Employees in any organization find themselves solving problems on a daily basis. The ability to identify the problem, pinpoint the true cause, and identify a workable solution is essential for personal, professional, and organizational success.
In this course, participants will learn to identify problems proactively, correctly state identified problems, identify the most likely cause, and determine innovative solutions. They are also asked to bring a current work problem to class and be prepared to have fun with problem solving!
Participants begin the course by working in small groups to solve a problem. During the debrief, they discuss challenges and successes in the process they used to resolve the problem. In this discussion, they identify a problem as being the gap between the current state a nd the desired state. They also discuss and identify barriers to effective problem solving and their role in overcoming those barriers. Similar small problems are introduced periodically during the day to challenge participants’ thinking and keep it fresh.
In the next segment of the course, participants are introduced to a six-step problem-solving process. Using a case study based on an actual problem, they will work step-by-step in small groups and apply the process to the case study. While working through these steps, they will become familiar with multiple tools that they can use to identify causes and solutions in an efficient and effective manner back in the workplace.
Once they have had an opportunity to use the tools and the six-step process, participants will then apply their learning and the tools to an actual problem that they need to solve. Engaging in this activity allows them to see how powerful and practical the process and tools can be in helping them resolve real issues. Participants conclude the session by engaging in individual action planning.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Define your role in problem solving.
- Apply a six-step problem-solving process.
- Select appropriate tool(s) to effectively problem solve.
This course has an 8-hour agenda.
This course is designed for up to 25 participants.
Below is the course outline with objectives and timing for an 8-hour and 30 minute agenda.
|Welcome and Introduction||10 minutes||(10 minutes)|
|Red Telephones||5 minutes||(15 minutes)|
|Problem Solving, Innovation, and Creativity||5 minutes||(20 minutes)|
|Barriers to Effective Problem Solving||5 minutes||(25 minutes)|
|Benefits to Effective Problem Solving||5 minutes||(30 minutes)|
|Your Role in Problem Solving||5 minutes||(35 minutes)|
|Six-Step Problem-Solving Process||5 minutes||(40 minutes)|
|Step 1: State the Problem to Be Solved||15 minutes||(55 minutes)|
|Activity: Elevator: Too Slow||5 minutes||(1 hour)|
|Repeated Whys Method and Exercise||15 minutes||(1 hour and 15 minutes)|
|Is and Is Not Technique and Activity||20 minutes||(1 hour and 35 minutes)|
|Break||10 minutes||(1 hour and 45 minutes)|
|Brainstorming||5 minutes||(1 hour and 50 minutes)|
|Criteria Analysis||10 minutes||(2 hours)|
|Case Study Application: State the Problem||50 minutes||(2 hours and 50 minutes)|
|Break||10 minutes||(3 hours)|
|Step 2: Identify the Causes of the Problem||20 minutes||(3 hours and 20 minutes)|
|Case study application: Fishbone Diagram||25 minutes||(3 hours and 45 minutes|
|Lunch||1 hour||(4 hours and 45 minutes)|
|Step 3: Select the Most Probable Cause|
|15 minutes||(5 hours)|
|Consensus Discussion||5 minutes||(5 hours and 5 minutes)|
|Forced Ranking||5 minutes||(5 hours and 10 minutes)|
|Case Study Application: The Most Probable Cause||15 minutes||(5 hours and 25 minutes)|
|Step 4: Identify the Possible Solutions|
§ Answer tree and brainstorming
|15 minutes||(5 hours and 40 minutes)|
|Innovation||10 minutes||(5 hours and 50 minutes)|
|Innovative Problem Solving||10 minutes||(6 hours)|
|Case Study Application: Identify Possible Solutions||30 minutes||(6 hours and 30 minutes)|
|Break||10 minutes||(6 hours and 40 minutes)|
|Step 5: Select the Best Solution||5 minutes||(6 hours and 45 minutes)|
|Groupthink||5 minutes||(6 hours and 50 minutes)|
|Outside-the-Box Thinking||5 minutes||(6 hours and 55 minutes)|
|Pro-Con Analysis||10 minutes||(7 hours and 5 minutes)|
|Proposed Solution Analysis||5 minutes||(7 hours and 10 minutes)|
|Case Study Application: Select the Best Solution||20 minutes||(7 hours and 30 minutes)|
|Step 6: Develop and Implement an Action Plan|
§ Action plan and contingency plan
|5 minutes||(7 hours and 35 minutes)|
|Activity: Application of the Six-Step Problem-Solving Process||30 minutes||(8 hours and 5 minutes)|
|Insight and Action|
§ Summary and Wrap-up
|25 minutes||(8 hours and 30 minutes)|