DescriptionWe make decisions and solve problems continually. We start making decisions before we even get out of bed (shall I get up now or not?). Sometimes, we will have made as many as 50 decisions by the time we leave for work. Despite all the natural decision making that goes on and the problem solving we do, some people are very uncomfortable with having to make decisions. You may know someone who has a hard time making decisions about what to eat, never mind the internal wrestling they go through in order to take on major decisions at work.
This two-day workshop will teach participants to:
- Apply problem solving steps and tools
- Analyze information to clearly describe problems
- Identify appropriate solutions
- Think creatively and be a contributing member of a problem solving team
- Select the best approach for making decisions
- Create a plan for implementing, evaluating, and following up on decisions
- Avoid common decision-making mistakes
I. Course OverviewYou will spend the first part of the day getting to know participants and discussing what will take place during the workshop. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives.
II. DefinitionsTo begin, participants will explore what problem solving and decision making means. They will also learn the eight essentials to defining a problem and apply these concepts to a simple case study.
III. Making DecisionsNext, participants will learn about different types of decisions, the difference between facts and information, and common decision making traps such as sampling, bias, and the meaningless difference.
IV. Getting RealNext, participants will review their pre-assignment. This will help them evaluate how they currently solve problems.
V. The Problem Solving ModelDuring this session, participants will learn about a three-phase model that they can apply to most problems. They will also have an opportunity to apply the model to two case studies. Introduction into root cause analysis, force field analysis, brainstorming methods such as checkerboard and affinity diagrams. Participants are also introduced to planning implementations using a solution planning worksheet
VI. Case StudyStudents work with probabilities-best/worst consequences and most probable.
VII. The Problem Solving ToolkitParticipants will learn:
- how to defend problems with logic/justification
- Fishbone analysis (cause mapping)
- Limitations of brainstorming
- To explored steps to take prior to and after brainstorming to ensure that it is a creative process first and a critical process second
- brain writing
- mind mapping (similar to an affinity diagram)
VIII. AspiriniaNext, participants will work through a case study that will help them internalize and apply the concepts learned so far.
IX. Swotting UpSolving business problems can be a bit different than everyday dilemmas, so this session will show participants how to use SWOT analysis in their organization.
X. Making Good Group DecisionsIntroduction to the stepladder technique, the Delphi technique, and the nominal group technique; Fatal mistakes are discussed such as groupthink and fighting the status quo.
XI. Analyzing and Selecting SolutionsThis session will look at the second phase of the problem solving model: making a decision; cost-benefit analysis; deciding needs vs. wants.
XII. Planning and OrganizingTo wrap the course up, participants will learn how to complete the third phase of the problem solving model. Topics will include planning and organizing a solution, completing a follow-up analysis, evaluating results, adapting with change, and celebrating success.
XIII. Workshop Wrap-UpAt the end of the course, students will have an opportunity to ask questions and fill out an action plan.
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