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Problem Solving and Decision Making

Course Length: 1 day

Making decisions is how we cope with our environment and live our lives. From the decision to arise in the morning to the decision go to bed at night, we are constantly making decisions and frequently solving problems. Throughout each day we are confronted with a variety of problems and decisions that require a rational, thoughtful response.

Problem Solving and Decision Making (PSDM) presents a structure, process and the tools to help solve problems and make decisions. This workshop is about proactively attacking problems and making timely decisions.

The workshop is designed to help you solve work problems and make decisions to bring value to your company and your customers. In addition, the skills, processes and tools taught in this workshop can bring value to other aspects of your life.

Course Objectives

Upon completion, participants in this course will be able to:

  • Identify one or more problems to solve
  • Create a problem statement
  • Conduct a root cause analysis of the problem
  • Develop criteria to evaluate solution to the problem
  • Generate a list of solutions
  • Select the best solution
  • Validate their solution
  • Develop a plan to implement the solution
  • Develop a plan to monitor and verify the solution
  • Develop a communication plan


Key Topics

Introduction: What is problem solving and decision-making

  • Problem solving and decision making defined
  • Evidence based decision making
  • Non-evidence based decision making
  • Groups vs. individual, the pros and cons


The Five-Step Problem Solving Process

  1. 1. Define and Analyze the Problem

-  Create a problem statement
-  Analyze and understand the problem
-  Apply tools and techniques for problem identification and analysis

  1. 2. Determine the Cause(s) of the Problem

-  Collect data to understand the problem
-  Identify possible causes
-  Analyze causes
-  Select the root cause
-  Apply tools and techniques to identify causes and determine the root cause

    1. 3. Generate Alternative Solutions

-  Indentify possible solutions
-  Apply the tools and techniques for generating alternative solutions

  1. 4. Select the Solution - Make a Decision!

-  Determine a decision making approach
-  Develop criteria for selecting a solution
-  Select the best solution
-  Validate the solution
-  Apply the tools and techniques for decision making

  1. 5. Implement the Solution

-  Develop an action plan
-  Implement the solution
-  Marshal support for your solution

Summary: Participants will practice the problem-solving process by working on actual problems in the workshop. The focus in the workshop is on group problem solving and decision-making, but participants will be able to apply the same processes and tools to individual problems and decisions.



 Patrick Neal

PATRICK NEAL has a passion for helping people and organizations reduce costs, improve productivity, and shorten time-to-market by developing organizational and individual competence in project management. He has worked with more than 200 organizations including IBM, AT&T, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, and PG&E. More than 10,000 project managers have attended his training classes.

Patrick was a member of the Hewlett-Packard Project Management Initiative which was credited by an industry study with developing the best high-technology approach to project management. He founded the Project Management Office at Agilent Technologies.

Patrick has a doctorate in Organizational Communication and is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

 Phil Ailes

PHIL AILES has extensive experience in the development and delivery of innovative technical and management courses. Prior to forming Ailes Consulting, Phil worked at Fidelity Investments as a Senior Project Manager/Instructional Designer designing, developing, delivering and managing company-wide IT training programs. Phil has worked as the Sales Training Manager at Markem, Global Training Director at NetScout systems, and Senior Sales Trainer at Digital Equipment Corporation.

He holds a Master of Management degree from Cambridge College in Cambridge Massachusetts.

Phil is dedicated to the success of his customers through the use of innovative and interactive training techniques, ensuring positive results. Phil lives in Massachusetts.

 Eric Bloom

ERIC BLOOM, a former CIO, today is the Executive Director of IT Management and Leadership Institute (ITML), an organization specializing in Information Technology (IT) leadership development and IT soft skills training.

Eric began his career as a software developer (programmer) and moved up through the ranks to CIO. Therefore, he understands his topic, IT management, from the bottom up. As they say, "He walks the walk."

Prior to founding ITML, Eric held senior IT leadership positions at The Boston Company Asset Management, Monster.com, Independence Investments, and Fidelity Investments. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Bentley College and Boston University and is the author of several computer and management books.

Eric holds bachelor degrees in Accounting and Computer Information Systems from Bentley University and has an MBA from Babson College. He lives in Massachusetts.

Onsite Delivery

For more information about having a course delivered at your site and tailored to meet your organization's specific objectives.

Contact: info@effectivetraining.com