Steps to Problem Structuring
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Individuals and teams facing complex problem solving
for organizational strategy and performance improvement
initiatives will benefit the most from this program.
Focusing on frameworks and techniques for structuring
problems and planning analyses, this workshop shows
participants how to break down the problem-solving process
into separate steps. Suddenly what seemed to be an overwhelming
task now becomes more manageable.
The program walks participants through each step of
the problem-structuring process using straightforward
definitions, examples, and exercises. Using a customized
case developed specifically for each organization, the
participants, working in teams, apply the problem-structuring
frameworks to the case at each step of the process.
Often live team projects serve as case work. This applied
learning makes the work more real and, therefore, more
“The Steps to Problem Structuring”
is coupled with programs on persuasive reports and presentations
to assimilate the backend communication of the answers.
Conducting the analytics is not the focus of the program.
Step One: Define the Problem
After exploring the key elements
of clear problem definition, participants use a template
to develop their own definition of the case problem. This
critical first step helps participants correctly frame
the problem and enhances the thinking that supports proposal/business
case writing and client/customer negotiations.
Step Two: Disaggregate the Problem
Step two breaks the problem into manageable pieces so
that the problem can be analyzed thoroughly and efficiently.
Here the participants are introduced to the importance
of logic in structuring their problem solving. They also
begin to understand the benefit to the larger team of
relating parts of the analytics to the whole and thereby
improving individual understanding of overall objectives.
Many examples of logic trees guide the participants as
they work to develop their own solution for the case.
Debriefing the group solutions helps to solidify the learning.
Step Three: Conduct Issue
Using the logic trees they’ve developed in step
two, participants form early hypotheses about the likely
answers to the questions and compare their hypotheses
to those likely to be held by the decision maker. Determining
early how far apart the hypotheses of the problem solvers
and decision makers are ensures that the team performs
the analyses required to solve the problem and persuade
the decision maker—no more, no less.
Step four introduces the participants to work planning
that is based on the issue analysis. While the issue analysis
is structured according to logical groupings, the work
plan groups the analyses into efficient blocks of work.
The participants prioritize the tasks, indicating responsibilities,
due dates, and end products as they would be captured
in a complete work plan.
the most impactful training of my career”
to offer suggestions for a course as good as this”
- Delta Corporate Strategic
approach to problem structuring was very logical and
helpful and saved a lot of time. The issues we work
with can be so large that boiling the ocean or focusing
on too many details is a common problem. Linda helped
us focus our analysis at the right level so when we
went to do our research we were focused, but not too
detailed. This helped everyone on our project understand
the parameters and not waste their time”
- Consultant with Child
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