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Problem solving and decision making process

After studying this article you should be able to:
  • Define the meaning of the term 'decision making'.
  • List and discuss the various steps of rational decision-making.
  • Define the problem and how to take the optimal solution:
  • Know the barriers to effective decision making.
  • Learn decision-making skills.
  • Learn about creative problem solving and its tools.
  • Learn the meaning of critical thinking.
  • Explain the different steps to improve critical thinking.
Problem solving and decision making process
Problem solving and decision making process

problem solving and decision making

Problem solving and decision-making are important skills for business and life. Problem-solving often involves decision making, and decision-making is especially important for management, leadership and professional secretaries.

There are processes and techniques to improve decision making and the quality of decisions. Decision-making is more natural to certain personalities, so these people should focus more on improving the quality of their decisions. People that are less natural decision-makers are often able to make quality assessments, but then need to be more decisive in acting upon the assessments made. Problem-solving and decision making are closely linked, and each requires creativity in identifying and developing options, for which the brainstorming technique is particularly useful. also the SWOT analysis, which help decision-making and problem-solving.; Good decision-making requires a mixture of skills: creative development and identification of options, clarity of judgment, firmness of decision, and effective implementation. For group problem-solving and decision-making, or when a consensus is required, workshops help, within which you can incorporate these tools and process as appropriate. Here are some useful methods for effective decision-making and problem-solving: First a simple step-by-step process for effective decision making and problem-solving.

Decision making process

  1. Define and clarify the issue - does it warrant action? If so, now? Is the matter urgent, important or both'. Gather all the facts and understand their causes.
  2. Think about or brainstorm possible options and solutions.
  3. Consider and compare the pros and cons of each option - consult if necessary - it probably will be.
  4. Select the best option - avoid vagueness or 'foot in both camps' compromise.
  5. Explain your decision to those involved and affected, and follow up to ensure proper and effective implementation.
Decision-making maxims will help to reinforce the above decision-making process whether related to problemsolving or not, for example:

"We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.

"In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

Steps to Decision Making

Steps to Rational Decision Making and problem Solving
Steps to Decision Making
Steps to Decision Making

1 - Define the problem: a problem exists when there is a gap between a desired state and an existing state, the situation that the managers are facing.
  • Three things must occur for a manager to make decisions to solve problems.
  1. Managers have to be aware of the gap.
  2. Managers have to be motivated to reduce the gap.
  3. Managers must have the knowledge, skills, abilities and resources to fix the problem.
2 - Identify Decision Criteria
Decision criteria are the standard used to guide judgments and decisions. If there are the more criteria, a potential solution meets, and the better that solution should be.

3 - Weight the Criteria
The next step is deciding which criteria are more or less important.

4 - Generate Alternative Courses of Action
After identifying and weighting the criteria that will guide the decision making process, the next step is to identify possible courses of action that could solve the problem. In general, at this step, the idea is to generate as many alternatives as possible.

5 - Evaluate Each Alternative
The next step is to systematically evaluate each alternative against each criterion. Because of the amount of information that must be collected, this step can take much longer and be much more expensive.

6 - Compute the Optimal Decision
The final step in the decision making process is to compute the optimal decision by determining each alternative's optimal value.

7 - Evaluate Solution
Change solution if necessary; admit mistake.

effective decision making techniques

We use our decision-making skills to solve problems by selecting one course of action from several possible alternatives. Decision-making skills are also a key component of time management skills.

Decision-making can be difficult. Almost any decision involves some conflicts or dissatisfaction. The difficult part is to pick one solution where the positive outcome can outweigh possible losses.

A significant part of decision-making skills is in knowing and practicing good decision making techniques.
  1. Identify the purpose of your decision. What exactly is the problem to be solved? Why should it be solved?
  2. Gather information. What factors does the cor problem involve?
  3. Identify the principles to judge the alternatives. What standards and criteria should the solution meet?
  4. Brainstorm and list different possible choices. Generate ideas for possible solutions. Brainstorming works best if you have a way to get your ideas out of your head. Remember, write boop down all ideas!
  5. Evaluate each choice in terms of its consequences. agir Use your standards and criteria to determine the pros and cons of each alternative.
  6. Determine the best alternative. This is much easier after you go through the above preparation steps.
  7. Confer with Mentors and friends.
  8. Put the decision into action. Transform your decision into a specific plan of action steps. Execute your plan.
  9. Evaluate the outcome of your decision and action steps. What lessons can be learned? This is an important step for further development of your decision-making skills.

Creative problem solving

Creativity is An Ability to imagine or invent something new
Creativity is the ability to accept change and newness, a willingness to play with ideas and possibilities, a flexibility of outlook, the habit of enjoying the good, while looking for ways to improve it.

Creative problem solving is looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.

1- Brainstorming
The Purpose of brainstorming is To generate a large number of ideas in a short period of time.
Rules for Brainstorming:
  • The more ideas the better!
  • No discussion.
  • No idea is a bad idea.
  • Build on one another's ideas.
  • Display all ideas.
2 - Multi-voting
Multi-voting is a way to vote to select the most important or popular items (alternatives) from a list.
Multi -Voting is a way to vote to select the most important or popular items (alternatives) from a list.
Multi-voting help a group of people make a decision with which they are comfortable.

3 - Mind Mapping
Mind Mapping is a visual picture of a group of ideas, concepts or issues.
We can summarize the purpose of mind mapping in the following points:
  1. Unblock our thinking.
  2. See an entire idea or several ideas on one sheet of paper.
  3. See how ideas relate to one another.
  4. Look at things in a new and different way.
  5. Look at an idea in depth.

Characteristics of the Creative Person

  • curious
  • seeks problems
  • enjoys challenge
  • optimistic
  • able to suspend judgment
  • comfortable with imagination
  • sees problems as opportunities
  • sees problems as interesting
  • problems are emotionally acceptable
  • challenges assumptions
  • doesn't give up easily: perseveres, works hard
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