# Problem Solving Panther Prep North Central High School.

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Problem Solving Panther Prep North Central High School

Quote Shall we flip a coin? Maybe not50% of the time you may lose!

Heuristics A heuristic is a general guide to solving a problem. Heuristics are rules of thumb, not guaranteed to work perfectly but will often dramatically increase the odds of a successful solution. Example: the process one goes through when buying a car.

A Six-Step Problem Solving Heuristic Research and define the problem Determine the cause(s) of the problem Generate solutions for the problem Decide on the best solution Implement the solution Evaluate the solution

Step 1: Research and Define the Problem Thoroughly familiarize oneself with the situation and its possible causes Ask questions: have we encountered this problem before? Research using the Internet, local news sources, and personal interviews.

Present State/Desired State Present State I weigh 170 lbs. Desired State I weigh 150 lbs (stated in present tense)

Step 2: Determine the Cause(s) of the Problem A Trouble-Shooting Analysis (TSA) can sharpen the determination of causes. What is or what is not causing the problem? Once the problem-solver decides on the cause of the problem, he/she needs to check her conclusions against the TSA questions.

Step 3: Generating Solutions Research is the best way to generate solutions Try brainstorming: use the brain to create a storm of ideas – Alex Osborne, early 1900s Try random simulation: break out of linear thinking by thinking of related ideas to randomly generated words

Step 3: Generating Solutions (contd) Try futuring: imagine that you are in the future, where anything is possible. It may yield impossible-sounding ideas that are indeed possible. Try Other Peoples Views (OPV): Think about the problem from another persons Point of View. Try a Graphic Organizer: a graphic method for organizing and displaying a list of possibilities

4. Decide on the Best Solution The alternatives to solve the problem must be analyzed in detail to determine the best solution Reconsider some of the ideas generated in defining the problem and identifying its causes Try the Wants/Needs Analysis (WNA): defining the key criteria for your choices and then measuring the alternatives against the criteria

4. Decide on the Best Solution WNA –List key criteria or measures of effectiveness Generate a short list of must criteria For an alternative to pass through the must filterit must meet or exceed requirements –Ex. Buying a new houselist essential qualities house must have

4. Decide on the Best Solution WNA –Then generate a list of desirable but not essential features want criteria Desirable, but not a deal breaker if absent Grading scale that permits comparison

MUSTS1316 Elm St. 7623 Hardy 4723 Main Ave. 2149 Dunlap Ave. 5272 E. Hens-ridge 1. The house must cost less than \$200,000 Yes NoYes 2. The house must have at least 4 bed rooms Yes 3. The house must have at least a 2-car garage YesNoYes 4. House must have at least 2 full bathrooms Yes No

Wants Importance= I Satisfaction = S I 1-10 S 0-10 1316 Elm St. I x S= ptsS 0-10 2149 Dunlap Av I x S = pts 1. Jacuzzi7856642 2. Fireplace372100 3. Swimming Pool 98728 4. Picket Fence700963 5. Friendly neighbors 8648864 6. Park nearby5315210 Total (I x S) score 221251

4. Decide on the Best Solution Choose the best alternative that you can live with! –You can decide differently than a heuristic recommends Next, be ready to follow through with your decision…

5. Implement the Solution An essential part of solving the problem is listing the series of specific steps to make it happen and then carrying them out –Flowcharts can help depict the sequence of steps

5. Implement the Solution The Contingency Plan –Helps you anticipate what might go wrong in the implementation process –List all possible problems, their causes, and possible effects –Develop a Plan A and a Plan B for fallback measures

6. Evaluate the Solution Have I really solved the original problem, and I have done so in the best way? Seek feedback to help with this process Develop a check-up schedule to inspect and monitor the problem solution