# ENGINEERING PROBLEM SOLVING AND DECISION MAKING by gjjur4356

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• pg 1
```									    PROBLEM SOLVING
AND DECISION
MAKING (PS/DM)
AT THE EDGE OF THE
3rd MILLENNIUM
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
AN INVALUABLE CAREER
PLATFORM
AND ―KNOWLEDGE BASE‖
AT THE EDGE OF
THE 21ST CENTURY

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
PS/DM:
A PROCESS OF LOGICAL
THINKING TO ASSIST IN
IDENTIFYING AND
SELECTING OPTIMUM
SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS
OF ANY NATURE
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
– PS/DM PROCESS –
• A SYSTEMATIC METHOD
• A PATH—NOT A GUARANTEE!
• SUCCESS RELIES ON THE
CRITICAL THINKING OF THE
PS/DM TEAM!

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
• WHAT IS A PROBLEM?
• WHY DOES A PROBLEM
EXIST?

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
WHAT IS A PROBLEM?

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
TWO SITUATIONS (STATES)
— ―WHAT IS!‖
— ―WHAT SHOULD BE!‖
i.e. The ―Objective‖ or ―Goal‖
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
THE ―WHAT IS‖ STATE
• A Collection of existing conditions
requiring change (or elimination) related
to a specific area (e.g MEDICARE)
• EXAMPLE: Long line-ups in hospital
emergency wards.

The ―WHAT IS‖ situation is evidence of a
―PROBLEM‖—not the problem itself!
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
THE ―WHAT SHOULD BE‖
STATE
i.e. THE OBJECTIVE

• Developing a new ―WHAT IS‖
which will provide the required
objective (the ―WHAT SHOULD
BE‖)
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
PROBLEM STATEMENT

A written statement expressing
clearly the required transition
from the ―WHAT IS‖ to the
―WHAT SHOULD BE‖ situation
within a desired time interval.

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
AGREEMENT ON THE
―WHAT IS‖ AND ―WHAT
SHOULD BE‖ POSES A
CHALLENGE!

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
WHAT ―CAUSES‖ A
PROBLEM?

THAT WHICH PREVENTS
ATTAINMENT OF THE
―WHAT SHOULD BE‖
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
PROBLEM vs OPPORTUNITY

A Problem is not an Obstruction
but rather an Opportunity—a
condition to be reached when a
selected objective (WHAT SHOULD
BE) is realized.

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
SURPRISE!
Solving Math Problems does not assist
in an overall understanding of the
PS/DM process!

WHY NOT?

provided. Developing the ―Problem
Statement‖ is the ―Most Crucial‖ phase
in any PS/DM process.
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
PROBLEM ANALYSIS
THE PROCESS:
— RECOGNIZING AND SPECIFYING A
―PROBLEM‖
— IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM
―CAUSES‖
AN ANALYTIC APPROACH WHOSE
SUCCESS DEPENDS UPON CAREFUL AND
SYSTEMATIC USE OF INFORMATION
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
WHAT IS A SOLUTION?

AN ACTION TO PERMIT
REALIZATION OF THE ―WHAT
SHOULD BE‖ SITUATION

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
PROBLEM COMPONENTS
• A PROBLEM AREA may consist of several (e.g
N) ―WHAT IS‖ states
• Each ―WHAT IS‖ state requires its own ―WHAT
SHOULD BE‖ objective. The result is ―N‖
problems—each requiring a unique solution.
—line-ups: hospital space   1
—shortage of beds           2
Problem area
e.g         —shortage of nurses         3
MEDICARE        —shortage of doctors        4
—            •••            •
—------------               N

N ―WHAT IS‖ States          16
Problem Solving/ Decision Making
Set of n possible                    ―WHAT SHOULD BE‖
solutions (n paths)                  —THE OBJECTIVE—

B

IDEAL SOLUTION
PATH ―S‖

A

―WHAT IS‖
—THE STARTING POINT—

THE PROBLEM = B—A
CHALLENGE: SELECTING THE
OPTIMUM SOLUTION, PATH ―S‖                        17
Problem Solving/ Decision Making
―OPTIMUM SOLUTION‖

1. Transforms the ―WHAT IS‖
situation into the ―WHAT SHOULD
BE‖ objective
2. Satisfies the ―Three-Question
Check‖

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
THREE QUESTION CHECK
–FOR EACH POTENTIAL
SOLUTION –
1. WILL IT: accomplish the
"objective"?
– i.e ―The What Should Be‖
2. IS IT: feasible to implement?
3. DOES IT: have a minimum number
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
DECISION MAKING
1 Select the ―optimum‖ solution for
the identified problem
2. Make a commitment to carry out
the ―optimum‖ solution.
3 Move from the ―What Is‖ to the
―What Should Be‖ (the Objective)

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
THE CORPORATE CHALLENGE
―WHAT IS‖
A relatively small % of employees are familiar
with, and apply, the PS/DM principles and are
Very few can define the term ―Problem‖.

―WHAT SHOULD BE‖
All employees, at all times, must
understand and apply the PS/DM process.
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
USE THE TEAM
APPROACH!
Brainstorming is a crucial
stimulant for PS/DM
success

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Problem Solving/ Decision Making
SUMMARY
• CLARIFY: ―WHAT IS‖ and ―WHAT SHOULD
BE‖ situations
• DEVELOP: ―Problem Statement‖ in writing
• IDENTIFY: problem ―Causes‖
• DETERMINE: possible ―solutions‖, i.e.
―alternative‖ courses of action
• MAKE THE DECISION: select ―optimum‖
solution via ―Three–Question Check‖
• IMPLEMENT: the solution
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Problem Solving/ Decision Making