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The ability to identify the cause of problems and to make the appropriate decisions to solve them effectively is the fundamental excellence of every successful leader or team member. Dealing with problems can be similar to being lost.  You don’t know where you are.  In any improvement, decision-making or problem solving processes, leaders need to know where they stand, what the problem really is, what is the true cause of the problem before any decisions or solutions can be proposed.  Effective problem solving and decision-making process should follow a logical and systematic steps that help people (especially teams) to resolve business issues effectively & efficiently.  Other, less systematic attempts at problem solving run the risk of attempting to eliminate the symptoms associated with the problem rather than eliminating the problem at its cause.  Creative solutions to solve problems can then follow through, but first one must find the root cause. Using effective problem solving and decision-making processes taught in this training program, helps teams tap into the know-how of individuals, develop consensus, gain commitment, and resolve issues effectively. Everyone is on the same wavelength, using a common approach and language, and works towards the same goal, regardless of background or expertise

This training program examines a step-by-step ‘Best-Know-Method (BKM)’ process for identifying and solving problems. Included are tools appropriate for moving through each step of the process.  It is fast-paced and interactive training event, with group discussions, case studies, and the opportunity to network with others who face similar challenges.  This training program is a must all project leaders or team members who need to solve problems and make decision in their workplace and life.


At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • List the step-by-step rational & structured approach to effective problem solving
  • Apply the correct process to make decisions - - both individually and as a team
  • Quickly differentiate between the effects of the problem, possible causes and root causes
  • Organize when, where and how to use the analytical techniques in each step of the process
  • Recognize the human side of problem solving and the vital role communication plays at each step
  • Apply the 'Best-Known-Methods' (BKM) of problem solving and decision-making techniques and practice using standard problem solving tools at the workplace


For maximum learning impact and retention, this course uses the following methods:

  • Case studies and Small group discussions
  • Interactive problem solving exercises
  • Lecture and Quizzes
  • Creativity exercises and Games
course contents:

Introduction And Definition:

  • Definition of a Problem
  • Common pitfalls in Problem Solving
  • Why acquire Problem Solving & Decision Making (PSDM) skills?
  • The Human Side of problem solving.
  • Exercises: Mental Blocks to effective problem solving

'BEST-KNOWN-METHODS' (BKM) Approach to Problem Solving: An overview

  • The Basic Problem Solving Process
  • Continuous improvement Approach - - Deming's P.D.C.A Cycle
  • Systematic and Structured Approach - - 7-Steps Problem Solving Technique
  • Rational Approach - - K-T Problem Solving and Decision Making Analysis
  • Other Approaches - - Six Sigma (DMAIC), etc

Define Problem & Assess Current Situation

  • Defining a Problem: Identifying performance gap
  • Creating a Problem Statement
  • Verify Current Situation
  • Employing Pareto Principle: Focusing on the "Vital Fews".
  • Japanese Golden Rules of Problem Solving At The Workplace
  • Exercise: Case Study 1

Root Cause Analysis

  • Find the Root Cause(s) and take actions:
    - Using Problem Analysis (PA) step-by-step analysis
    - Identification of where the problem IS and IS NOT
    - Differentiating possible causes and root-cause(s)
  • Brainstorming technique, 5xWhys and 5W+1H questioning techniques
  • Organizing cause and effect information using Ishikawa's Fishbone diagram
  • Exercise: Case Study 2

Develop Solutions and/or Countermeasures

  • Develop solutions - - temporary containment and long term action plans
  • Select the best solutions:
    - Using Decision Analysis (DA) method
    - Balancing the benefits and risks
  • Exercise: Case Study 3

Check & Verify Results

  • Verify results: 'Before and After' effects
  • Validating solutions that address the root causes.
  • Compare against goal
  • Exercise: Case Study 4

Standardization and Future Plans

  • Embed the solutions to make it permanent
  • Standardize the processes
  • Avoid future problem by performing Potential Problem Analysis (PPA)
  • Exercises and Actions plan

Other subjects covered in the program:

  • Revision on the use of standard problem solving tools
  • Experiencing working as a team
  • Creativity used in problem solving
  • Presenting a problem-solving and improvements storyline
who should attend:
  • Managers, Dept Heads, Executives, Engineers, Supervisors – all those whose job requires solving problem and making decisions
  • Project Leaders & Team Members who need to lead/support teams to accomplish goals
administrative details :
Duration : 2 days
Time : 9.00am - 5.00pm
Venue : In-house or public program
Language medium : English
Trainer :
Nelson Kok (please click here to see trainer's profile)
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