problem solving and decision making activities pdf

Problem Solving And Decision Making Activities Pdf

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Creative Problem Solving Pdf Creative problem solving CPS is a way of solving problems or identifying opportunities when conventional thinking has failed. Obvi- ous examples are bossessimplyrequesting that Dmshift his attention, or. Brian Dorval, Donald J.

There are many styles of making decisions, ranging from very rational and linear to organic and unfolding. Take this online assessment to determine your own style.

On this page of the SEL Toolkit, we link to tools and resources for professionals who seek to strengthen young people's decision-making skills. Shure describes her approach to teaching children how to think about solving problems. Web Page 5 Problem-Solving Activities for the Classroom The five activities shared here by Concordia University educators can also be used outside the classroom. Educational Resources inspirED: Responsible Decision Making Designed by teens, educators, and SEL experts, inspirED activities empower students to work together to create more positive school climates and foster greater well-being in their schools and communities.

Problem solving vs decision making – what is the difference?

Problem solving often involves decision making, and decision making is especially important for management and leadership. 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.

SWOT analysis helps assess the strength of a company, a business proposition or idea; PEST analysis helps to assess the potential and suitability of a market. Good decision making requires a mixture of skills: creative development and identification of options, clarity of judgement, firmness of decision, and effective implementation.

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 maxims will help to reinforce the above decision-making process whether related to problem-solving or not, for example:.

They get run down. There is often more than one good answers when you are faced with a complex decision. When you've found the best solution you can find, involve others in making it work, and it probably will.

A simple process for decision making is to compile a 'weighted' scored , of 'pros and cons' list. For more complex decisions, several options can be assessed against differing significant criteria, or against a single set of important factors.

The 'pros and cons' method can be used especially for two-option problem-solving and decision-making issues where implications need to be understood and a decision has to be made in a measured objective sense. Some decisions are a simple matter of whether to make a change or not, such as moving, taking a new job, or buying something, selling something, replacing something, etc.

Other decisions involve number of options, and are concerned more with how to do something, involving a number of choices. You will find that writing things down in this way will help you to see things more clearly, become more objective and detached, which will help you to make clearer decisions.

Using a scoring template also allows for the involvement and contribution of other people, far more objectively, controllably and usefully, than by general discussion without a measurement framework.

This first simple example below enables the weighting of the pros and cons of buying a new car to replace an old car. The actual scores below are examples and are not suggested weightings of how to make such a decision, which must be your own ideas. Decision-making criteria depend on your own personal situations and preferences. Criteria and weighting will change according to time, situation, etc.

Your own mood and feelings can also affect how you assess things, which is additional justification for the need of a measurable and robust method.

In bigger strategic business decision-making, it is often beneficial to seek input from others as to factors and weighting scores. In such situations, a template offers a way for people to contribute in a managed structured way.

The same methodology can be used to compare a series of several options. For more complex situations, especially which entail many more rows and columns, it's sensible to use a spreadsheet. Use whatever scoring method makes good sense to you for your situation. In the above example, on the basis of the pros and cons and the weighting applied, there seems to be a clear overall quantifiable advantage in the decision to go ahead and buy a new car. Notice that with this decision-making method it's even possible to include 'intangible' emotional issues in the pros and cons comparison, for example 'it'll be a load off my mind', and 'decisions scare and upset me'.

A decision-making pros and cons list like this helps remove the emotion which blocks clear thinking and decision-making. It enables objectivity and measurement, rather than reacting from instinct, or avoiding the issue altogether. Objective measurement helps in making a confident decision. The total weighted scores are the main deciding factor rather than the total number of pros and cons, although there is not a scientific 'right' or 'wrong' way to consider the total number of pros and cons compared with the total weighted scores.

If the weighted scores are indicating a decision which makes you feel uncomfortable, then check your weightings, and also check that you've not missed out any factors on either side of the table. If the decision makes you feel uncomfortable and this is not reflected in the table, then add it as a factor and give it a score.

Seeking feedback or input from a trusted neutral friend can be helpful in confirming your factors and their scores. You should be able to cut and paste this template into a text editor or spreadsheet. Add more rows or columns as required.

Note: The above methods are similar to - but not the same as - 'Force Field Analysis', an analytical theory developed by psychologist Kurt Lewin , originally to assess factors influencing group behaviour. The Lewin model is typically shown as a simplified diagram, with horizontal arrows alongside each factor pointing to the space between the columns. Explained above is an different and logically developed weighted decision-making method, not Lewin's Force Field Analysis.

This approach enables different criteria to be allocated to each option and weighted accordingly. For complex decisions and problems involving more than two possible options you can use a template with additional columns, in which case each column represents a different option, and the rows enable scoring according to the different weighted strategic considerations.

Choose the method s which offer you the easiest approach, given the types of options available, and whether you are involving other people in the process. This enables options to be eliminated and filtered and a shortlist of fewer options to be established. In complex situations the wording of the options is important, for example, if considering the best path for one's own career and work development the options might be:.

A situation like this can be approached by completing three separate pros and cons tables and then comparing the net effects difference between weighted pros and cons of each one, or by completing one three-column template, and scoring the main considerations across all three options.

Also consider that some decisions and challenges are difficult because you don't have the necessary knowledge or experience, in which case you need first to decide if the decision or challenge is actually appropriate and necessary for you at this stage.

If you don't have the necessary knowledge or experience to compile a decision-making template, then you are not in a good position to make the decision, and you need to bring in the necessary knowledge and experience. Some decisions have to be made when you are not ready, in which case it is all the more important to be as measured as you can be, rather than resort purely to instinct. Other decisions may seem urgent and necessary, but actually - if you probe and challenge the situation - might not actually be necessary at all.

Do not be forced into a decision if having considered the implications carefully you decide that it's not the best thing to do. The decision to do nothing is often a perfectly good option. Whatever you do - try to be as objective and measured as you can be, and where it's appropriate or necessary, definitely seek input from others.

Well prepared decisions are easier to make and to implement, and generally produce the best results. Communication Communication Skills. Project Management Project Management. Finance Finance. Tools and More Find learning Discover My saved learning plan coming soon. Tools CPD tracker Diagnostics. Recognition Qualifications Status points coming soon Certificates and Badges coming soon. Business and Lifestyle. Other Trivia. Decision Making and Problem Solving.

Posted on June 8, Problem Solving and Decision Making. Effective Decision Making - eModule. Decision-Making process.

Complex Problems and Decisions - Tips. OODA Loop. Speeding Up The Loop. Problem Solving and Decision Making Problem solving and decision making are important skills for business and life. 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.

Select the best option - avoid vagueness and weak compromises in trying to please everyone. 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 problem-solving or not, for example: "We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. First you will need a separate sheet for each identified option. On each sheet write clearly the option concerned, and then beneath it the headings 'pros' and 'cons' or 'advantages' and disadvantages', or simply 'for' and 'against'.

Many decisions simply involve the choice of whether to go ahead or not, to change or not; in these cases you need only one sheet.

Then write down as many effects and implications of the particular option that you and others if appropriate can think of, placing each in the relevant column. If helpful 'weight' each factor, by giving it a score out of three or five points e.

This will provide a reflection and indication as to the overall attractiveness and benefit of the option concerned. If you have scored each item you will actually be able to arrive at a total score, being the difference between the pros and cons column totals. The bigger the difference between the total pros and total cons then the more attractive the option is. If you have a number of options and have complete a pros and cons sheet for each option, compare the attractiveness - points difference between pros and cons - for each option.

The biggest positive difference between pros and cons is the most attractive option. If you don't like the answer that the decision-making sheet s reflect back to you, it means you haven't included all the cons - especially the emotional ones, or you haven't scored the factors consistently, so re-visit the sheet s concerned. Examples This first simple example below enables the weighting of the pros and cons of buying a new car to replace an old car. Should I replace my old car with a new one?

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Six sigma - definitions, history overview Time management tips Tree swing cartoon pictures early versions Stress and stress management Delegation - how to.

What is Problem Solving?

Six Thinking Hats is a powerful technique for looking at decision-making from different points of view. The answers to these questions should be known by the decision makers. Research is reviewed on intentional actions. Now the question is — how groups can be used in the process of problem solving decision making. All scholarly sources cited in-text and as references must be APA compliant, including direct quotations. Heuristics play important roles in both problem-solving and decision-making.

Problem solving often involves decision making, and decision making is especially important for management and leadership. 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. SWOT analysis helps assess the strength of a company, a business proposition or idea; PEST analysis helps to assess the potential and suitability of a market. Good decision making requires a mixture of skills: creative development and identification of options, clarity of judgement, firmness of decision, and effective implementation.

Quality Glossary Definition: Problem solving. Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution. In order to effectively manage and run a successful organization, leadership must guide their employees and develop problem-solving techniques. Finding a suitable solution for issues can be accomplished by following the basic four-step problem-solving process and methodology outlined below. Diagnose the situation so that your focus is on the problem, not just its symptoms. Helpful problem-solving techniques include using flowcharts to identify the expected steps of a process and cause-and-effect diagrams to define and analyze root causes. The sections below help explain key problem-solving steps.


The aim of this activity is to teach students the steps involved in e ective decision-​making/problem-solving. This skill is a useful skill for students to learn, as it will.


Decision Making and Problem Solving

But are their students solving true problems or mere exercises? True problem solving is the process of applying a method — not known in advance — to a problem that is subject to a specific set of conditions and that the problem solver has not seen before, in order to obtain a satisfactory solution. Below you will find some basic principles for teaching problem solving and one model to implement in your classroom teaching. Encourage students to reflect.

Using this site without JavaScript may provide unexpected results. Skip to main content. The key difference between problem solving and decision making is that solving problems is a process, whereas making decisions is an action based on insights derived during the problem-solving process. Many people use the terms problem solving and decision making interchangeably, but they are not the same.

Decision Making and Problem Solving

Decision Making. Traditionally, theorists have looked at decision making as the multiuse process by which a problem is identified, solution objectives are defined, a preadmission is made that is, a decision about how to make a decision , alternatives are generated and evaluated, and an alternative is chosen, implemented, and then followed up. Decision making is all about finding solutions to all these questions such as how, where, with whom and why through the forming a plan that has to be implemented. Objective functions take the one of the following forms: The objective, of course is to maximize a profit objective and to minimize a cost objective. Both a and b d.

Decision making is the mental process of selecting a course of action from a set of alternatives. Decision making is the mental process of choosing from a set of alternatives. Every decision-making process produces an outcome that might be an action, a recommendation, or an opinion. Since doing nothing or remaining neutral is usually among the set of options one chooses from, selecting that course is also making a decision. While they are related, problem analysis and decision making are distinct activities.


Remember that solving problems and making decisions is a creative process. This means that new ideas and new understandings often result from the process​. In.


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