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Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques Leadership Certification Level 1 Problem Solving and Decision Making Techniques Leadership Certification Level 1

What is Problem Solving? l. A process of transforming one situation into another by What is Problem Solving? l. A process of transforming one situation into another by removing, overcoming, or navigating around obstacles l Figuring out a way to reach a goal or destination l Often involves collection of facts (who, what, when, why, where) of problem

Step 1: Recognizing That A Problem Exists l You have received a complaint l Step 1: Recognizing That A Problem Exists l You have received a complaint l You are not satisfied with the standards of performance or the plan l Recent events cause you to question you plans l You need to seek advice from your director or someone else

Step 2: Define and Develop A Problem Statement l Is the problem stated objectively? Step 2: Define and Develop A Problem Statement l Is the problem stated objectively? l Is the problem limited in scope? l Does everyone involved have a common understanding of the problem?

For Problem Statements l Avoid including “implied cause” in your problem statement - e. For Problem Statements l Avoid including “implied cause” in your problem statement - e. g. “The organization of Women’s Ministries has caused a rift between many women and Dorcas Society. ” l Avoid including “implied solution” in your problem statement - e. g. “The WM Co-operative needs to be revamped and reorganized. ”

Questions to consider Is the problem stated objectively and includes “just the facts”? l Questions to consider Is the problem stated objectively and includes “just the facts”? l Is the scope of the problem limited enough for you to handle? l Will everyone who reads the statement have the same understanding of the problem l Does the problem statement include any “implied causes” or “implied solutions”? l

Step 3: Analyse Potential Causes by Gathering Data l Identify potential cause(s) l Determine Step 3: Analyse Potential Causes by Gathering Data l Identify potential cause(s) l Determine the most likely cause(s) l Identify the true root cause(s)

Step 3: Analyse Potential Causes by Gathering Data l Use Cause and Effect diagram Step 3: Analyse Potential Causes by Gathering Data l Use Cause and Effect diagram l Use Brainstorming technique l Use Charts of Graphs

Step 4: Identify Possible Solutions Brainstorming (ground rules) Avoid criticism and “knocking down” of Step 4: Identify Possible Solutions Brainstorming (ground rules) Avoid criticism and “knocking down” of ideas l Look for wild/exaggerated ideas. l Go for quantity – at least 20 or more l Try to build on the ideas of others (when in groups) l “Think outside” of your own experience and expertise l

Two Methods of Brainstorming l Free wheeling - Share ideas all at once - Two Methods of Brainstorming l Free wheeling - Share ideas all at once - Make a list of the ideas as they are “shouted out”

Two Methods of Brainstorming (Cont) l Round Robin - Everyone takes a turn to Two Methods of Brainstorming (Cont) l Round Robin - Everyone takes a turn to offer an idea - Anyone can pass on any turn - It continues until everyone has had a chance - Make a list of all the ideas as they are offered

The Pros of Brainstorming l Allows for creativity l Allows one to “think out” The Pros of Brainstorming l Allows for creativity l Allows one to “think out” loud l More individuals can participate in suggesting solutions l A large number of ideas allow room to throw out some later l Provides opportunity for the mind to stretch l More people can participate

The Cons of Brainstorming l Time Consuming l Tendency to judge ideas to soon The Cons of Brainstorming l Time Consuming l Tendency to judge ideas to soon l Can be dominated by one or two persons only

Step 5: Determine the Best Solutions l Develop and assign weights to criteria l Step 5: Determine the Best Solutions l Develop and assign weights to criteria l Apply the criteria l Choose the best solution

A. Develop and Assign Weights Criteria (WM is planning to start a counselling service A. Develop and Assign Weights Criteria (WM is planning to start a counselling service in the church) Criteria Weight Ease of implementation 20% Probability of success 20% Effectiveness of program 50% Meeting the need of the community 10%

B. Apply the Criteria WM Building Sample: Criteria Weight Building 1 Building 2 Building B. Apply the Criteria WM Building Sample: Criteria Weight Building 1 Building 2 Building 3 Location 40% 10% 35% Cost Size 30% 20% 10% 25% 15% 20% 100% 5% 7% 57% 10% 90% Design Totals Summary Nice Location; Small Great house; Large house; Poor Location Good price/design

Step 6: Action Plans l Divide the solution into sequential tasks l Develop a Step 6: Action Plans l Divide the solution into sequential tasks l Develop a contingency plan

Action Plan Action Step Task/ Activity Responsible Person/Group Lay ground work for Bible Studies Action Plan Action Step Task/ Activity Responsible Person/Group Lay ground work for Bible Studies Lila to Lead Pass out invitation Miriam to lead cards all WM involved Organize cell group Ron Begin End Date Estimated Hours Cost 5/3 8/3 16 $6, 000 9/3 10/3 6 $2, 000 12/3 13/3 20 $2, 000 42 hours $10, 000

Address the following questions: Have you considered those who will be affected by the Address the following questions: Have you considered those who will be affected by the implementation? l Have you considered how you will implement the solutions? l Have you considered what resources will be needed for the person to get his/her assigned task completed? l Have you considered the need for information and results to be shared? l

Contingency Plans l Develop contingency plans – Such plans are helpful in case your Contingency Plans l Develop contingency plans – Such plans are helpful in case your plans got stalled, sidetracked, or had to change midstream – With a contingency plan on the back burner, you can keep your momentum going

Developing Contingency Plans l What specific opportunities and threats may occur? l How will Developing Contingency Plans l What specific opportunities and threats may occur? l How will you deal with those opportunities and threats? l What can be done to prevent those potential problems from occurring?

Step 7: Implement Solution and Evaluate Progress l Collect data according to the Action Step 7: Implement Solution and Evaluate Progress l Collect data according to the Action Plan l Implement contingency plans as necessary l Evaluate results

Pitfalls of Problem-Solving l Working on problems that are too general, too large, or Pitfalls of Problem-Solving l Working on problems that are too general, too large, or not well defined l Jumping to a solution before really analysing the problem l Failing to involve critical decision makers or persons affected by the problem when identifying potential solutions

More Pitfalls. . . Tackling problems that are beyond the control or influence of More Pitfalls. . . Tackling problems that are beyond the control or influence of the individual or group l Applying “pet” solutions rather than seeking a creative solution l Failing to develop good reasons for choosing a solution l Failing to plan adequately how to implement and evaluate the chosen solution l