Problem Solving

This workshop is focused upon:

  • Understanding what problem solving really involves on a personal and team level
  • How to apply a structured approach to problem solving
  • Gaining familiarity with tools and techniques available
  • How to identify and explore the full range of choices available
  • Capturing the wisdom gained as a "reusable asset"

Participants are encouraged to bring along and work on real problems past and current, applying the approaches and tools, and seeing the immediate benefits and applicability of the learning.

Typically combined with our Decision Making workshop but this workshop can also exist as a stand alone development experience.

Workshop Outline

Gives details of all the standard sessions, however we are always happy to customise this workshop to meet your specific needs.

Duration

Typically 1 day

Target participation

  • complete teams enabling them to determine a common approach to effective decision making and to work on developing skills both as individuals and as a team
  • individuals interested in strengthening their personal skills.

The pace, focus and breadth of each session will depend on the participants' requirements and experience, and any agreements with the Client prior to the event.

Support materials

The Problem Solving Workbook is filled with exercises, tips, tools and techniques for ongoing reference and reinforcement.

Workshop Outline

Introduction

Participants consider their personal and collective goals for the workshop, and set some ground rules to help them work together.

Freeing the mind

The first major steps to take in problem solving are those of personal accountability and perception. When you are inside the problem even making the choice to act can be a major hurdle to overcome. The first thing covered is how to recognise the emotional effect of facing a problem and how that in turn can limit the ability to deal with it - at a personal and team level.

Framing the issue

Putting the problem in context is the next essential step. The size and nature of a problem can vary dramatically depending in which context you place it.

Defining with accuracy

A clear definition of the problem can form 20% of the overall solution but this critical phase is often overlooked. Methods for creating an accurate problem definition will be studied closely.

Exploring the possibilities

The pressure of mounting problems can gradually erode creativity and this in turn becomes part of the problem itself. Creativity can only flourish in a safe and structured environment. Structuring that environment is a learnable skill. Participants are taken through how to do this with a range of creativity approaches to then use.

Choosing your path

Being faced with having many solutions can be as daunting as having none at all. Options for completing this stage of the process are presented and practiced.

Participants are then challenged to generate all the possible consequences and impacts of the selected solution using some of the creativity methods from the last session. To ensure that solving one problem does not cause another unexpected one and that any additional opportunities are identified and realised.

Testing your choices

The relief of getting to a solution sometimes causes a rush to implementation. Pre-implementation testing and validating are essential at this time.

Setting the milestones

Once a tested solution has been identified - the "what" - the next big questions are the "how" and "when". The techniques covered here now support the bridge between planning and action.

Measuring progress and results

Based on the information generated during the accurate identification of the original problem, progress monitoring and result measurement will now hold the key to the success or failure of the solution implementation. The ability to define the "observables" is a core problem solving skill.

Capturing the learning

The wisdom gained in solving a problem is a huge re useable asset to any organisation and ideas for capturing and communicating the experience are tabled and discussed.

Workshop to workplace

This session reinforces some key points from the workshop as participants are tasked to clarify their intent and key actions post workshop - detailing what they intend to transfer into the workplace, how, by when and with what desired result.