Week three was another interesting one, although to be honest, I’m already familiar with a lot of the concepts.
It’s been all about problem solving, and by the end of it apparently I should be able to understand the problem solving process, understand the decision-making process and how to decide between options, identify the effectiveness of my approach to problem-solving/decision-making and understand how to make improvements, and understand the organisation context in which problems are solved and why solutions are often less than ideal.
I’d say I’m pretty au fait with all that. I’ve already done a lot of problem solving and decision making during my career, but it was interesting to see the process documented, and I’ve identified some ways I can improve, namely:
- Considering my assumptions when analysing the problem
- Making SMART recommendations
- Considering implications/advantages/disadvantages
- The importance of communicating with, and involving others
- Setting decision criteria before coming comparing options and coming to a decision
So this week I’ve covered:
- The concept of bounded and unbounded problems
- The problem solving matrix (known problem/known solution, etc.)
- A framework for problem-solving (analyse the problem, consider assumptions, draw conclusions, set the criteria for a solution, identify appropriate solution via SMART recommendations, develop an action plan, consider implications/advantages/disadvantages)
- The importance of communicating with others to gain cooperation and avoid opposition
- A framework for decision-making (set objectives, set SMART decision criteria, compare the options, select the preferred option, plan a SMART implementation, consider the limitations of deciding between options)
- The ‘less than ideal’, ‘intuitive’, ‘negative’, and ‘changing circumstances’ approaches to problem solving.
- Problems with problem-solving and decision-making (bounded rationality, satisficing, decisional bias, organisational culture)