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Weatherhead School of Management

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving for Project Leaders

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Description

Business changes in the “blink of an eye.” Executives are constantly bombarded with a plethora of problems. The obstacles to success are plentiful and great ideas are simply not enough.

In a world of rapid, constant change, managers need a reliable process to quickly evaluate issues and identify the best solutions. Based on the idea that logically-sound, evidence-based decisions that are rapidly executable are better than ideal solutions that come too late, this course covers a proven process for solving complex problems. Using a combination of analytical approaches, participants will acquire a powerful tool kit for effectively and efficiently developing achievable project outcomes, identifying real solutions, exploring plausible alternatives, creating realistic work plans, and driving execution - all without sacrificing thoroughness or creativity. The net result: better solutions developed faster to positively affect your growth, profitability, and ability to service your customers.

Topics

  • Problem definition & situation analysis
  • Objective setting
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Scoping the problem
  • Hypothesis building & rapid testing
  • Logical work planning
  • Interviewing and data collection
  • Data matrix
  • Logic diagrams
  • Drawing conclusions based on facts
  • Designing the best solution
  • Driving execution
  • Overcoming barriers to change
  • ## Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will have learned and practiced the techniques needed to:

  • Identify the key business issues, and reach consensus about the nature of the problem to be solved – as well as the specific areas that will be explored to solve it
  • Plan and organize faster, more effective and efficient data collection
  • Move beyond biases and assumptions, making their logic transparent and open to legitimate discussion and exploration of the data
  • Nurture commitment and develop support during the problem solving process to drive results
  • Analyze the potential effectiveness of alternative solution options

Who should attend

Executives and managers from all functional areas, change agents, and professionals with responsibility for driving business results and/or improving organizational effectiveness. Leaders managing cross-functional teams or task forces, management consultants, and those who are transitioning into internal consulting/problem solving roles will also benefit.

This program is applicable to all for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Experts

Trish Brandt is a Weatherhead Affiliate Instructor. She is the founder and president of Brandt Consulting LLC, an organization and talent development firm that works to inspire both individuals and organizations to realize their potential. BC provides consulting services—particularly those concer...
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