Norman Vincent Peale, who stressed the need for analyzing a problem at a granular level, once said, 'When a problem comes along, study it until you are completely knowledgeable. Then find that weak spot, break the problem apart, and the rest will be easy.' A fact-based, honest analysis happens at two key steps in the problem-solving process: first when you analyze problems to identify the root causes, and then, when you evaluate and analyze potential solutions to determine the one that has the maximum chance of success. Several tools are used for analysis and evaluation at each of these steps. Examples of tools that help find the root causes of the problem are the cause-and-effect diagram and five-why analysis. Cost-benefit and force-field analysis help in choosing the best solution. This course helps you recognize the value of honest, fact-based analysis and demonstrates how the application of a few tools greatly assists you when determining the root cause of a problem and the best solution. The course first discusses problem analysis, illustrates steps to follow when analyzing problems, and outlines the tools used for uncovering the root causes. It then describes how to use evaluation and analysis when choosing the best solution from the alternatives available, as well as some of the tools you can use to assist in your endeavors. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.
Individuals who want to develop or improve their problem-solving and decision-making skills