Problem Definition and Problem Solving

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Quotes:

Quotes “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. – Albert Einstein “Originality is simply a fresh pair of eyes”. – Woodrow Wilson

Problem Definition and Problem Solving:

Problem Definition and Problem Solving Sittie Jalilah. T. Abdul-Jalil

Problem is...:

Problem is... - wei ji (Chinese character, also means crisis),composed of two words: danger and opportunity. A problem is an "issue" or obstacle which makes it difficult to achieve a desired goal, objective or purpose. It refers to a situation, condition, or issue that is yet unresolved.

Real Problem:

Real Problem Two aspect of problem: 1. Problem definition requires two mindsets: 1.the detective for dealing with the crisis and the analytical parts of problem definition, and 2.the explorer for dealing with the context and the opportunity aspects of the problem.

Problem solving:

Problem solving is a mental process and is part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping . Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills. Problem solving occurs when an organism or an artificial intelligence system needs to move from a given state to a desired goal state.

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A systematic approach to defining the problem (question or situation that presents uncertainty, perplexity or difficulty) and creating a vast number of possible solutions without judging these solutions.

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is a cognitive processing directed at achievement a goal where no solution method is obvious to the problem solver.” Critical Thinking /defined: - Purposeful mental activity that helps formulate or solve problems, make decision , or fulfil a desire to understand.”

Data Collection and Problem Analysis:

Data Collection and Problem Analysis The Detective’s Mindset: Detectives - are looking for information that is hidden- to find it, they must be persistent, and they must think logically about where to look and how to go about finding the desired information and clues. They ask questions about who, what, where, when why and how much.

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The List of Questions How big is the problem? What is distinct about the problem? What makes this a problem? What makes this different from other problems? What events caused this problem? How long has it existed? Why is it a problem? How did the problem get started? Who has been involved; in what way were they involved, and why? When and how was the problem discovered? Where is it located? What changes (in surroundings, equipments, [procedures, personnel) occurred that could possibly be related to the problem? What are the specific causes of the problem-what is your evidence? How are these causes related? Does the problem pose a threat to people, your organization, or your community? In what ways is it a threat? Does the problem have long-term or only short-term effects on individual people, on the community, or on the environment? How? How complex is the problem? How are the different parts related? Is the problem connected to other problems? In what way? Can some of the factors be dealt with separately? How would this affect the overall problem?

Kepner-Tregoe Method:

Kepner-Tregoe Method Kepner Tregoe decision making is a structured methodology for gathering information and prioritizing and evaluating it. It was developed by Charles H. Kepner and Benjamin B. Tregoe in the 1960s.It is a very good for finding the information about a problem.

There are four basic steps when decision making Kepner Tregoe style: Situation appraisal - is used to clarify the situation, outline concerns and choose a direction Problem analysis - here the problem is defined and it's root cause determined Decision analysis - alternatives are identified and a risk analysis done for each Potential problem analysis - the best of the alternatives is further scrutinized against potential problems and negative consequences and actions are proposed to minimize the risk. :

There are four basic steps when decision making Kepner Tregoe style : Situation appraisal - is used to clarify the situation, outline concerns and choose a direction Problem analysis - here the problem is defined and it's root cause determined Decision analysis - alternatives are identified and a risk analysis done for each Potential problem analysis - the best of the alternatives is further scrutinized against potential problems and negative consequences and actions are proposed to minimize the risk.

It analysis clarifies the factors that are irrelevant and focuses on the areas that need to be examined and tested. A. Statistical Process Control (SPC) :

It analysis clarifies the factors that are irrelevant and focuses on the areas that need to be examined and tested. A. Statistical Process Control (SPC) -is a tool that uses statistical data and comparisons to monitor processes; its primary objective is to prevent problems, like a physical exam.

1. Check sheets::

1. Check sheets: The check sheet is a simple document that is used for collecting data in real-time and at the location where the data is generated. The document is typically a blank form that is designed for the quick, easy, and efficient recording of the desired information, which can be either quantitative or qualitative. When the information is quantitative, the checksheet is sometimes called a tally sheet .

2. Histogram::

2. Histogram : Histograms are one of the mostly commonly used statistical tools for studying data distributions. Statistician use histograms to visualize the shape of the data set and determine if there are gaps or clusters in the data set. Histogram are actually just specialized bar charts. To construct a histogram, divide the data range into a number of equal width buckets and then count the number of data points in each bucket. The real art of creating a histogram is choosing the number of buckets. Below is a histogram that shows the distribution of employee monthly salaries of the employees in the HR table.

3. Cause –and-effect(fishbone) diagram::

3. Cause –and-effect(fishbone) diagram: Cause and effect (fishbone) diagram was introduced by Kaoru Ishikawa, the creator of the diagram, and pioneer of Japanese Quality Management. The Ishikawa diagram (also known as a Cause-and-Effect or Fishbone diagram) is a graphical method for finding the most likely causes for an undesired effect. Kaoru Ishikawa, a famous Japanese consultant developed this method in the 1960s. Because of its shape, it is also known as the fishbone diagram. Another name for this technique is: the cause-and-effect diagram. The fishbone diagram is a method/tool used in a root cause analysis. The Ishikawa diagram is one of the seven basic tools of quality control, which include the histogram, Pareto chart, check sheet, control chart, cause-and-effect diagram, flowchart, and scatter diagram.

4.Pareto Diagram::

4.Pareto Diagram: The Pareto chart, used to determine priorities for quality improvement activities, is a bar chart that displays the relative frequency of problems in a process or operation. Each bar represents the relative frequency of a problem, and the bars are arranged in decreasing order from left to right. Sometimes a curve is superimposed to indicate the cumulative percent of problem frequencies. The chart is named after Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), an Italian economist.

5. Scatter Diagram::

5. Scatter Diagram: The scatter diagram is another visual display of data. It shows the association between two variables acting continuously on the same item. The scatter diagram illustrates the strength of the correlation between the variables through the slope of a line. This correlation can point to, but does not prove, a causal relationship.

6. Control Charts::

6. Control Charts: Statistical process control charts are line graphs that show how a process performs over time. Is it predictable or "out of control"?

7. Additional graphs and documentation::

7. Additional graphs and documentation: a. Flow diagram b.Stem -and-leaf plots c.Various line graphs d.Circle diagrams e.Spaghetti charts f.matrices

flow diagram :

flow diagram In the late 1970s data-flow diagrams (DFDs) were introduced and popularized for structured analysis and design (Gane and Sarson 1979).  DFDs show the flow of data from external entities into the system, showed how the data moved from one process to another, as well as its logical storage. Figure presents an example of a DFD using the Gane and Sarson notation.  There are only four symbols: Squares representing external entities , which are sources or destinations of data. Rounded rectangles representing processes , which take data as input, do something to it, and output it. Arrows representing the data flows , which can either be electronic data or physical items. Open-ended rectangles representing data stores , including electronic stores such as databases or XML files and physical stores such as or filing cabinets or stacks of paper.

7. Additional graphs and documentation::

7. Additional graphs and documentation: flow diagram Stem-and-leaf plots Various line graphs Circle diagrams Spaghetti charts matrices

Stem-and-leaf plots :

Stem-and-leaf plots One way to make data more usable is to make a stem-and-leaf  plot. The digit(s) in the greatest place value(s) of the data values are the stems. The digits in the next greatest place values are the leaves .   For example, if all the data are two-digit numbers, the number in the tens place would be used for the stem. The number in the ones place would be used for the leaf.

Various line graphs :

Various line graphs Types of Graphs Line A line graph can be used to show changes over time, using a single set of data. Multiple-Line A multiple-line graph can be used to compare several sets of similar data. A multiple-line graph would be helpful in showing the population growth in land. Bar A bar graph can be used to compare quantities, using a single set of data. You might choose a bar graph to compare daily newspaper circulation in the Phil. Grouped-Bar A grouped-bar graph can be used to compare several sets of data. A grouped-bar graph could compare five different technologies in the United States, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Pie A pie chart can be used to show the relationship of parts to a whole. A pie chart would be helpful in showing the percentages of the popular vote won by each presidential candidate in the election of 1996

Circle diagrams :

Circle diagrams A type of graphic organizer that helps you find general information about a character that you can organize and interpret later

Spaghetti charts :

Spaghetti charts Map showing movement of people, product or materials and can show total distance traveled. Can show multiple people. www.progressivedge.com/s.html A flow charting method that uses a continuous line to trace the path of a part through all phases of manufacturing. Spaghetti diagrams expose inefficient layouts and large distances traveled between steps.

Matrices:

Matrices Matrix A matrix is an ordered set of numbers listed rectangular form. Example. Let A denote the matrix [2 5 7 8] [5 6 8 9] [3 9 0 1] This matrix A has three rows and four columns. We say it is a 3 x 4 matrix. We denote the element on the second row and fourth column with a 2,4 .

OTHER TOOLS FOR DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS::

OTHER TOOLS FOR DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Experiments and Surveys . FMEA, FTA, and benchmarking Morphological creativity and Synectics Resource Assessment Force field analysis

THE CONTEXT OF THE PROBLEM--- THE EXPLORER’S MINDSET:

THE CONTEXT OF THE PROBLEM--- THE EXPLORER’S MINDSET Trend watching – How to anticipate the Future Keeping an idea file. Contextual Problem Solving

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How to become a Good Trend Spotter Read and audit your information intake Make informed choices about what you currently read- cut down on mental “junk food”. 2. Develop frontline observational skills It is important to remain actively involved when absorbing information; then dram your own conclusions. 3. Adopt the methods or professional trend watchers Adopt methods such as listen to news and to cal-in-talk shows on the radio or on the television when you have a chance ,etc. 4. Find Opportunities The purpose of trend watching is to discover opportunities and problems to solve. Watch for patterns that can tip you off to new opportunities. Search for solutions to negative trends and offer a means of prevention.

Data Collection and Context (notebook)::

Data Collection and Context (notebook): General information about the problem. Specific data collected about the problem. Results from data analysis. Things that were tried but did not work. E. Thoughts on possible solutions that come to mind during the problem definition and data analysis phase.

a. Summary of the collected data and notebook information assembled in the detective’s mindset. B. The context of the problem, including trends. C. Conclusions from the data and context: What is the real problem? D. The problem definition statement expressed as a positive goal. :

a. Summary of the collected data and notebook information assembled in the detective’s mindset. B. The context of the problem, including trends. C. Conclusions from the data and context: What is the real problem? D. The problem definition statement expressed as a positive goal. The briefing document and the problem definition statement

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The Problem Definition Procedure DETECTIVE’S JOB: DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS Keep a notebook with the following: General information about the problem. Specific data collected about the problem. Results from data analysis. Things that were tried but didn’t work. Thoughts on possible solutions that come to mind during this phase. EXPLORER’S JOB : PROBLEM CONTEXT AND BRIEFING DOCUMENT Prepare a document with the following: a. A summary of the detective’s data, information, and analysis. b. The context of the problem, including a view on trends. C .Conclusions from the data and context: What is the real problem? d. The problem definition statement expressed as a positive goal.

Incubation-Introspection and Purging:

Incubation-Introspection and Purging

Incubation:

Incubation in the Gestalt model of problem solving, a process of pausing to actively work on a problem, in order to modify one's mentalset . www.tuition.com.hk/psychology/i.htm Incubation is one of the 4 proposed stages of creativity: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification . ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incubation_(psychology)

Introspection:

Introspection Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious mental and usually purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introspection In computing, type introspection is a capability of some object-oriented programming languages to determine the type of an object at runtime. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introspection_( computer_science )

Purging:

Purging purge: an act of removing by cleansing; ridding of sediment or other undesired elements purge: the act of clearing yourself (or another) from some stigma or charge purgatorial: serving to purge or rid of sin; "purgatorial rites" wordnetweb.princeton.edu/ perl / webwn Purge - In history and political science, a purge is the removal of people who are considered undesirable by those in power from a government, from another organization, or from society as a whole. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purge

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Thanks for listening.. End..