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Problem Solving.

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Presentation on theme: "Problem Solving."— Presentation transcript:

1 Problem Solving

2 "There is no such thing as a problem, merely a situation where the solution is not apparent.“

3 3 Categories of problems
Diagnostic – e.g. working on what’s gone wrong with something and then producing a solution Design – e.g. identifying what needs to be done to develop a product or system then planning how it will be done Contingency – e.g. organising an event, who does what, when, how

4 Tackling a problem determine the problem and the outcome desired;
generate as many ideas as possible; select the best idea; and set both an action plan and a contingency plan.

5 6 Steps for a solution Analyse 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.

6 What 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?

7 Generate Ideas What 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.

8 Build an Action Plan Outline what the outcome is, Who is responsible,
How the job will be monitored, What the resources are, and When the deadline is. Document your plan

9 Contingency planning Always expect the unexpected.

10 Techniques Brainstorming SWOT analyses Risk Assessment Flow Charts
What if …..? Force-field analysis Cost-benefit analysis Taking different viewpoints Mind maps Time lines Decision trees

11 Brainstorming Encourage wild ideas All ideas are of equal value
Build on the ideas put forward by others postpone judgement of ideas Evaluate

12 SWOT analyses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

13 Risk Assessment Resources – money, time Health & Safety
Other activities – knock on effect

14 Technique Identify all possible risks Who/what would it effect
Determine Likelihood and severity Determine how to minimise risk

15 Flow Charts (Process Charts)
Highlights the key steps in a process by helping to: Showing how the different stages relate to each other Identify where the process could be improved – by removing unnecessary stage Identify the sequence of operation.

16 Technique List the processes Classify each process
Arrange them in the sequence they take place Draw flow chart

17 What if …..? A way of getting different angles on a problem
A good question to ask yourself or others Determining possible problems before they occur.

18 Technique Ask this of all the options you or others can think of
Look at the possible consequences Do some calculations on a spreadsheet

19 Force-field analysis Looks at the forces either driving or restraining situations

20 Technique Define the current situation Define the desired situation
Identify forces driving change Identify forces restraining change Consider what can be done to: Make the most positive forces Limit the effect of negative forces Identify goals to take the process forward

21 Cost-benefit analysis
A technique for comparing and evaluating opinion Used to determine whether the cost of an option outweighs the likely benefit.

22 Technique Identify all costs involved with the option
Identify all benefits - financial and non-financial Calculate the financial costs and benefits Determine which brings the greater benefits cost wise and overall.

23 Taking different viewpoints
No two people look at a problem in the same way A problem for one person may not be for another Different people will look at things from a different viewpoint.

24 Technique Look at the situation from someone who has a different point of interest What would you do if you were in their position?

25 Mind Maps Utilises the fact that the brain works by linking key concepts together Shows visually different ways of tackling a problem

26 Technique Using a blank piece of paper or white board, put the problem in the centre Thinking of different parts of the problem put them around the problem linked by a line Draw lines to where there are other links Parts of the problem can be approached in the same way

27 Defective Components Poor quality materials Poor workmanship
Poor supervision Workforce not trained sufficiently

28 Time lines Show: The sequence of activities How long each one lasts
How activities relate to one another on a timescale

29 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Sub-stage

30 Technique List the tasks to be done Place them in sequential order
Allocate time for each task Draw time-line (or produce bar chart).

31 Decision trees Shows the options in visual form

32 Technique Identify the different options available
Draw a small square at the left hand side of a piece of paper Working towards the right insert courses of action with a line from the square If the result is another decision needs to be made another square is drawn and other lines from it If the result is uncertain a circle is drawn and a number of diagonal lines to show the possible outcomes

33 Can we afford a new piece of plant?
Have we the money? Yes Can we afford to pay it back? Could we borrow it? No Yes Yes No No

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