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Problem Solving and Decision Making

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Presentation on theme: "Problem Solving and Decision Making"— Presentation transcript:

1 Problem Solving and Decision Making
Supervision: Concepts and Practices of Management, Second Canadian Edition Hilgert, Leonard, Shemko, and Docherty © 2005 by Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Limited

2 Learning Objectives Explain the importance of decision-making skills in supervisory management. Describe the types of decisions made in organizations. Describe and apply the basic steps of the decision-making process. Explain why a supervisor should not make hasty decisions.

3 Decision Making Decision making—process of defining problems and choosing a course of action from among alternatives

4 Types of Decisions Programmed decisions—solutions to repetitive and routine problems provided by existing policies, procedures, and rules Non-programmed decisions—solutions to new or unusual problems that require adaptive problem-solving behaviour

5 Decision-Making Process
7. Follow Up and Appraise Results 6. Select the “Best” Alternative 5. Evaluate the Alternatives 4. Develop Alternatives Redefine the Problem 3. Establish Decision Criteria 2. Analyze the Problem 1. Define the Problem

6 Define the Problem What is the problem?
How do you know there is a problem? Where has the problem occurred? When has the problem occurred? Who is involved in, or affected by the problem?

7 Analyze the Problem Assemble facts and pertinent information.
Objectively weigh tangible factors, such as reputation, morale, discipline, and personal biases. Use a cause-and-effect diagram.

8 Establish Decision Criteria
Determine standards or measures for evaluating alternatives. Determine which criteria are necessary. Determine their order of priority.

9 Sample Decision Criteria
Work assignments completed on time Incurs no financial cost Doesn’t impede quality of service Puts no job in jeopardy Allows differentiation Has no negative impact Alleviates problem within one week

10 Develop Alternatives Consider as many solutions as can be reasonably developed. Use brainstorming. Be creative. Use nominal group technique (NGT). Consider ethical implications.

11 Brainstorming Brainstorming — a free flow of ideas within a group, while suspending judgment, aimed at developing many alternate solutions to problems

12 Brainstorming Nominal group techniques(NGT) — a group brainstorming and decision-making process by which individual members first identify alternative solutions privately and then share, evaluate, and decide on them as a group

13 Brainstorming Allow no criticism of ideas Seek many ideas
Encourage free wheeling Combine, add on to, and rearrange ideas

14 Ethics in Decision Making
Legal/compliance test Public-knowledge test Long-term-consequences test Examine-your-motives test Inner-voice test

15 Evaluate the Alternatives
Try to foresee probable desirable and undesirable consequences of each alternative. Eliminate alternatives that don’t meet decision criteria and ethical standards. Evaluate how many of the most important criteria each alternative meets.

16 Select the Best Alternative
Optimizing—selecting the alternative that seems best Satisficing—selecting an alternative that meets minimal decision criteria

17 Select the Best Alternative
Bases for choosing the best alternative: Experience Intuition Advice from others Experimentation Quantitative decision making

18 Follow Up and Appraise the Results
The task of decision making isn’t complete without some form of follow-up and action appraisal. When consequences are good, the decision was sound. When consequences are not as anticipated, the decision-making process starts all over again.

19 Tips for Decision Making
Take time Seek opinions and suggestions Gather ample facts Stretch your mind Use objective criteria Admit and rectify errors

20 Impact of Time Take time to ask employees questions:
How extensive is the problem? Does it need an immediate response? Who else is affected? What do you think the end result should be? What do you recommend? Why?

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