Problem Solving & Decision Making Course

Our Problem Solving & Decision Making Course is accredited by the Services Seta and material covers unit standards 242817 at NQF level 4 worth 8 credits

Course Duration: 2 Days

You have experienced times when you looked at solutions to work problems and said to yourself, “I should have thought of that”. But you didn’t. Some people find it easy to solve problems or challenges in the workplace while others find it almost impossible. The real issue is not just about being creative but how to use clear processes to clarify problems and come up with effective solutions. This course aims to help you to improve your decision-making ability through critical thinking, problem analysis and the creative development of solutions.

Course Duration: 2 Days

Upon completion the participants should be able to:

  • Identify the main obstacles that prevent problems from being solved in the organisation
  • Understand the components required for successful problem solving
  • Understand the importance of proper problem solving activity
  • Use problem solving techniques to improve productivity and profitability
  • Explain the benefits of having an effective and proactive approach to solving problems

The course will cover the following items below:

  • What is a Problem?
  • A Problem is a Deviation from Acceptable Performance
  • There is a gap between what is actually happening and what is supposed to be happening
  • Solving the problem will close the performance gap

Why Solve Problems?

  • In an organization where problems exist but remain unsolved the following can occur:
    • De-motivation of staff
    • Loss of customers
    • Waste of resources
    • Reduction of profit
    • Compromised growth / survival potential
  • Solving a problem usually removes an impediment from work leading to:
    • Increased productivity
    • Increased enjoyment
    • Less stress
    • Improved quality
    • Improved efficiency

The Problem Solving Process

  • To succeed, the problem solving process must be:
    • Suitable for the organization
    • Robust enough to survive
    • Simple enough to be understood
    • Implementable
    • Seen to be effective and transparent

Problem Solving Journey

  • There are 4 main phases in the problem solving journey:
    • Problem Identification
    • Cause Identification
    • Remedy identification
    • Remedy implementation

These can be further classified as:

  • Diagnostic activities
  • Remedial activities

Types of Problems:

  • Problems can be broadly grouped into 3 categories:
    • System problems
    • People problems
    • Process problems
  • Each problem category has its own peculiarities which must be taken into consideration when tackling them

Problem solvers are People who are:

  • Capable
  • Trained
  • Motivated
  • Open
  • Honest
  • Imaginative
  • Disciplined

Problem solving processes are:

  • Suitable
  • Flexible
  • Robust
Course Duration: 2 Days

The nature and importance of self-awareness in problem solving

  • Introduction to a holistic view of self -awareness
  • Understand the role of self-awareness in pro-active identification of potential problems

Understanding how the human mind works

  • How thinking and reasoning processes operate
  • Barriers to sound reasoning
  • How to control and evaluate your thought processes

Forming problem solving teams

  • The characteristics of high performing teams
  • Individuals versus teams

Problem solving approach

  • Problem definition
  • Causal analysis
  • Alternative approaches
  • Selection of solution
  • Implementation plan
  • Monitoring

Creative Thinking

  • What it is and what it’s not
  • Lateral thinking
  • De Bono’s six hats exercise
  • Thinking outside the box

Problem Analysis tools and techniques

  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Pareto analysis
  • Star-bursting
  • Decision tree analysis
  • McKinsey 7’s Framework

Decision Making tools
Although the facilitator will provide input, the course is highly interactive and participants will be involved in practical problem solving activities.