A problem-solving framework

  1. Analyse the problem
  2. Draw conclusions from your analysis
  3. Set the criteria for a solution
  4. Identify an appropriate solution
  5. Draw up an action plan

This is a familiar structure for anyone studying B628 or B629, because they are essentially the same recommended structure as the TMA reports. I’ve found the framework invaluable when preparing my own TMAs.

Here are the headings I usually use when planning out my TMAs – the similarity is obvious:

  • Problem identification
  • Analysis (investigation)
  • Assumptions (made during the analysis)
  • Conclusions to the analysis (results of the investigation)
  • The solution, listed as a set of SMART recommendations
  • Strength and weaknesses of the recommendations
  • Implications of the solution, if implemented

There’s a great diagram on page 86 of the B628 course book, illustrating how the problem solving framework should work.

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