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ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

Managerial Decision Making and Problem Solving

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Managers are constantly faced with solving complex problems and making critical decisions. If not handled properly, these problems can have severe negative effects on operations and profitability. This course equips managers with the right tools and techniques to ensure proper and permanent solutions to problems and to make optimum decisions. Participants will learn how to develop the right mindset for solving problems. The course will also enable participants to properly understand, analyze and appreciate the different types of problems, conduct in-depth root cause analysis and make the right decisions for permanent solutions. Participants will also discover that some problems cannot be solved using rational problem solving methods but need a different, more creative approach. In this course we will enhance the participants' idea generating proficiency and we will enable them to lead a creative team. Finally, and after a solution is formulated and a decision made, participants will learn how to 'sell' their solution to stakeholders and get buy in. Participants on this course will discover the know-how of influencing others and getting support for what has been decided.

Course Objectives

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

  • Explain the structured model for systematically addressing problems and decisions
  • Practice the use of key tools and techniques for analyzing and solving problems
  • Conduct a comprehensive root cause analysis of any problem
  • Demonstrate the use of several disciplines in decision making
  • Identify various creative idea generating tools which can be practically applied at the workplace
  • Apply influencing techniques to enable better decision making and implementation

Course Outline

Structured Problem-Solving

  • Definitions, Principles and Overview
  • Problem-Solving Mindsets and Attitudes
  • Problem Ownership
  • Drilling Down Complex Problems into Progressively Smaller Parts
  • The 6-Step Problem-Solving Method
  • Classifying and Prioritizing Problems

Understanding and Analyzing Problems

  • Techniques of Recognizing Problems
  • Isolating the Causes from the Symptoms
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • The Pareto Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis

Root cause analysis

  • When it is necessary to undergo a wide scale root cause analysis?
  • Root cause analysis: The interrelation
  • Root cause analysis: The process
  • Cause and effect analysis: Key points of the process
  • Three types of corrective actions

Decision making

  • Everyday decision making techniques
  • Principles of decision making
  • Components of optimum decision making
  • Using critical thinking as an aid to decisions
  • Different tools for decision making
  • Subjective versus objective decision making
  • The uncertainty problem

Creativity and problem solving

  • Intelligence versus creativity
  • The role of creativity in problem solving
  • Mental blockers of creativity
  • Brainstorming: different techniques
  • Opposite thinking and 'what if'
  • Mind mapping

Problem solving and people

  • Leading the problem solving effort
  • Solving people related problems
  • Removing the 'groupthink' effect from the team
  • Team problem solving: ensuring participation, agreement, and implementation of solution
  • Behaviors that influence or block problem solving
  • Convincing stakeholders with your solution

Course Methodology

A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:

  • (30%) Based on Case Studies
  • (30%) Techniques
  • (30%) Role Play
  • (10%) Concepts
  • Pre-test and Post-test
  • Variety of Learning Methods
  • Lectures
  • Case Studies and Self Questionaires
  • Group Work
  • Discussion
  • Presentation

Who should attend

Team leaders, department managers and supervisors who are involved in leading and participating in solving their teams’ problems, as well as making and implementing decisions.


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