levels.
After completing this course, delegates will be able to:
Apply a four step process to systematically solve problems and decide on appropriate solutions.
Use methods and tools (systematic process and fishbone diagramming) to discover the underlying cause of a problem.
Use brainstorming, and several other creative thinking techniques to generate possible solutions to the problem.
Identify the best choice from various options.
Use the following decision making techniques: Pro/Con, Force Field Analysis, Decision Matrix, Feasibility/Capability Analysis, and Cost/Benefit Analysis.
Create an Action Plan to implement the appropriate solution
There are no formal prerequisites.
Students will receive a course manual with presentation slides and reference materials.
Internet for downloading the eBook
Laptop, tablet, Smartphone, eReader (No Kindle)
Adobe DRM supported software (e.g. Digital Editions, Bluefire Reader)
eBook download and activation instructions
Module One: Define the problem:
Find out your problem solving style (Self-assessment).
Systematic Problem Definition (6 Basic Questions).
Systematic Problem Definition (Grid).
Fish Bone Diagrams / Ishikawa/ Cause and Effect diagrams.
Module Two: Find Creative Solutions using creativity tools:
Module Three: Evaluate and Select solution:
Pro’s and Con’s.
Force field analysis.
Module Four: Implement solution and create an action plan:
Create an action plan.
Break solution into action steps.
Prioritize actions and assign roles.
Follow-up at milestones.
Once after the training you receive course completion certificate from Academy for Pros
However, catering to the demands of busy professionals, our virtual training programs are as effective as face-to-face learning. Reach us at [email protected] for dates and details of Instructor Led Live Virtual Sessions.
If you would like to get this course customized and delivered exclusively for your group, we have an On-Site Training Option you can reach us at [email protected] for more details about on-site or corporate training.
Groups of 3 people 10% Discount
Groups of 5 people 15% Discount
Groups of 10 people 20% Discount
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