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In nearly every career sector, problem-solving is one of the key skills that employers seek in job applicants. Having good, strong problem solving skills can make a huge difference to your career.

Discuss the basic steps of problem solving with example

Part 2: Solving the Problem
Gather and analyze data
Develop alternatives
Evaluate options
Implement the solution
Monitor and manage the solution
Verify the solution
Use adaptive techniques
Develop ethical solutions
Gathering and Analyzing Data
Before you can solve a business
problem, you should gather relevant
data and analyze it
Successful business decisions are
based on sound information
To systematically gather and analyze
the data related to your problem, start
by identifying your goal and looking
for information related to it
Gathering and Analyzing Data
Guidelines for gathering data:
➢ Define your data needs
➢ Do not overestimate what you know
about the problem
➢ Document the data and its sources
➢ Examine existing information first
➢ Rely on people as your most important
➢ Consider interrelationships
Gathering and Analyzing Data
Viewing data in different ways
Developing Alternatives
After researching a problem and
collecting data, start to consider
alternatives and solutions
This creative phase of the process
requires imagination and intuition
Developing Alternatives
Guidelines for developing
➢ Think creatively
➢ Brainstorm ideas
➢ Ask others for advice
➢ Develop a mind map
Analyzing Problems
Analyzing Problems
Mind Map
Evaluating Options
Analyze the trade-offs among
competing needs and options
Your goal should be to develop a
good solution by evaluating,
modifying, and improving on your
Asses each alternative carefully
Use objective criteria to avoid making
snap decisions
Evaluating Options
Steps in evaluation options:
➢ Choose an evaluation method
➢ Select the criteria
➢ Weigh your criteria
➢ Rate the alternatives
➢ Make a decision
Implementing the Solution
Moving from planning to
implementation is a significant
During implementation, you begin to
make decisions, take actions, and put
your plans into practice
Communicate clearly and frequently
during this stage
Act decisively rather than planning
Implementing the Solution
Guidelines for implementing a
➢ Get approval from the problem owner
➢ Develop a plan
➢ Notify stakeholders
➢ Anticipate opposition
➢ Take action
Monitoring and Managing the
Most solutions involve related
choices, tasks, and the participation
of others
Managers, coworkers, and
stakeholders expect you to deal
professionally and competently with
interruptions, delays, and unexpected
Planning for and identifying trouble
quickly helps you minimize disruption
and problems
Monitoring and Managing the
Guidelines for monitoring and
managing the solution:
➢ Identify key variables
➢ Select an appropriate level of monitoring
➢ Involve others with the process
➢ Be persistent
➢ Make corrections promptly
Monitoring and Managing the
Levels of monitoring
Verifying the Solution
Expect surprises during
Stay involved with the project and
make necessary corrections along the
Ask yourself and others:
➢ How well is the solution working
➢ How realistic are the objectives
➢ What is not working as expected
Verifying the Solution
Do’s and Don’ts of verifying a
➢ Define success
➢ Test your solution
➢ Avoid the problem in the future
➢ Learn from the process
➢ Take credit for your success
Using Adaptive Techniques
Adaptive techniques involve a
combination of intuition, logic, and
common sense
Adaptive techniques are less precise
than traditional problem-solving
methods, but are appropriate in many
Using Adaptive Techniques
Do’s and Don’ts for adaptive
➢ Consider when to use adaptive
➢ Manage by exception
➢ Stagger your decisions
➢ Hedge your bets
➢ Delay or defer a solution
Using Adaptive Techniques
Appropriate times to use adaptive
➢ You have a limited amount of time to
➢ An exhaustive analysis is not needed
➢ The risks are minimal and downside
costs are low
➢ The solution is easily reversible
Developing Ethical Solutions
Ethics are standards of behavior that
direct how people should act
Ethics involves making moral decisions
and choosing between right and wrong
When applied to problem solving, ethical
behavior leads to appropriate decisions,
not necessarily the optimal ones
Consider situations from an ethical, as
well as a practical, perspective
Developing Ethical Solutions
Guidelines for developing ethical
➢ Identify ethical issues
➢ Compare costs and benefits
➢ Consider other people
➢ Serve broad interests
➢ Be true to yourself
Technology @ Work: Mashups
A mashup is a Web application that
combines features or information from
more than one source
Businesses are using mashups to
develop views of information that aid
in decision making
Business mashups typically combine
data from internal and public sources,
and publish the results within the
company for employees to use
Technology @ Work: Mashups
Masher, an online tool for creating
Gather relevant data and analyze it to
find trends, indicators, and other related
Develop alternative solutions
Evaluate all options
Implementation is a milestone step in
the problem solving process
Carefully monitor and manage the
implemented solution
Verify the solution and expect surprises
Use adaptive techniques when
Consider ethics as you develop

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