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1 Problem Solving in Groups SFF Project Workshop 11.30-1.00pm 2nd April, 2003 Acknowledgement Community Toolbox, Bringing Solutions.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Problem Solving in Groups SFF Project Workshop 11.30-1.00pm 2nd April, 2003 Acknowledgement Community Toolbox, Bringing Solutions."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Problem Solving in Groups SFF Project Workshop pm 2nd April, 2003 Acknowledgement Community Toolbox, Bringing Solutions to Light, University of Kansas

2 2 Introduction What is a ‘problem’? the difference between what is, and what might or should be. What is ‘problem solving’? "an individual or collaborative process composed of two different skills: (1) to analyse a situation accurately, & (2) to make a good decision based on that analysis."

3 3 Collaborative problem solving Why ‘collaborative’ problem solving? -problems & challenges faced as members of our organisations often affect everyone in the group -When working with more than just a few people, solving a problem with a set process becomes more manageable. -It raises ownership of & commitment to the solution & increases group satisfaction.

4 4 The Problem Solving Process 1. Running effective meetings 2. Developing facilitation skills 3. Developing recorder skills 4. Defining & analysing the problem 5. Generating & choosing solutions 6. Putting the solutions into practice

5 5 Defining & Analysing the problem- Clarifying the problem 1. Start with what you know 2. Decide what information is missing 3. Gather information on the problem. 4. Define the problem. (see tool #1- Deciding on a Problem Statement)

6 6 Defining & Analysing the problem- Deciding to solve the problem Some criteria to help your decision. The problem: occurs frequently. (frequency) has lasted for a while. (duration) affects many people. (scope, or range) is disturbing, and possibly intense -disruptive of personal or community life. (severity) deprives people of legal or moral rights. (legality) is perceived as a problem. (perception) Also consider: Feasability? Are you best placed to solve it?Any possible negative impacts?

7 7 Defining & Analysing the problem- Choosing among problems List the problems you are facing, & to what extent they meet the criteria (frequency, duration etc). It's hard to assign numerical values for something like this, because for each situation, one of the criteria may strongly outweigh the others. However, just having all of the information in front of the group can help the decision making process. (See tool #2- deciding to solve the problem & choosing between problems)

8 8 Defining & Analysing the problem- Analysing the problem Why analyse the problem? To better identify what the problem or issue is.... To understand what is at the heart of a problem.... To determine the barriers and resources associated with addressing the problem. To develop the best action steps for addressing the problem.

9 9 Defining & Analysing the problem- Analysing the problem The group should be led through a process of understanding every aspect of the problem by answering questions such as: WHAT is the problem? (start with problem statement) WHY does the problem exist? (see tool #3 ‘analysing the problem- why does the problem exist) WHO is causing the problem, and who is affected by it? WHEN did the problem first occur, or when did it become significant? Is this a new problem or an old one? HOW MUCH, or to what extent, is this problem occurring? How many people are affected by the problem? How significant is it?

10 10 Generating & choosing solutions Strategies may include: Round the room (verbal) Round the room (written) Idea writing Brainstorming (see tool #4, generating & choosing solutions)

11 11 Generating & choosing solutions Comparing solutions 1. For each idea, list * What you like about it * What you don't like it * What the side effects might be 2. Ask the following questions: * Is it practical? * Is it effective? * Is it cost effective? * Will it be easy to put into practice? Will it be accepted by everyone involved? Is it consistent with other things done by the group? 3. Modify the solution you are looking at, if suggestions have come up that can improve it. (see tool #5, Comparing solutions)

12 12 Generating & choosing solutions - Making a decision When it comes to how to make a decision, you can: 1. Have someone decide, & then announce the decision to the group 2. Gather input from individuals/the group & then have one person decide. 3. Vote 4. Try to build consensus among everyone at the meeting (see tool #6: Deciding on a solution)

13 13 The Next Step….. Having worked through this process, the obvious next step is to implement the chosen solution……and of course, to evaluate it! Good Luck!


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