Problem solving and decision making

Problem solving and decision making

Understanding the Problem

  • Define the problem accurately, providing as much detail as possible.
  • Clarify the root causes of the problem by analysing the situation, process, and system in which it occurs.
  • Identify the impact of the problem, understanding to what extent it affects the project and its processes.

Generating and Evaluating Solutions

  • Use creative methods to generate possible solutions such as brainstorming, lateral thinking techniques, or using design thinking approaches.
  • Evaluate possible solutions using criteria such as cost, effectiveness, feasibility, and their alignment with the project objectives.
  • Highlight the benefits, limitations and potential impact of each solution, considering both immediate and long-term effects.

Decision Making

  • Utilise systematic decision-making processes such as decision matrices, SWOT analysis, or cost-benefit analysis.
  • Ensure all assumptions are clear and data is correct to reduce the risk of making incorrect decisions.
  • Assess the risks associated with each decision and develop mitigations or contingency plans for those risks.

Implementing the Solution

  • Develop a clear action plan for implementing the chosen solution, outlining key steps, responsibilities, and expected outcomes.
  • Communicate the plan to all involved parties, ensuring everyone understands the changes and their role within it.
  • Evaluate the success of the solution, monitoring the outcome and making adjustments as necessary.

Reflecting and Learning from the Process

  • Take time for reflection after the decision and problem-solving process, to identify any lessons learned.
  • Record the process, outcomes, and reflections to refer back to in the future.
  • Apply these lessons to future problem solving and decision-making situations, leading to better practices and continual improvement.