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Introduction
The purpose of this paper is to apply what you have learned during the course to a real-life business decision. Your paper should relate to the problem you decided upon in week two.
Instructions
Use topic headings! There should be a heading for the Introduction and each of the problem-solving steps. If you decide to include a Conclusion, include a heading for that as well.
Start with an introduction and include a problem-solving statement. Refer to the week two assignment and be sure to read my grading comments.
For all steps of the problem-solving model, include a narrative (at least a paragraph for each step).
Incorporate at least three of the analysis tools you learned about during the course. Also, for all analysis tools requiring a diagram or chart, include them (do not just describe what you would do).
Include one analysis tool for step two (root cause). Refer to the week three assignment and be sure to read my grading comments.
Include one analysis tool for step three or four (develop possible solutions or select the best solution). Refer to the weeks three and four assignments and be sure to read my grading comments.
Include one analysis tool for group analysis tools. Refer to the week five assignment and be sure to read my grading comments.
Your paper should be at least 3 pages single-spaced in length using size 11 to 12 standard font, to a maximum of 4 pages. Also, use one-inch margins. Please note that the length excludes references.
Resources
Step one of the problem-solving model requires you to identify the problem. This sounds easy, but it most often requires critical thinking. In other words, you know that something is wrong, but you will need to rely on facts instead of intuitive thinking (gut feelings).
Information Gathering Stage of The Creative Problem Solving Process for Teams  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Pay close attention to the part about consulting stakeholders!
Tips for Writing Effective Problem and Goals Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
The Six Sigma Problem Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Difference Between Problem and Symptom (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Demonstrate knowledge of how to use analysis tools when determining the root cause(s) of a problem.
Understand that complex problems involve more than easy analysis tools and you will apply your knowledge in this week’s discussion.
Realize how problem-solving traps can affect a person when attempting to develop a solution.
Root Cause Analysis (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
5 Whys (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Cause and Effect Analysis (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (MindTools site)
Cause and Effect Analysis (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (SixSigma site)
Appreciation (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Drill Down (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Pareto Analysis  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(MindTools site)
Pareto Analysis (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (SigSigma site)
Thinking Traps Part I (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Thinking Traps Part II (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Steps 3 &4
The next step is to start thinking about possible solutions (step three of the problem-solving model) and also determine the most effective solution (step four of the problem-solving model). To do this, it is important to use analysis tools, so that you will be able to develop the most effective solution(s).
Quantitative Pros and Cons (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Mind Mapping (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Force Field Analysis (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Risk Analysis (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
How to Make Ethical Business Decisions (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
How To Make Decisions And Stop Being Indecisive (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
How to Deal with a Chronically Indecisive Boss (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Five Tips For Handling the Indecisive Co-worker (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Steps 3 &4
When using some of the analysis tools covered through last week, this will require you to involve other people when brainstorming. Brainstorming is very beneficial when developing solutions (steps three and four of the problem-solving model). It may also be helpful when determining the root cause(s) (step two).
Brainstorming Rules (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Brainstorming (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Reverse Brainstorming (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Multi-Voting (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Stepladder (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Group Dynamics (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
6 Strategies for Overcoming the Tendency Toward ‘Groupthink’ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Avoiding Groupthink (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Steps 5&6
Step five requires a person to implement the decision. This is easy to do, assuming that a person has permission to do so.
Step six involves monitoring the implemented solution. This is a bit time consuming, but it is worthwhile to do so. Otherwise, you will not know if the implemented solution worked.
Becoming a Critic of Your Thinking (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
How Good Is Your Decision Making? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Defining Critical Thinking (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Creative Thinking – An Essential Skill for the 21st Century (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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