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Problem Solving in Groups


'an individual or collaborative process composed of two different skills: (1) to ... because for each situation, one of the criteria may strongly outweigh the others. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Problem Solving in Groups

Problem Solving in Groups
  • SFF Project Workshop
  • 11.30-1.00pm 2nd April, 2003
  • Acknowledgement
  • http//
  • Community Toolbox, Bringing Solutions to Light,
    University of Kansas

  • What is a problem?
  • the difference between what is, and what might or
    should be.
  • What is problem solving?
  • "an individual or collaborative process composed
    of two different skills (1) to analyse a
    situation accurately, (2) to make a good
    decision based on that analysis."

Collaborative problem solving
  • Why collaborative problem solving?
  • -problems challenges faced as members of our
    organisations often affect everyone in the group
  • -When working with more than just a few people,
    solving a problem with a set process becomes more
  • -It raises ownership of commitment to the
    solution increases group satisfaction.

The Problem Solving Process
  • 1. Running effective meetings
  • 2. Developing facilitation skills
  • 3. Developing recorder skills
  • 4. Defining analysing the problem
  • 5. Generating choosing solutions
  • 6. Putting the solutions into practice

Defining Analysing the problem- Clarifying the
  • 1. Start with what you know
  • 2. Decide what information is missing
  • 3. Gather information on the problem.
  • 4. Define the problem.
  • (see tool 1- Deciding on a Problem Statement)

Defining Analysing the problem- Deciding to
solve the problem
  • Some criteria to help your decision.
  • The problem
  • occurs frequently. (frequency)
  • has lasted for a while. (duration)
  • affects many people. (scope, or range)
  • is disturbing, and possibly intense -disruptive
    of personal or community life . (severity)
  • deprives people of legal or moral rights.
  • is perceived as a problem. (perception)
  • Also consider
  • Feasability? Are you best placed to solve it?Any
    possible negative impacts?

Defining Analysing the problem- Choosing among
  • List the problems you are facing, to what
    extent they meet the criteria (frequency,
    duration etc). It's hard to assign numerical
    values for something like this, because for each
    situation, one of the criteria may strongly
    outweigh the others. However, just having all of
    the information in front of the group can help
    the decision making process.
  • (See tool 2- deciding to solve the problem
    choosing between problems)

Defining Analysing the problem- Analysing the
  • Why analyse the problem?
  • To better identify what the problem or issue
  • To understand what is at the heart of a
  • To determine the barriers and resources
    associated with addressing the problem.
  • To develop the best action steps for addressing
    the problem.

Defining Analysing the problem- Analysing the
  • The group should be led through a process of
    understanding every aspect of the problem by
    answering questions such as
  • WHAT is the problem? (start with problem
  • WHY does the problem exist? (see tool 3
    analysing the problem- why does the problem
  • WHO is causing the problem, and who is affected
    by it?
  • WHEN did the problem first occur, or when did it
    become significant? Is this a new problem or an
    old one?
  • HOW MUCH, or to what extent, is this problem
    occurring? How many people are affected by the
    problem? How significant is it?

Generating choosing solutions
  • Strategies may include
  • Round the room (verbal)
  • Round the room (written)
  • Idea writing
  • Brainstorming
  • (see tool 4, generating choosing solutions)

Generating choosing solutions Comparing
  • 1. For each idea, list
  • What you like about it
  • What you don't like it
  • What the side effects might be
  • 2. Ask the following questions
  • Is it practical?
  • Is it effective?
  • Is it cost effective?
  • Will it be easy to put into practice? Will
    it be accepted by everyone involved? Is it
    consistent with other things done by the group?
  • 3. Modify the solution you are looking at, if
    suggestions have come up that can improve it.
  • (see tool 5, Comparing solutions)

Generating choosing solutions -Making a
  • When it comes to how to make a decision, you can
  • 1. Have someone decide, then announce the
    decision to the group
  • 2. Gather input from individuals/the group then
    have one person decide.
  • 3. Vote
  • 4. Try to build consensus among everyone at the
  • (see tool 6 Deciding on a solution)

The Next Step..
  • Having worked through this process, the obvious
    next step is to implement the chosen
    solutionand of course, to evaluate it!
  • Good Luck!