Problem solving skills

Faire le bilanSystematic decision-making

A systematic decision-making approach is logical and consistent. It is based on the idea that the best decisions are made when you consider all available options and have a clear understanding of potential risks and rewards associated with each.

The standard process

  1. Define the situation and the decision
  2. Identify the criteria
  3. Weigh up the criteria
  4. Generate alternatives. What are the various options available?
  5. Collect and evaluate evidence available for each alternative
  6. Rate each alternative against the criteria
  7. Selection
  8. Validation

Creative decision making

Several features define creativity:

  • The number of ideas presented to address a given situation or problem
  • The novelty or rarity of each idea
  • The practicality of a given set of ideas

A number of tools and techniques are available to help you make decisions and solve problems in a more creative way.

Challenging assumptions

Creative problem-solving is about finding the solutions that might normally get missed. They get missed because we are trapped in our own approach and in our own assumptions. A simple way of doing this is to identify all the assumptions you hold about a situation, write them down and then ask yourself if they have to be true, or if alternatives could apply.

"Six thinking hats"

Also known as De Bono's coloured hats techniques, this is designed to help the decision maker to look at a situation from different perspectives.

Lateral thinking

This is the idea of bringing together unfamiliar elements, looking at the other side of the coin and drilling down for new connections from existing ideas. As a concept, it is similar to the "green hat" thinking approach above.

Storyboard exercise

The storyborad exercise is a planning tool that can help you to explore your creative capabilities to generate ideas to bridge the gap between an existing state and an expected future state.

Mind mapping

The mind map is a graphical expression of connected thought processes that begins from a central point. It uses a mixture of pictures and words.