PROBLEM SOLVING

THINKING ABOUT A MANAGEMENT SITUATION

  1. What needs to be solved?  What question needs an answer?

  2. What are reasonable potential solutions to consider in this situation?

  3. What are the known given facts that might be necessary to make a decision?

  4. What assumptions can you make regarding the facts not given but necessary to make a decision?

  5. What should you do and why?  What is the most reasonable of the potential options, given the nature of the facts and assumptions?

PERSUADING OTHERS TO ACCEPT YOUR SOLUTION TO A MANAGEMENT PROBLEM

  1. Get agreement on what needs to be solved.

  2. Get agreement on information needed to assess the adequacy of a solution:
    • facts
    • assumptions

  3. Get agreement that the solutions being considered by others are either not adequate or are less adequate than the most reasonable solution.

  4. Show how your solution:
    • best addresses the agreed-upon question
    • best meets the constraints of the facts and assumptions
    • can be implemented

SCHEMATIC OF A REPORT THAT IS, THEREFORE, MOST LIKELY TO BE PERSUASIVE:*
  1. Problem statement / question needing an answer

  2. Information needed to find a solution
    • facts
    • assumptions

  3. Reasonable potential answers to the question
    • alternative A
    • alternative B
    • . . . . .
    • alternative N (limit to three or four!)

  4. Solution / recommendation


*Note: This is NOT the schematic of a business plan or a project report.  This is a general approach to any part of a report that attempts to be persuasive in proposing a solution to a problem.