Order of classical problem solving
Consequences — What will be its costs financial and nonfinancial to the organization? Adam Bede has been added to your Reading List! The purpose of this step is to decide the relative merits of each idea. The assumption behind brainstorming is that the group dynamic stimulates thinking — one person's ideas, no matter how outrageous, can generate ideas from the others in the group. Although brainstorming is the most common technique to develop alternative solutions, managers can use several other ways to help develop solutions.
Refrain from allowing members to evaluate others' ideas on the spot. Concentrate on the problem at hand. That's when a manager must decide which alternative is the most feasible and effective, coupled with which carries the lowest costs to the organization. The best alternative is the one that produces the most advantages and the fewest serious disadvantages.
Has the implemented alternative been given enough time to be successful? For example, they may lack the proper budget or may not have the most accurate information or any extra time.
Time pressures frequently cause a manager to move forward after considering only the first or most obvious answers. Groups may have difficulty performing tasks because the group, rather than a single individual, makes the decision, resulting in confusion when it comes time to implement and evaluate the decision.
With this technique, participants never meet, but a group leader uses written questionnaires to conduct the decision making.
See Table for some examples of symptoms. Individuals become guilty of groupthink — the tendency of members of a group to conform to the prevailing opinions of the group. In those cases, a manager simply selects the alternative with the highest probability of success.
Was the original problem resolved? The following are among the advantages:. Thus, a manager should think through and investigate several alternative solutions to a single problem before making a quick decision. Decision making and problem solving are ongoing processes of evaluating situations or problems, considering alternatives, making choices, and following them up with the necessary actions. A successful manager doesn't just attack symptoms; he works to uncover the factors that cause these symptoms.
Ongoing actions need to be monitored. Realistically, managers operate in an environment that normally doesn't provide ideal resources. See the preceding section. In other situations, the process can drag on for weeks or even months. Weight each factor important in the decision, ranking each alternative relative to its ability to meet each factor, and then multiply by a probability factor to provide a final value for each alternative.
Managers are constantly called upon to make decisions in order to solve problems. Ideally, this spawning of ideas is contagious, and before long, lots of suggestions and ideas flow. Was the correct alternative selected, but implemented improperly? Other times, the optimal solution is a combination of several alternatives. This rule keeps the discussion very specific and avoids the group's tendency to address the events leading up to the current problem.
In other words, there are no bad ideas. Managers must identify the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative solution before making a final decision. Everyone involved with the decision must know his or her role in ensuring a successful outcome. It also avoids some of the pitfalls, such as pressure to conform, group dominance, hostility, and conflict, that can plague a more interactive, spontaneous, unstructured forum such as brainstorming.
Opportunities for discussion help to answer questions and reduce uncertainties for the decision makers. Encouragement of the group to freely offer all thoughts on the subject is important. So, they must choose to satisfice — to make the best decision possible with the information, resources, and time available. Are you sure you want to remove bookConfirmation and any corresponding bookmarks? One of the best known methods for developing alternatives is through brainstorming, where a group works together to generate ideas and alternative solutions.
After a manager has analyzed all the alternatives, she must decide on the best one. These symptoms all indicate that something is wrong with an organization, but they don't identify root causes. To do so, managers need to have the ideal resources — information, time, personnel, equipment, and supplies — and identify any limiting factors.
Because a manager often has a choice between making a decision independently or including others in the decision making, she needs to understand the advantages and disadvantages of group decision making. Managers are paid to make decisions, but they are also paid to get results from these decisions.
No matter what technique is used, group decision making has clear advantages and disadvantages when compared with individual decision making. So, are two or more heads better than one? A manager may accomplish this by asking the following questions:.
Participants should be encouraged to present ideas no matter how ridiculous they seem, because such ideas may spark a creative thought on the part of someone else.
All judgments should be deferred until all thoughts are presented, and the group concurs on the best ideas.
Positive results must follow decisions.