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# Problem solving& Decision Making

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An Educational presentation about Problem solving and decision making using different tools and offering solutions to problem solving, creative thinking and Decision making

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• Excellent organization of the slides allowing an in depth look at problem-solving and how we make decisions.

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### Problem solving& Decision Making

1. 1. Problem Solving& Decision Making Sahar Consulting, LLC
2. 2. Do not put a band aid – Solve the root of the problem You can’t solve problems with the same thinking that created them Albert Einstein "In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." (attributed to Theodore Roosevelt)
3. 3.  Thinking should be taught (6 hats)  Difference between IQ & Thinking (Car Motor-Potential & Skills of Driver OR Computer & Software)  1+2+3+……10 = 55  1 + 2+ 3+………….98+99+100= 5050  100+99+98+……………3+ 2+ 1= 5050 ------------------------------------------ 101 101 101 101 101 101 x 50
4. 4. Problem Solving 3. Problem Solving Process4. Problem Solving Tools 1. What is Problem Solving? 2. Barriers to Effective Problem Solving
5. 5. Problem Solving& Decision Making The relationship between them Problem solving and Decision making go hand in hand. Practicing them effectively will increase your potential to advance
6. 6.  Scenario not matching the desired situation needing improvement- Challenge / Opportunity  Anytime actual performance does not match expectations  Problems don't occur without a reason.  In any situation with a problem, there must be an historical point; when actual performance started to deviate.  Something happened at the time x which caused the problem to occur.  It is important to distinguish between symptoms of a problem and its causes What is a Problem?
7. 7. Barriers to Problem Solving  Failure to recognize the problem- not sure what the problem is  Conceiving the problem too narrowly, not sure what is happening  Making a hasty choice, not sure what you want  Failure to consider all consequences, not enough resources  Failure to consider the feasibility of the solution  Failure to know to communicate what is possible  Failure to define what YOU did that was responsible for your success  Team attitudes like complacency, ridiculing others’ ideas, lack of accountability, dysfunctions, fear of change, lack of trust and doubts  Too many chefs in the kitchen  Value judgment: Members afraid to be judged based on their skills
8. 8. Avoiding Pitfalls (A) Giving up too early (B) Jumping straight to conclusions about the cause (C) Not getting the right people involved (D) Not collecting all the relevant data  The worst one is “B " because. It is always tempting to jump to conclusions assuming we know the cause, and take action to solve it.
9. 9. Don’t be ridiculous. We tried that before. We’ve never done it before. It costs too much. It isn’t in the budget. That beyond our responsibility. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. We’ll be the laughing stock. Are our competitors doing it? We don’t have time. You’re two years ahead of your time. It’s too radical a change. Top management will never go for it. Not practical for operating. Let’s form a committee.That’s not out problem. Has anyone else tried it? We’re not ready for that. Attitudes That Kill Creative Ideas
10. 10. Creative Problem Solving  Creativity means uniqueness and innovation  The creative problem solving process is at work anytime you identify solutions that have value or that somehow improve a situation for someone AT&T
11. 11. Creative Problem Solving Six major steps to implement solutions to almost any kind of problem. The steps are: 1. Information Gathering to understand before proceeding. Determine what type of information it is. 2. Problem Definition, Identify the proper questions: What, Why, Who, How, When, Which, Where… In some cases, taking action to address a problem before adequately identifying the problem is worse than doing nothing as it will waste time, money and human resources. Happens when you only treat symptoms 3. Generating Possible Solutions using various tools 4. Analyzing Possible Solutions, or determining the effectiveness of possible solutions before proceeding 5. Selecting the Best Solution(s) 6. Planning the Next Course of Action (Next Steps), or implementing the solution(s)
12. 12. Re-Arrange 2 matches and make 7 Squares
13. 13. Problem Solving Action Flow (PAID) • Set a Problem Statement – Describe the problem – Develop a one sentence problem statement • Analyze the problem in detail – Analyze what is wrong – Analyze what is right • Identify likely causes – What's different? – What has changed? – What are the most likely explanations? • Define actual cause/s – What is the most likely explanation? – Can I prove it?
14. 14. Most crucial step in problem solving and should always be the initial step: First determine what type of information it is:  Facts: Small pieces of known data, based on objective details and experience.  Opinions also based on observation and experience, but are subjective and can be self-serving.  Opinionated fact when a fact and opinion are presented together, usually used to sway others.  Concepts are general ideas or categories of items or ideas that share common features, important to develop theories.  Assumptions Concept/suggestion taken for granted.  Procedures info on how to do something with specific steps.  Processes are continuous actions or operations to explain how something works or operates.  Principles accepted rules, laws or doctrines, often describing actions or conduct. Gather Information
15. 15.  This new computer system is too hard to learn.  Only 23 birds died.  My house backyard space is 1/5 of an acre.  The background is red.  A new employee benefit program is too expensive to implement.  To wash your hands, first wet your hands, then add soap, rub your hands to lather the soap, and rinse off the soap.  The water cycle includes the evaporation of water, the condensation of water vapor into clouds, rain, and water flowing in streams and rivers back to lakes and seas.  Gravity causes dropped objects to always fall to the ground. Examples OPINION OPINIONATED FACT FACT RED IS A CONCEPT ASSUMPTION PROCEDURE PROCESS PRINCIPLE
16. 16. Problem Solving Process Accepting the Problem Step 1: What is the Problem? Step 2: Setting the Problem Statement Step 3: Analyze the Problem in details Step 4: Identify Likely causes Step 5: Define actual causes
17. 17. What is the Problem? (1) Accepting the Problem Define Present & Desired State
18. 18.  Need first to accept the problem by acknowledging that the problem exists and committing yourself to trying to solve it.  Strategies to find the motivation to enter the process: 1.List you benefits from solving the problem. 2.Formalize your acceptance- Commit to solve the problem 3.Accept responsibility for your life 4.Create a “worst-case” scenario. 5.Identify what’s holding you back.- what is preventing you from solving the problem? It could be your fear of change Accepting the Problem
19. 19. 1. Where did the problem start? Where it exists or not? 2. What Do I know about the problem? What is the current state and desired state- What can you see is causing the problem? What results I seek? 3. How is it happening? 4. When is it happening? 5. Whom is it happening to? No Blaming 6. Why is it happening? 7. Which part causes it?  Stating and restating the problem  Analyze the problem  List everything you know about the problem  List what you want the solution to achieve Define The Problem Hotel Elevator
20. 20.  Interview / question anyone who might know something useful about the problem. Ask questions to: 1. Clarify the situation 2. Challenge assumptions about the problem 3. Determine possible reasons and evidence 4. Explore different perspectives concerning the problem 5. Ask more about the original question If you can not identify the problem find out who did before, challenge their assumptions Where Did the Problem Start?
21. 21. 1. Write a statement of the situation as it currently exists. 2. Then you write a statement of where what you would like the situation to look like. 3. The desired state should include concrete details and should not contain any information about possible causes or solutions. 4. Refine the descriptions for each state until the concerns and needs identified in the present state are addressed in the desired state. Define Present & Desired State
22. 22.  Write a statement of the problem, no matter how vague. Then  Try different triggers: Different words and ask questions about each one.  Replace one word with a substitute that explicitly defines the word to reframe the problem.  Rephrase the statement with positives instead of negatives and VV to obtain an opposite problem.  Add or change words that indicate quantity or time  Identify any persuasive or opinionated words in the statement. Replace or eliminate them.  Try drawing a picture of the problem or writing the problem as an equation. Stating & Re-Stating the Problem
23. 23. Setting the Problem Statement (2) Describe the problem Develop a one sentence problem statement
24. 24. Write Problem Statement  Describe the problem as a general view; to lay a solid foundation for further work.  The problem statement should: 1. Include specific details about the problem, including who, what, when, where, and how 2. Address the scope of the problem to identify boundaries of what you can reasonably solve  The problem statement should not include: 1. Any mention of possible causes 2. Any potential solutions  Should be precise and clear so anyone can comprehend it. A detailed, and concise problem statement will provide clear-cut goals for focus and direction for coming up with solutions
25. 25.  Several potential reasons are given below: 1. Wrong problem statement wrong = Search in the wrong areas for the problem's cause = loss of time, money and resources. 2. Decide what work must be completed to find the cause and in what order. 3. Keeping the problem statement visible during the search for the cause keeps effort focused in the right area.  The problem statement provides the context within which all further work takes place. Why Setting the Problem Statement is Important ?
26. 26. Analyze the Problem in Detail (3) Analyze what is wrong Analyze what is right
27. 27. Overview Analyze the Problem in Detail  Avoid the trap of focusing on what is wrong, ignoring what is right; Use:  What? question: is right or wrong  Where? To locate the problem, where the problem exists and where it does not.  When? To discover the timing of the problem, when it occurs and when it does not, when first and last seen.  Who: Is involved and who is not  How? To explore extent: • How far, how many, how much affected Looking at the distinctions between the answers to these questions on right and wrong will lead to helpful insights about the problem. Sharpen the statements as the problem becomes clearer.
28. 28. How do you decide which questions to ask?  Asking questions is the key to analyzing problems. The best questions nearly always start with: What? Why? When? Who? Where? How much? Because such questions cannot be answered with a single word, but require some form of comment  Your problem statement and description are the best grounds for generating the right questions.  Hold creative thinking session to generate questions.  Brainstorming, bug listing and reversals can all be used in this context.
29. 29. Analyzing what is wrong?  Aim to develop a detailed specification of the problem.  Measure its scale and scope, determining what the detailed symptoms are and the negative consequences they cause.  It also needs to determine who is involved and when and how often the problem occurs.
30. 30. Analyzing what is right?  The purpose of this is to determine what the problem is not.  If things are going well, then they can't be part of the problem. 1. What am I satisfied with? 2. When are things correct? 3. How much is correct? 4. Where are things correct? 5. Who is not involved?
31. 31. (4) Identify Likely Causes What's different? What has changed? What are the most likely causes?
32. 32. Identify Likely Causes  Identify the differences between what you identified and between what is right and what is wrong.  What is Different? Distinctive symptoms, Locations, Time (when it happens and when it doesn’t), Group ( affected or not affected)  What has changed? Something happened to cause the problem (when). People (skill, leadership) / Materials (Specification, quality) / Equipment (new, change in maintenance) / Processes (Training processes, patterns of communications)  What are the most likely explanations?
33. 33. Define Actual Causes (5) What is the most likely explanation? Can I prove it?
34. 34. Define Actual Causes  Identifying what is the most likely explanation for the symptoms identified, is it consistent with the data collected.  Proving the cause: Testing if the cause identified explains the symptoms:  Identification of the cause of a problem will almost always lead to action designed to eliminate it, make sure it is the right cause explains all facts at hand  If action is taken to eliminate the wrong cause, there is a strong possibility that your actions will only make matters worse.  Test the assumptions that support the analysis  Replicate the problem in a controlled environment  Therefore, it is often worthwhile seeing if you can prove that the most likely explanation is the actual cause.
35. 35. Reflective Diary
36. 36. Decision Making  Process involves evaluating and choosing among available alternatives and implementing solutions.  It is about making choices  These aptitudes are crucial to leadership  Decisions and problem solving can be found in human brains or technical brains i.e. computers.
37. 37. Decision Making The ICES decision making process stands for Initiate Criteria Evaluate Select
38. 38. The ICES Process  INITIATE: Deciding what to decide. This is the first important stage of any decision making process - INITIATING THE DECISION  CRITERIA: Defining exactly what you want  EVALUATE: Evaluating the options available against the CRITERIA.  SELECT: Selecting the best option
39. 39. 6 C's of Decision Making 1. Construct: A clear picture of precisely what must be decided. 2. Compile: A list of requirements that must be met 3. Collect: Information on alternatives that meet the requirements. 4. Compare: Alternatives that meet the requirements 5. Consider: The “what might go wrong” factor with each alternative. 6. Commit: To a decision and follow through with it
40. 40. Steps For Decision Making To make sure that you are making the best choice,
41. 41. Example
42. 42. Ethics& Decision Making • Ethics defines what is good/ bad; nature of obligations or duties which people owe both themselves and one another. • Business decisions are difficult; not an extension of individual or society ethics. However, the following support being ethical: Trustworthiness Respect Responsibility Fairness Caring Citizenship Cultures
43. 43. Risks in decision making Some points:  Only risk-takers are truly free. All decisions of consequence involve risk.  No such thing as permanent security.  It is natural to be afraid when you risk.  Separation anxiety is normal when you are out of your comfort zone
44. 44. Risks in decision making  Is risk necessary, desirable, have a clear purpose and a goal.  Do it for the right reasons, when calm, thoughtful, and non-emotional.  Look pros, cons, probabilities, consequence s, & worst case scenarios  When possible, take one risk at a time.  Use Imaging and visualization  Have a plan, a timetable with setting SMART Goals.  Dismiss extremely remote or unrealistic possibilities that are highly/extremely improbable, avoid catastrophes whenever possible.
45. 45. Common decision-Making errors & Biases Overconfidence Immediate Gratification Anchoring Effect Selective Perception Confirmation framing Availability representation Randomness Sunk costs Self-serving Hindsight Decision-Making Errors & Biases
46. 46. Common Biases and Errors  Overconfidence Bias – Believing too much in our own ability to make good decisions.  Hindsight Bias- Opposite of overconfidence – Looking back, once the outcome has occurred, and believing that you accurately predicted the outcome of an event (Driver / noises in car)  Anchoring Bias – Using early, first received information as the basis for making subsequent judgments. (Coroner/ Burned airplane)  Confirmation Bias – Using only the facts that support our decision.
47. 47. Common Biases and Errors  Availability Bias – Using information that is most readily at hand. • Recent • Vivid  Representative Bias – “Mixing apples with oranges” – Assessing the likelihood of an occurrence by trying to match it with a preexisting category using only the facts that support our decision.  Framing Bias: – Decision makers are influenced by the way information is presented – Example 85% lean meat versus 15% fat  Escalation of Commitment: (Used car) – Continue of failing course of action even after information have been revealed – Continuation is often based on the idea that one has already invested in the course of action- May not want to admit they are wrong OR may be investing more time and energy will make things work
48. 48. Straightforward decisions are: Programmed decisions, or decisions that occur frequently enough that we develop an automated response to them. The automated response is called the decision rule. Example, Chain of reactions in restaurants complaints where it is routine to receive them Unique and important decisions require conscious thinking, information gathering, and careful consideration of alternatives. These are called non-programmed decisions. Example, in 2005 McDonald’s Corporation became aware of the need to respond to growing customer concerns about health>> Healthy alternatives Types of Decisions
49. 49. I- Problem Restatement Technique  Broaden our perspective of a problem, not to solve it  Help us identify the central issues & alternative solutions  Increase the chance that the outcome our analysis produces will fully, not partially, resolve the problem Decision Making Tools
50. 50. II- SWOT Analysis: 1- Strength 2- Weaknesses 3- Opportunities 4- Threats Decision Making Tools
51. 51. III- Pareto Principle: 80% of unfocussed effort generates only 20% of results. The remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort. Decision Making Tools
52. 52. Decision Making Tools Individual Brainstorming: 1. Tends to develop fewer ideas, but takes each idea further 2. Can be risky for individuals. Valuable but strange suggestions may appear stupid at first sight. Group Brainstorming: 1. It is best for generating many ideas, but can be time consuming 2. Needs formal rules for it to work smoothly( Disagreements) 3. Group brainstorming sessions are usually enjoyable experiences, which are great for creating cohesion in a team IV- Brainstorming: No criticism of ideas, free rein is given to creativity
53. 53. Decision Making Tools V- Cause& Effect VI- Porter’s 5 Forces:
54. 54. VII- Cost Benefit Analysis: Cost/benefit analysis – evaluating quantitatively whether to follow a course of action. Add up the value of the benefits of a course of action and subtract the costs associated with it. Decision Making Tools
55. 55. VII- Six Thinking Hats- Tools/ Framework Creative Positive Objective Feelings Negative Process Avoid confusion Parallel Thinking = cooperation
56. 56. 6 Six Thinking Hats
57. 57. Benefits of Using 6 Thinking Hats  Role-playing (Put the hat on, take the hat off, switch hats, and signal your thinking)  Encourage creative, parallel and lateral thinking  Improve communication  Speed up decision making  Avoid debate  Detaching the Ego  Occasional Use (Single Hat)  Sequence Use
58. 58. White Hat - Objective Facts, Figures, Data and Information Questions:  What information do we have here?  What information is missing?  What information would we like to have?  How are we going to get the information?
59. 59. Red Hat – Feelings Feelings, Intuition, Emotions and Hunches No need to justify the feelings. How do I feel about this right now? Examples:  My gut-feeling is that this will not work.  I don't like the way this is being done.  This proposal is terrible.  My intuition tells me that prices will fall soon.
60. 60. Black Hat - Negative Caution, Difficulty, Judgment and Assessment Questions:  Is this true?  Will it work?  What are the weaknesses?  What is wrong with it? Critical Thinking Hat
61. 61. Yellow Hat - Positive Benefits, Feasibility and Optimism Questions:  Why is this worth doing?  What are the benefits?  Why can it be done?  Why will it work?
62. 62. Green Hat - Creative Creative Ideas, Alternatives, Suggestions, and Proposals Questions:  Are there any additional alternatives?  Could we do this in a different way?  Could there be another explanation?  What are some possible solutions and courses of action? Creative Thinking Hat
63. 63. Blue Hat - Process Sums it up what is learned. Reflection on how the whole thinking process was conducted Examples:  Set the agenda.  Suggest the next steps.  Ask for other hats.  Ask for summaries, conclusions, and decisions. Meta-Cognition Hat
64. 64. Problem Solving& Decision Making Action Plan Next 2 Months 2 Actions Partners What behavior you will work on? To mold this behavior are: Who do I go to for help?
65. 65. Proprietary Content of Sahar Consulting, LLC.  All the pictures used in the workbook are copyrighted and are used SOLELY for the purpose of education and learning ONLY not for commercial use  This presentation is the intellectual property of, and is proprietary to Sahar Consulting, LLC and it is not to be disclosed, in whole or in part, without the express written authorization of Sahar Consulting, LLC. It shall not be duplicated or used, in whole or in part, for any purpose other than to be educational material for the “Problem Solving & Decision Making” workshop training for the City Of Burbank. The presentation can’t be used in part of whole in the same program/ similar or different programs if not facilitated by Sahar Consulting, LLC.
66. 66. Q&A
67. 67. Q & A