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Problem Solving and Decision Making

April 5

Pacific Research Center @7677 Gateway Blvd
Newark, CA United States

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1-2 days


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 course is about proactively attacking problems and making timely decisions.  The course 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 course can bring value to other aspects of your life.

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 versus individual – the pros and cons

The Five-Step Problem Solving Process

1. Define and Analyze the Problem

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

2. Determine the Causes of the Problem

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

3. Generate Alternative Solutions

  • Identify possible solutions
  • Apply the tools and techniques for generating alternative solutions

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

5. Implement the Solution

  • Develop an action plan
  • Implement the solution
  • Marshall support for the solution

Participants will practice the problem-solving process by working on actual problems in the course.  The focus in the course 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.


Instructor was excellent. He presented a higher level of problem solving and provided a variety of approaches from which I can choose, depending on my specific need.
– SRI International, Contracts Manager

Instructor was knowledgeable, patient and effective in decribing concepts and ideas.– Qualcomm, Staff Engineer