Seven Steps for Effective Problem Solving in the Workplace

 

decision making and problem solving strategies

Learn problem solving strategies with this practical, easy to follow 4-step plan to help you increase your coping skills, gain clarity of thought and build your resilience. An in-depth guide to dealing with problems effectively before they spiral out of control. Previously published in The Business Journal of Sonoma/Marin. Problem-solving and decision-making. Ask anyone in the workplace if these activities are part of their day and they answer 'Yes!' But how many of us have had training in problem-solving?We know it's a critical element of our work, but do. Previously published by the Institute of Personnel and Development as Decision Making and Problem Solving and First published in Great Britain and the United States in by Kogan Page Limited as Decision Making and Problem Solving Strategies Reissued Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or.



There are many styles of making decisions, ranging from very rational and linear to organic and unfolding. Take this online assessment to determine your own style. Discover Your Decision-Making Style, decision making and problem solving strategies.

Much of what people do is solve problems and make decisions. Often, they are "under the gun", stressed and very short for time. Consequently, when they encounter a new problem or decision they must make, they react with a decision that seemed to work before. It's easy with this approach to get stuck in a circle of solving the same problem over and over again. Therefore, it's often useful to get used to an organized approach to problem solving and decision making, decision making and problem solving strategies.

Not all problems can be solved and decisions made by the following, rather rational approach, decision making and problem solving strategies. However, the following basic guidelines will get you started. Don't be intimidated by the length of the list of guidelines. After you've practiced them a few times, they'll become second nature to you -- enough that you can deepen and enrich them to suit your own needs and nature.

Note that it might be more your nature to view a "problem" as an "opportunity". Therefore, you might substitute "problem" for "opportunity" in the following guidelines.

This is often where people struggle. They react to what they think the decision making and problem solving strategies is. Instead, decision making and problem solving strategies, seek to understand more about why you think there's a problem.

If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps until you have descriptions of several related problems. It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else. If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize decision making and problem solving strategies ones you should address first.

Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. Important problems deserve more attention. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls. Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others.

For example, if you're very stressed out, it'll probably look like others are, too, or, you may resort too quickly to blaming and reprimanding others. Or, you are feel very guilty about your role in the problem, you may ignore the accountabilities of others. Brainstorm for solutions to the problem.

Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, decision making and problem solving strategies, then screening them to find the best idea. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them. A wonderful set of skills used to identify the underlying cause of issues is Systems Thinking.

The nature of this step, in particular, in the problem solving process is why problem solving and decision making are highly integrated. An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback. One of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization.

Still, you should consider:. Decision making and problem solving strategies person with this preference often prefers using a comprehensive and logical approach similar to the guidelines in the above section.

For example, the rational approach, described below, is often used when addressing large, complex matters in strategic planning.

A major advantage of this approach is that it gives a strong sense of order in an otherwise chaotic situation and provides a common frame of reference from which people can communicate in the situation.

A major disadvantage of this approach is that it can take a long time to finish. Some people might argue, too, that the world is much too chaotic for the rational approach to be useful, decision making and problem solving strategies. Some people assert that the dynamics of organizations and people are not nearly so mechanistic as to be improved by solving one problem after another. For many people it is an approach to organizational consulting.

The following quote is often used when explaining the organic or holistic approach to problem solving. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the horizon and through this broadening of outlook, the insoluble lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded when confronted with a new and stronger life urge. A major advantage of the organic approach is that it is highly adaptable to understanding and explaining the chaotic changes that occur in projects and everyday life.

It also suits the nature of people who shun linear and mechanistic approaches to projects. The major disadvantage is that the approach often provides no clear frame of reference around which people can communicate, feel comfortable and measure progress toward solutions to problems.

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to this topic.

Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources. To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature. Consider the many guidelines included below. Define the problem This is often where people struggle. Define the problem: with input from yourself and others. Ask yourself and others, the following questions: What can you see that causes you to think there's a problem?

Where is it happening? How is it happening? When is it happening? With whom is it happening? To be an effective manager, you need to address issues more than people. Why is it happening? Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening, but isn't It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods. Defining complex problems: If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps until you have descriptions of several related problems.

Verifying your understanding of the problems: It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else, decision making and problem solving strategies.

Prioritize the problems: If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first. Understand your role in the problem: Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others. Look at potential causes for the problem It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. Therefore, in this phase, it's critical decision making and problem solving strategies get input from other people who notice the problem and who are effected by it.

It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time at least at first. Otherwise, people tend to be inhibited about offering their impressions decision making and problem solving strategies the real causes of problems. Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others.

Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee, decision making and problem solving strategies, it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem. Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening, where, when, how, with whom and why. Select an approach to resolve the problem When selecting the best approach, consider: Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term?

Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough time to implement the approach? What is the extent of risk associated with each decision making and problem solving strategies Plan the implementation of the best alternative this is your action plan Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved? What systems or processes should be changed in your organization, for example, a new policy or procedure?

Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder". How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times, and when you expect to see certain indicators of success.

Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan? Write down the decision making and problem solving strategies to the above questions and consider this as your action plan. Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and, at least, to your immediate supervisor. Monitor implementation of the plan Monitor the indicators of success: Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators?

Will the plan be done according to schedule? If the plan is not being followed as expected, then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule?

Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan?

 

 

decision making and problem solving strategies

 

Learn problem solving strategies with this practical, easy to follow 4-step plan to help you increase your coping skills, gain clarity of thought and build your resilience. An in-depth guide to dealing with problems effectively before they spiral out of control. Previously published in The Business Journal of Sonoma/Marin. Problem-solving and decision-making. Ask anyone in the workplace if these activities are part of their day and they answer 'Yes!' But how many of us have had training in problem-solving?We know it's a critical element of our work, but do. Previously published by the Institute of Personnel and Development as Decision Making and Problem Solving and First published in Great Britain and the United States in by Kogan Page Limited as Decision Making and Problem Solving Strategies Reissued Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or.