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# Women in mining congress problem solving 7 march 2013

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Best practice problem solving process

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### Women in mining congress problem solving 7 march 2013

1. 1. WOMEN IN MINING CONFERENCE CHARLES COTTER 7 MARCH 2013 PROBLEM SOLVING
2. 2. PRESENTATION OVERVIEW  Introduction  Key presentation topics  Summary  Questions
3. 3. Fundamentals of problem- solving  Differentiating between structured and unstructured problems  Engineering-related examples  What types of problems that keep Engineers awake at night?  What are the constraints to solving engineering problems?
4. 4. Critical success factors of effective problem resolution  The right problem solving strategy  Whole brain thinking – combination of left (rational) + right brain (creative) thinking  Sufficiency – time, information and resources  Commitment and ownership (to the implementation of the solution)
5. 5. Whole Brain problem-solving process  Step 1: Problem identification, analysis and definition  Step 2: Search for information and generate alternative solutions  Step 3: Evaluate alternative solutions  Step 4: Select the most appropriate solution  Step 5: Implement the appropriate solution  Step 6: Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented solution
6. 6. Step 1: Problem identification, analysis and definition  This means the search for facts which leads to the development of many explanations and symptoms of the problem  Ultimately results in the identification of the root causes i.e. source/origin of the problem as well as the extent of the problem  A useful technique to use during this step is the fishbone diagram
7. 7. Step 2: Search for information/ generate alternative solutions  This step entails the gathering of problem-related information and other variables that may have a bearing on the identified problem, in order to make an informed decision.  At this step, it is important for team leaders to identify decision criteria that will assist in the making of an objective decision  The decision maker will have to find alternatives that could resolve the problem and these alternatives will have to be relevant to the problem-solving process.  Typically team leaders may use a variety of idea/solution generating techniques and problem solving methods e.g. Brainstorming.
8. 8. Step 3: Evaluate alternative solutions  Team leaders must critically analyze each alternative solution, appraising each against the criteria identified in step 2.  The comparisons will reveal the relative strengths and weaknesses of each alternative and it will highlight the best alternative that can maintain the most significant needs of the criteria.  A useful technique that team leaders can use during the evaluation of ideas/solutions is the decision matrix.
9. 9. Step 4: Select the most appropriate solution  Once the team leader has analyzed the alternatives, the next step is to choose the best alternative.  Making an informed and objective decision.
10. 10. Step 5: Implement the appropriate solution  The team leader then puts the decision into action using the chosen alternative accordingly.  Develops an implementation plan – 4 W’s + H.
11. 11. Step 6: Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented solution  The team leader monitors and evaluates the outcomes of the decision, to see if the problem had been resolved.  They determine whether the decision was best, and if not s/he would need to assess what went wrong.  Taking remedial/corrective action (if required)
12. 12. SUMMARY  Key points  Questions  Contact details:  Charles Cotter  084 562 9446  charlescot@polka.co.za  Linked In  Twitter @Charles_Cotter