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Embed code for: Introduction to Problem Solving Techniques
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Introduction to Problem Solving Techniques
How to identify a problem?
How to respond to it.
The different techniques and methods used in problem-solving.
How to find alternative solutions.
How to select the best solution for the situation?
Designing a Plan of Action
How to implement the Plan of Action?
How to asses the success of the solution and the Plan of Action
Identifying the Problem
You must first recognize that a problem exists.
Follow a workable procedure for finding solutions;
Accept the fact that you can’t foresee everything;
Assume that the solution you select is your best option at the time; and
Accept the possibility that things may change and your solution fail.
Once you recognize that a problem exists, your next step is to identify the problem.
Did something go wrong?
Did something breakdown?
Were there unexpected results or outcome?
Second, you need to know the nature of the problem
Is it people, operational, technical, etc.?
Is it with a particular department, product, or service, etc.?
Is it something tangible or intangible?
Is it external or internal problem?
Third, you need to decide how significant the problem is
Is it disrupting operations?
Is it hampering sale?
Is it causing conflict among people?
Fourth, you should narrow down the type of problem
Is it a problem which occurred in the past and the main concern is to make certain that it doesn’t occur again?
Is it a problem which might occur in the future and the basic concern is planning and taking action before the problem arises?
Before proceeding to finding solutions
What has previously been done in regards to this problem
What have other companies done.
What formal knowledge might you need to acquire.
What do experts say about the problem?
Roadblocks to Problem Solving
Watch out for old habits
Overcome your fears
Don’t let yourself procrastinate
Avoid emotional responses and always attempt to be rational
Do not skip steps in the problem solving process
How to Find Solutions
Sorting Out the Best Solution
Go through your long list of solutions and cross-out those that obviously won’t work.
You should check each solution against the following criteria
Availability of manpower, material, etc.;
Your own intuition
Before you actually implement the solution, you should evaluate it and ask
Are the objectives of the solution sound and clear and not complex?
Will the solution achieve the objectives?
What are the possibilities it will fail and in what way?
The Plan of Action
Finding the solution does not mean the problem is solved.
Who will be involved in the solution;
Who will be affected by the solution;
What course of action will be taken;
When will it happen – the time frame;
Where will it happen;
How will it happen
Evaluating the Plan of Action
Is there adequate staff to carry it out?
Will it embarrass anyone – manager, employee, customer, vendor, etc.?
Is the time frame realistic and feasible?
Who should be informed?
Who should be involved?
Who should be responsible for each aspect and/or phase?
Obstacles You May Encounter
Not receiving material and/or equipment on time;
A power struggle among managers and/or employees;
Resistance to change – a natural human condition.
Plan of Action
How they carry out the solution;
Their reactions to the solution;
Their understanding of the solution;
Their resistance to change and reverting back to the previous behaviors.
Prepare your staff well in advance;
Train your staff well in advance;
Order equipment, material, etc., well in advance;
If necessary, hire new staff and do so well in advance;
Use PR at every meeting and memos as much as possible
Attempt to remain flexible and open-minded.
Evaluating the Success of Your Solution
As each phase of your plan of action is implemented, you should ask yourself whether your goals were achieved.
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A presentation in power point of your group’s solution to the problemin problem-solving.
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