Problem Solving Skills

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Problem Solving Skills

Problem solving skills consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems. Some of the problem-solving techniques developed and used in artificial intelligence, computer science, engineering, mathematics, medicine, etc. are related to mental problem-solving techniques studied in psychology.

Analytical and critical thinking skills help you to evaluate the problem and to make decisions. A logical and methodical approach is best in some circumstances: for example, you will need to be able to draw on your academic or subject knowledge to identify solutions of a practical or technical nature.

Course Outline

Becoming Aware of a Problem

  • Ways to recognize indications of problems
  • The Root Cause Analysis Process
  • Ideas to help decide which problems to work on first
  • Share Perspectives
  • Steps In Collaborative Process
  • Understanding Perception
  • Define The Issues
  • Setting The Agenda For Discussion
  • Identify The Interests
  • Why Work With Interests Instead Of Positions
  • Finding The Common Ground Of Shared Interests
  • Look For Powerful Interests
  • Generate Options
  • Brainstorming
  • Decide On Objective Criteria
  • Why Use Objective Criteria?
  • Evaluate Options And Reach Agreement

Do You Need a Team?

  • Why should I use my team to solve problems?
  • How can I get teams to solve their own problems?
  • What will make it work?

Why Use a Structured Problem-Solving Process?

  • How a formal problem-solving approach can improve the effectiveness of the whole organization.
  • Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA)
  • 5-Why Problem Solving
  • Simplified Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
  • Building a common problem-solving language

The Importance of Data

  • The Importance of Data Management
  • How data leads to information and information points the way to knowledge
  • Subjective Data versus Objective Data
  • Attribute data versus variable data
  • Using data to infer and make judgments

Different Problem-Solving Models

  • 8-Discipline Problem-Solving Model
  • DMAIC Project Cycle
  • Xerox Problem Solving Process
  • Boeing Process Flow for Working Projects
  • A Generic Six Step Problem Solving Model

Use a team approach

  • What is Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPS)?
  • Establishing team membership, roles of the members, boundaries of freedom for the team and getting the team started up
  • What Is the Importance of Establishing & Assigning Responsibilities for Project Team Members?
  • How to Build a Successful Team

Describe the Problem

  • How to Write a Problem Statement
  • Conclusion

Interim Containment

  • Setting Healthy Workplace Boundaries
  • Establishing and Maintaining Boundaries

Define the Root Causes

  • Using a systematic approach to collect, display, and analyze data to identify the root cause
  • Tracing a Problem to its Origins

Develop Solutions

  • Finding a solution to attack the root cause and correct the problem

Generating solutions

  • Using mistake-proofing techniques
  • Mistake–Proofing Procedure

Implement the Solution

  • Developing simple and complex action plans
  • Using Gantt and PERT Charts to plan the implementation and monitor progress

Prevent Recurrence

  • Corrective Action and Preventative Action (CAPA)
  • Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA)
  • Ensuring training, audit practices, and knowledge transfer are completed

Congratulate the Team

  • Providing recognition for the problem solving team
  • Rewarding Your Team
  • Importance of Rewarding Your Team
  • Recognizing Their Efforts
  • When and How to Say “Thank You”
  • Ensuring the problem-solving team recognizes those that have assisted them


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