2"There is no such thing as a problem, merely a situation where the solution is not apparent.“
33 Categories of problems Diagnostic – e.g. working on what’s gone wrong with something and then producing a solutionDesign – e.g. identifying what needs to be done to develop a product or system then planning how it will be doneContingency – e.g. organising an event, who does what, when, how
4Tackling a problem determine the problem and the outcome desired; generate as many ideas as possible;select the best idea; andset both an action plan and a contingency plan.
56 Steps for a solutionAnalyse the current situation - what is the problem and why is it a problem.Define your objectives - what are you trying to achieve.Determine the reasons for the problem - How did the problem occur and what actions will eradicate it.Develop a solution strategy and alternatives - What courses of action are available which will get rid of the problem.Compare your strategy to your objectives - will the courses of action available achieve your objectives.Decide on the best option and implement.
6What does the "solved" problem look like? What do you want to happen when the problem is "solved"?How will people feel when it's solved?
7Generate IdeasWhat seems like new ideas are the result of making new combinations of old ideas.Things change so fast that we can't solve today's problems with yesterday's answers.There's almost always more than one right answer.Sometimes we must unlearn what we know. Instead of assuming you know the answer, wait until you gather all the facts.Look at things the same as everyone else, but think differently.
8Build an Action Plan Outline what the outcome is, Who is responsible, How the job will be monitored,What the resources are, andWhen the deadline is.Document your plan
9Contingency planningAlways expect the unexpected.
10Techniques Brainstorming SWOT analyses Risk Assessment Flow Charts What if …..?Force-field analysisCost-benefit analysisTaking different viewpointsMind mapsTime linesDecision trees
11Brainstorming Encourage wild ideas All ideas are of equal value Build on the ideas put forward by others postpone judgement of ideasEvaluate
13Risk Assessment Resources – money, time Health & Safety Other activities – knock on effect
14Technique Identify all possible risks Who/what would it effect Determine Likelihood and severityDetermine how to minimise risk
15Flow Charts (Process Charts) Highlights the key steps in a process by helping to:Showing how the different stages relate to each otherIdentify where the process could be improved – by removing unnecessary stageIdentify the sequence of operation.
16Technique List the processes Classify each process Arrange them in the sequence they take placeDraw flow chart
17What if …..? A way of getting different angles on a problem A good question to ask yourself or othersDetermining possible problems before they occur.
18Technique Ask this of all the options you or others can think of Look at the possible consequencesDo some calculations on a spreadsheet
19Force-field analysisLooks at the forces either driving or restraining situations
20Technique Define the current situation Define the desired situation Identify forces driving changeIdentify forces restraining changeConsider what can be done to:Make the most positive forcesLimit the effect of negative forcesIdentify goals to take the process forward
21Cost-benefit analysis A technique for comparing and evaluating opinionUsed to determine whether the cost of an option outweighs the likely benefit.
22Technique Identify all costs involved with the option Identify all benefits - financial and non-financialCalculate the financial costs and benefitsDetermine which brings the greater benefits cost wise and overall.
23Taking different viewpoints No two people look at a problem in the same wayA problem for one person may not be for anotherDifferent people will look at things from a different viewpoint.
24TechniqueLook at the situation from someone who has a different point of interestWhat would you do if you were in their position?
25Mind MapsUtilises the fact that the brain works by linking key concepts togetherShows visually different ways of tackling a problem
26TechniqueUsing a blank piece of paper or white board, put the problem in the centreThinking of different parts of the problem put them around the problem linked by a lineDraw lines to where there are other linksParts of the problem can be approached in the same way
32Technique Identify the different options available Draw a small square at the left hand side of a piece of paperWorking towards the right insert courses of action with a line from the squareIf the result is another decision needs to be made another square is drawn and other lines from itIf the result is uncertain a circle is drawn and a number of diagonal lines to show the possible outcomes
33Can we afford a new piece of plant? Have we the money?YesCan we afford to pay it back?Could we borrow it?NoYesYesNoNo