Solving Problems Lesson

Solving Problems – 6 step problem solving strategy(Download full lesson)
This activity is very useful for getting students to identify the causes and effects of workplace problems and to work as a team to come up with a solution to solve the problem. It is based on a problem solving strategy that is used by many major companies around the world. The activity is broken up into three tasks and each task involves two steps in the strategy.

Nine Best Problem Solving Techniques (Reading exercise)


  • Clearly identify the problem and analyze its causes.

Step 1. Recognize and define the problem.

Step 2. Analyze the problem and its causes.

  •  Discuss possible solutions, their strengths and weaknesses.

Step 3. Brainstorm creative solutions.

Step 4. Consider the pros and cons of each solution

  • Choose the most suitable solution and describe why it can work.

Step 5. Choose the best solution.

Step 6. Implement the solution and evaluate the decision.

           

Step 1. Recognize and define the problem!

 

  • Is it a person or people creating the problem: who is involved?

  • Is it an obstacle creating the problem: what is the problem?

  • Is the issue a goal you are trying to accomplish: what are you trying to achieve?

 

Step 2. Analyze the problem and its causes!

 

  • Gather all the facts about the who, what, where, when, how and why of the problem.

 

Step 3. Brainstorm creative solutions!

 

  • Brainstorm possible solutions to the problem

  • Collect as many ideas as possible

 

Step 4. Consider the pros and cons of each solution

 

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages?

  • Who/what will these decisions affect?

  • Are these options practical?

 

Step 5. Choose the best solution!

 

  • Which solution will best solve the problem?

  • Is it the best solution in the long run?

  • Is there any risk involved?

  • Can it be realistically implemented?

 

Step 6. Implement the solution and evaluate the decision!

 

  • How can we implement this solution?

  • What are the long-term effects?

 

Useful phrases and vocabulary:

The best way is to…

It would be a good idea to…

It might be better to…

You shouldn’t forget…

Why don’t we consider..?

We have several choices…

We could either…or…

There’s another alternative

The third possibility is…

Other options include…

We will adopt…

We must/n’t rule out…

 

Weigh the pros and cons!

Decision

Consensus

Brainstorm

Steps

Implement

Plan

Action

Evaluate

Solutions

Possible

Analyze

Identify

Define

Causes

Effects

Downtime

Downsize

Justify

Workable

Backtrack

Rework

Guidelines

Alter

Identify

Specifications

 

Task 1

Attempt step 1 & 2 using the given problem?

  1. Recognize and define the problem

  2. Analyze the problem and its causes

  3. What can you see that causes you to think there is a problem?

  4. Where is it happening?

  5. How is it happening?

  6. When is it happening?

  7. With whom is it happening?

  8. Why is it happening?

Please, present all these details for step 1 & 2?

 

Task 2

Attempt step 3 & 4 using the information from step 1 & 2?

1. Brainstorm creative solutions
2. Consider the pros and cons of each solution
3. Brainstorm as many solutions as possible
4. Choose the 3 best solutions
5. List the pros and cons of each solution

Present the 3 best solutions and the pros and cons for each one?

Task 3

Attempt step 5 & 6 using the solutions from Task 3?

  1. Choose a solution

  2. Implement the solution and evaluate the decision

 

  1. Why is it the best solution to solve the problem?

  2. How can it work in the long run?

  3. Is there any risk involved?

  4. Can it be realistically implemented?

  5. How can it be implemented?