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How to solving problems using the combination of analytical and creative thinking


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PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS Oyewole O. Sarumi LMS Consulting Ltd Lagos Nigeria

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Outline  Introduction  Defining Problem Problem Types  Problem Solving  Problem Solving Tools  Problem Solving Methodologies  The Skills of Problem Solving  The problem with solving problem effectively  Summary

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Problems are only opportunities in work clothes. – Henry Kaiser American industrialist

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What is the problem  A doubtful or difficult matter requiring a solution.  Something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. The Concise Oxford Dictionary 1995

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Problem types:

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All problems have two features in common: goals and barriers.  Goals Problems involve setting out to achieve some objective or desired state of affairs and can include avoiding a situation or event .  Barriers If there were no barriers in the way of achieving a goal then there would be no problem. Problem solving involves overcoming the barriers or obstacles that prevent the immediate achievement of goals.

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What is the problem solving process The process of identifying the problem prioritizing selecting alternatives for a solution and evaluating the outcomes.

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Definition of Problem Solving  Problem solving refers to a state of desire for reaching a definite goal from a present condition "Problems are only opportunities in work clothes." – Henry Kaiser American industrialist

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 Problem solving requires two distinct types of mental skills:  Analytical skill  Creative skill

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 Analytical or logical thinking includes skills such as:  Ordering  Comparing  Contrasting  Evaluating And Selecting. Analytical Skills

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 It provides a logical framework for problem solving and helps to select the best alternative from those available by narrowing down the range of possibilities a convergent process.

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 Analytical thinking often predominates in solving closed problems where the many possible causes have to be identified and analysed to find the real cause.

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 Creative thinking is a divergent process using the imagination to create a large range of ideas for solutions.  It requires us to look beyond the obvious creating ideas which may at first seem unrealistic or have no logical connection with the problem. Creative thinking

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 There is a large element of creative thinking in solving open problems.  The creative thinking skills can be divided into several key elements:  Fluency - producing many ideas  Flexibility - producing a broad range of ideas  Originality - producing uncommon ideas  Elaboration - developing ideas.

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 Effective problem solving requires a controlled mixture of analytical and creative thinking.  Research has shown that in general terms left-brain thinking is more logical and analytical and is predominantly verbal.  Right-brain thinking is more holistic and is concerned with feelings and impressionistic relationships. You Need A Controlled Mixture

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 To be a good problem solver you need to be able to switch from one group of skills to the other and back again although this is not always easy.

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 Some other terms which are often used in discussions of creativity include:  Intuition - the ability to draw conclusions based on impressions and feelings rather than hard facts.  Incubation - the period between stopping conscious work on a problem and the time when we become aware of a solution or part solution.  Invention - the creation of new meaningful ideas or concepts.  Innovation - putting new ideas or concepts to a practical use as in the development of a new product or service. Other Terms used

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Problem Solving Tools:  Brain storming:  Brainstorming is used to generate a large number of creative ideas when problem solving and achieving objectives. It can even be used for decision making.  Brainstorming Techniques Guidelines  1. Brainstorming take from a few minutes to a few hours. For big problems or projects it may be done several times and over days weeks or months.

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Brain storming… Cont’d:  2. Come up with as many ideas as possible. The more the better.  3. Don’t judge any of your ideas at this time.  Later you can use the affinity diagram. to sort out your ideas.  It is important to note that one of the fastest way to “kill” brainstorming is to judge ideas too quickly. Criticism puts a choke hold on allowing the Right Brain Left Brain Crossover to flourish

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5 WHYS  The 5 Why’s is a simple problem-solving technique that helps you to get to the root of a problem quickly.  The technique was originally developed by Sakichi Toyoda.  The 5 Why’s was used within the Toyota Motor Corporation during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies and became very popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System.

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Help DEFINING PROBLEM using 5W2H Methodology  Who  What  Why  Where  When  How Much  How Often

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IS – IS NOT  “IS – IS NOT” is a problem solving tool that explains the rational process for finding the possible root cause of the problem.  Helps user to avoid jumping to a false cause.  At the end of the IS – IS NOT exercise user gets a confirmed true cause .

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Help your CREATIVITY with 6 Thinking Hats of Edward Debono Wearing the red hat you look at problems using intuition The Blue Hat stands for process control The yellow hat helps you to think positively With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. the Green Hat stands for creativity Using black hat thinking look at all the bad points of the decision

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Help your DECISION MAKING with PEST SWOT Analysis  PESTLE Analysis helps you understand the Political Economic Social Technological Legal and Ecological changes that will shape your business environment.  SWOT Analysis help you understand the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats for your business decision.

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Problem Solving Methodologies  Traditional Model TM  Eight Disciplines 8D  GROW Model  SCAMPER Model

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Steps of problem solving

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1- Define the problem  Clearly state the problem  Detect the circumstances lead to the incidence of the problem.  Write a clear definition of the problem and the barriers encountered.

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2- Find possible solutions  Analyze the problem so you fully understand it and then develop ideas which will achieve your goal  Develop several ideas to solve the problem to increase your chances of finding the best solution to the problem.

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3- Choose the best solution This stage is a process of decision-making based on your comparing the possible outcomes of your alternative solutions this is the “DO” stage

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3- Choose the best solution  This stage involves: Identifying all parts of the solution Eliminating solutions that do not meet certain criteria Evaluating the solutions against the desired outcomes Assessing the risks associated with the “best” solution Making a decision to implement the solution

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4- Implement the best solutions  This stage involves accepting and carrying out the chosen course of action.  Implementation means acting on the chosen solution.

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5- Evaluate the best solutions  Successful problem-solving involves looking at the outcome of the solution and making the necessary changes in the earlier stages if necessary in order to reach the identified goal.

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Eight Disciplines 8D  0: Plan: Plan for solving the problem and determine the prerequisites.  D1: Use a Team: Establish a team of people with product/process knowledge.

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 D2: Define and describe the Problem: Specify the problem by identifying in quantifiable terms the who what where when why how and how many 5W2H for the problem.  D3: Develop Interim Containment Plan Implement and verify Interim Actions: Define and implement containment actions to isolate the problem from any customer.

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 D4: Determine Identify and Verify Root Causes and Escape Points: Identify all applicable causes that could explain why the problem has occurred. Also identify why the problem has not been noticed at the time it occurred. All causes shall be verified or proved not determined by fuzzy brainstorming. One can use five whys or Ishikawa diagrams to map causes against the effect or problem identified.

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 D5: Choose and Verify Permanent Corrections PCs for Problem/Non Conformity: Through pre-production programs quantitatively confirm that the selected correction will resolve the problem for the customer. Verify the correction will actually solve the problem

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 D6: Implement and Validate Corrective Actions: Define and Implement the best corrective actions.  D7: Take Preventive Measures: Modify the management systems operation systems practices and procedures to prevent recurrence of this and all similar problems.  D8: Congratulate Your Team: Recognize the collective efforts of the team. The team needs to be formally thanked by the organization.

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G-R-O-W Model  G: Goal: This is the end point where you wants to be. The goal has to be defined in such a way that it is very clear to you when they have achieved it.  R: Reality: The Current Reality is where you is now. What are the issues the challenges how far are they away from their goal

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 O: Obstacles: There will be Obstacles stopping you getting from where they are now to where they want to go. If there were no Obstacles you would already have reached their goal.

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 O: Options: Once Obstacles have been identified you needs to find ways of dealing with them if they are to make progress. These are the Options.  W: Way Forward: The Options then need to be converted into action steps which will take you to their goal. These are the Way Forward.

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Problem Solving Techniques: Get Your Creative Thinking Juices Flowing By Using The SCAMPER Technique  SCAMPER is a technique you can use to spark your creativity and problem-solving abilities. First conceived by Bob Earle and later popularized by Michael Michalko in his book ’Thinkertoys’ the SCAMPER method allows anyone to strengthen his ability to question imagine and adapt even in situations where it would seem that there are no more creative options available.

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 At its very essence SCAMPER is a powerful checklist of suggestions that prompts you to think and look at things in different ways. It has been designed to force you to think differently about your problem and to eventually come up with some really innovative solutions.  SCAMPER core idea is based on the notion that creative work original ideas and most everything you define as "new" is nothing else but a remix of something that is already out there.

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SCAMPER Model Explained The changes SCAMPER stands for are:  S - Substitute - components materials people  C - Combine - mix combine with other assemblies or services integrate  A - Adapt - alter change function use part of another element  M - Modify - increase or reduce in scale change shape modify attributes e.g. colour  P - Put to another use  E - Eliminate - remove elements simplify reduce to core functionality  R - Reverse - turn inside out or upside down.

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Why people fail to solve problems effectively  The following is a list of some of the reasons why people fail to find effective solutions include: 1. Not being methodical 2. Lack of commitment to solving the problem 3. Misinterpreting the problem 4. Lack of knowledge of the techniques and processes involved in problem solving

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Why people fail to solve problems effectively 5- inability to use the techniques effectively 6- using a method inappropriate to the particular problem 7- insufficient or inaccurate information 8- inability to combine analytical and creative thinking 9- failure to ensure effective implementation

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THE GAME OF THE SIX GLASSES The challenge: rearrange glasses so that the glasses alternate full and empty. However you must do this by moving only one glass.

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Solution Hold the second full glass and pour its contents into the fifth cup counting from left to right and replace the glass in place 2.

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Summary – The Four Basic Step There are four basic steps in problem solving:  Defining the problem - The key to a good problem definition is ensuring that you deal with the real problem – not its symptoms. Use 5W2H Method  Creativity Generating alternatives  Decision Making Evaluating Selecting alternatives  Project Management Implementing solutions

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The Magic Factor For Any Problem Solving Is Your ATTITUDE…..

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Lastline:  Problems can also be opportunities they allow you to see things differently and to do things in a different way perhaps to make a fresh start.

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