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Problem-Solving Methods

Problem-Solving Methods. 1. Introduction. Why manage the process? What are you managing? Problem definition (D) Brainstorming ideas/solutions (B) Setting criteria (C) Evaluating ideas/solutions (E). 2. Agenda Systems. Dewey’s Reflective Thinking Model Ross 4-step “Wright 494” Agenda

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Problem-Solving Methods

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  1. Problem-Solving Methods Small Group Communication

  2. 1. Introduction • Why manage the process? • What are you managing? • Problem definition (D) • Brainstorming ideas/solutions (B) • Setting criteria (C) • Evaluating ideas/solutions (E) Small Group Communication

  3. 2. Agenda Systems • Dewey’s Reflective Thinking Model • Ross 4-step • “Wright 494” Agenda • Brilhart-Jochem Ideation Criteria • Maier’s Decision-making Formula • Group’s Own Agenda Small Group Communication

  4. A. Dewey’s Reflective Thinking • Define & delineate the problem • Analyze the problem • Suggest solutions • Develop proposed solutions • Further verify and test solutions Small Group Communication

  5. B. Ross 4-Step Agenda • Definition & limitation • Analysis • Puzzles – Questions of fact • Probabilities • Values, beliefs, attitudes • Establish criteria (Standards to judge solutions) • Min/max limits • Ranking of hierarchical importance • Solutions • Suggested solutions • Evaluation in terms of criteria • Decision & Implementation Small Group Communication

  6. C. “Wright 494” Agenda • Ventilation • Clarification of problem/establish group goals • Analyze the problem • Establish general criteria • Suggest general solutions • Evaluate solutions according to steps 3 & 4 • Develop situational criteria • Evaluate solutions according to step 7 criteria • Select solutions • Implement solutions Small Group Communication

  7. Brilhart-Jochem Ideation Criteria • What is the nature of the problem facing us • Present state • Obstacles • Goals • What might be done to solve the problem or the first sub-problem? • By what specific criteria shall we judge among our possible solutions? • What are the relative merits of our possible solutions? • How will we put our decision into effect? Small Group Communication

  8. E. Maier’s Decision-Making Formula Decision Making = Idea Getting + Idea Evaluation Small Group Communication

  9. 2. Specific Discussion Techniques • Brainstorming • Nominal Group • Delphi Technique • Buzzzzzzzzzzzzz Groups • Single Question Form • Ideal Solution • PERT Small Group Communication

  10. Principles All evaluation & criticism is forbidden Crazy ideas are encouraged Seek new combinations Quantity trumps quality Hitchhiking is encouraged Steps Warm-up Brainstorm Eliminate duplicated ideas Clarify, order, and evaluate A. Brainstorming Small Group Communication

  11. B. Buzzzzzzzzzzz Groups • Identify the question • Assign duties of designated leaders • Actualize the assembly’s ideas Small Group Communication

  12. C. Delphi technique • Collect participant’s ideas • Synthesize list of ideas (classify by importance) • Develop an integrated list and manageable questionnaire • Vote on the issues Small Group Communication

  13. D. Nominal Group • Rationale • Steps • Silently list ideas • Create master idea list (round-robin recording) • Clarify ideas • Straw vote Small Group Communication

  14. E. Single Question Form • What is the single question, the answer to which is all the group needs to know to accomplish its purpose? • What sub-questions must be answered before we can answer the single question? • Do we have sufficient info to confidently answer them? If yes, answer them. If not, continue below. • What are the most reasonable answers to the sub-questions? • Assuming that our answers are correct, what is the best solution to the problem? Small Group Communication

  15. F. Ideal Solution Form • Are we all agreed on the nature of the problem? • What would be the ideal solution from the point of view of all the parties involved? • What conditions within the problem could be changed so that the ideal solution might be achieved? • Of the solutions available to us, which one best approximates the ideal solution? Small Group Communication

  16. Background Program Evaluation & Review Technique Developed by Navy to launch Polaris missile program (1958) Work backward Steps State final project event or goal List events that must happen before final event Assess the order of events Make a chronological diagram of events State specific activities that occur between events Specify time needed Are deadlines feasible? Determine the critical path G. PERT Small Group Communication

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