PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION MAKING

I. COURSE OBJECTIVES

  • Why do some people find problem solving an exciting challenge, where others find it stressful? How do some managers make quick and productive decisions while others put off crucial decisions until the last minute? Which of the two statements best describes your attitude to problem solving and decision making? The answer to the first two questions is that the first group of people works through a tried and tested methodology in order to improve their effectiveness and efficiency in finding solutions and route maps to get things done.
  • These skills can be learned and this two-day program investigates in detail how you can be a proactive team player in both problem solving and decision making. This highly interactive and fun course takes a step-by-step journey through the pathways of moving your organization from identifying the route of the problem, creating solutions and turning them into workable decisions.
  • By the end of the program, participants will be able to:
    • Introduce a structured model for systematically addressing problems.
    • Practice the use of some key problem-solving tools and techniques.
    • Analyze problems from different angles and obtain the optimum solution.
    • Demonstrate the use of several disciplines in decision-making.
    • Learn various creative idea-generating tools which can be practically applied at the workplace.

II. TRAINING PROCESS

  • The training is conducted by workshop process base. The workshop is carefully designed to address all styles of learning and to engage participants fully. Lectures and discussions are either preceded or followed by powerful individual or group exercises. These exercises provide opportunities for personal participation in real situations. This process makes training fun filled, fast-paced, challenging and empowering.

III. WHO SHOULD ATTEND

  • Managers, Supervisors and Team Leaders
  • Business Professionals who can improve their problem-solving techniques
  • New Managers within an organization
  • Anyone involved in the management of a project which is set to have a high impact on their organization
  • Anyone who wants to enhance their problem-solving skills

III.THE PROGRAM CONTENTS

Day 1: The Psychology of Problem Solving and Decision Making

  • Definitions, Principles and Overview
  • Problem-Solving Mindsets and Attitudes
  • Problem Ownership
  • Values, Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Psychological type and Lateral Thinking for Problem Solving
    • Lateral Thinking (generative) versus Vertical Thinking (selective)
    • Ask Searching Questions
    • Why questions
    • How questions
    • Practicing Lateral Thinking
  • Individual or group decision making: case studies
  • Breaking Down Complex Problems into Progressively Smaller Parts
  • The 5-step Problem-Solving Method
  • Classifying and Prioritizing Problems
  • Techniques of Recognizing Problems
  • Isolating the Causes from the Symptoms
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • The Pareto Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis

Day 2: Applying Effective Decision-Making Skills in the Workplace

  • Encouraging creative problem solving for continuous improvement
  • Convergent versus Divergent Thinking
    • Convergent thinking → Established answers to questions
    • Divergent thinking → Spontaneous and free-flowing thinking
  • Divergent Thinking Skills for solving problems
  • Using SCAMPER techniques to approach problem solving
    • S = Substitute
    • C = Combine
    • A = Adapt
    • M = Magnify
    • P = Put to Other Uses
    • E = Eliminate (or Minify)
    • R = Rearrange (or Reverse)
  • Applying SCAMPER techniques to make effective decisions
  • Decision Analysis Matrix
  • Consensus Decision-Making
  • Subjective versus Objective Decision-Making
  • Impact analysis; Identifying all the consequences of a decision
  • Creative leadership during problem solving and decision-making sessions
  • Ensuring alignment with corporate mission
  • Practicing within-company communication for problem solving
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