Sunday, January 20, 2013

What is problem solving? (2)

What is problem solving? (1) 

Problem solving is usually standardized as below;

Step 1: Identification of the problem to be solved
Step 2: Setting the goal
Step 3: Listing up of solutions (Brain Storming)
Step 4: Evaluation of the solutions
Step 5: Carrying out of the choice
Step 6: Checking the outcome and feedback

I remodeled this theory.

Phase 1: Observation of the situation
 In phase 1, you must collect the information as much as you can. Precise analysis needs vast information which can explain the current situation. Correctness of the data is also important. You must know, “Garbage in, garbage out”.

Phase 2: Analysis of the true problem
 In phase 2, you must think deeply about the problem itself. What is the critical point? What is your advantage, or disadvantage? What is your ally, or foe? Does the problem due to personal matter, or systemic issue? Analytic thought is essential in this phase. Fortunately, skills of analysis is trainable.

Phase 3: Judgment of the solutions
 You have multiple choices to be selected as a solution. You must evaluate them. You cannot select all of them in most situations. So you have to omit some of them. The weighting of each solution is needed.

Phase 4: Decision making
 Decision making is different from the assessment. If you judged current situation and available solutions precisely, it does not mean that you can choose the best solution. Make decision includes the abandonment of other choices. You must have the courage not to look back.

Phase 5: Enforcement of the chosen solution
 Finally, you carry out the solution. Needless to say, carrying out is not the same to planning. You need activity, social skills, communication, patience, and other several abilities to succeed.

I emphasize that you need different abilities one another to carry out these 5 phases. Observation is quite objective. But simple observation cannot replace analysis. Decision making needs some kind of roughness, however rough evaluation is no good. It is very difficult to match these five entire phases by one person. So I recommend to establish a team to collaborate with each other.

(To be continued)

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