Problem solving refers to the systematic multiphase process that gets used by individuals to find appropriate long-term and short-term solutions for different challenging scenarios affecting individuals, team, organizations, government, etc. The ability to resolve problems is a fundamental prerequisite for human survival, although the mechanics of the process itself remain a puzzle. The central attribute of persons and the main ingredient in the problem-solving process is human intelligence (Stamatis, 1995). The idea behind the six-step problem-solving concept is formulating the necessary information and analysis significant in supporting solutions. Hence, in hard and conflicting circumstances in an individual’s life, in a team, corporate management, and decision-making perspectives, the procedure has got applied in establishing the best possible solution. In the scenario presented in this case study; there emerge conflicts between learning and the desire to work for a multi mega company. The situation gets solved using a six-step problem-solving process. The six steps of the procedure are 1) defining the problem, 2) Understanding the problem, 3) generating alternative solutions, 4) Evaluating the most suitable solution, 5) making the decision and 6) implementation of solution and reflection (Sprankle, 1989). It is crucial to undertake all the necessary stages when coming up with the best possible solution for the conflicting situation. The aim of the six-step problem-solving process is to identify a suitable and viable option for dealing with a difficult. The situation presented in the scenario may be dismissive, but the underlying possible challenges are large; hence, there is a need for assessing the difficulty and determine the necessary solutions. Hopefully by the end of the six phases of the procedure, its applicability and suitability will give adequate evidence in solving as well as laying down the foundation for any similar future problems.
Step One: Define the problem
The first phase of the procedure entails the defining of the problem that a person or a team aims at solving. The individual or team makes a decision on the objectives they what to achieve in the process and write them down. When a solution gets solved using the most immediate solution to the problem definition, does not guarantee that that is the most appropriate answer that generates the best outcome. The scenario at hand is challenging. It gets based on the person’s desire to learn and improve their knowledge, but at the same time, a very enticing offer presents itself in a multi mega company. Various aspects conflict with each other in this conflicting scenario. The concept in this scenario is formulating the challenge through this systematic manner so as to form a concrete solution. Another concept is going to college and continuing pursuing a bachelor’s degree whose final exams will get undertaken in the next two weeks. Another concept is the enticing job offer in a prestigious firm and also a huge salary. The person in the scenario got recommended for the new job by a former supervisor due to their outstanding performance.
Step Two: Analyze the problem
The second phase of the six-step problem-solving process entails the checking of where we are, analyzing the current situation and what gets involved in creating the problem. The phase comes from the manner in which it fits in with current developments and what is the current environment, as well as is significant when determining whether a solution will work or not. In the scenario, the worker has amassed up to 11 years of work experience that makes them competitive and competent candidates for similar positions. The worker has also acquired relevant education knowledge since they have almost got done with the bachelor’s degree they are pursuing. The main reason why the individual joined college to earn a degree was so that they could enhance their chances of getting a job promotion and also increase their remuneration. The salary increase for the new job offer is 15, 000 dollars per year, a car allowance and relocation expenses, however, does not offer tuition reimbursement, as the present company.
Step Three: Generate options
This stage entails generating several possible solutions for a problem an individual or a team is trying to solve. This phase does not involve pre-judgment of the potential alternative solutions but treats each idea as new with its right and worthy of consideration. Various alternative solutions for the scenario get outlined in this phase. One, the person may decide to stay in the current company, with the current salary and be able to complete their degree. A second alternative solution for the scenario is moving to the new company that offers a higher salary increment and in which the job has got recommended by a former supervisor. Another alternative is discussing with the potential employer of your plans to request a leave in two weeks so as to undertake the final exams for the bachelor’s degree and also inform them you will be pursuing the Master’s degree immediately.
Step Four: Evaluate options
This phase of the six-step problem-solving process entails the different factors about the various alternative solutions stated in the previous stage. The pros and cons of the various alternatives must get outlined in this step of the procedure. Writing the advantages of the potential solutions in this step offers a unique advantage after which the individual or team may put their effort to develop the idea so that it is viable. The main advantage of the first alternative is that this solution offers an opportunity to earn a degree that the person has been studying for some years now. After earning the degree, the worker may negotiate a salary increment with their employer since they possess adequate and favorable skills and experience for the supervisory position. Another advantage is that the individual may also pursue a master’s degree after attaining the bachelor’s degree in the current company that offers tuition reimbursement. For the second alternative potential solution, an advantage is the high salary and allowances compared to the current situation. However, the alternative does not guarantee the person that they will complete their degree or when they expected to attain the Master’s degree which is a requirement for all supervisor’s in that level. This second company does not also offer tuition reimbursement thus the person will get required to sponsor self for the master’s degree. For the third alternative solution, the person becomes aware of what will happen when they join the new firm concerning their education. However, the alternative does not guarantee that the employee will get the required permission to undertake the final examinations in two weeks or pursue a master’s degree while working at the same time.
Step Five: Make your decision
This phase involves decision making on the best option for solving the challenge by reviewing different factors for all potential solutions. The judgment on individual solutions involves on how good the idea is, or on pure facts and figures of the solution, or on individual feelings and intuition of the solution. In the different solution options for this scenario, the alternative of sticking with the current solution and completing their education seems like the best. The person does not lose out on the tuition reimbursement and also has an opportunity to negotiate for a salary increment considering they have the experience, skills, and qualifications. The worker is also certain on what will happen, unlike other alternatives in which they involve aspects of uncertainty.
Step Six: Implement and reflect
The sixth phase is the last step of the procedure and entails a description of the implementation of the solution option selected in the previous step. Other activities of this phase include reflecting on the outcomes of the various things done in this solution. Monitoring and reflecting ensure that valuable thinking got done and that the option selected was the most effective. The person will complete the bachelor’s degree then request the management to consider him/her for salary increment. The outcome of this action gets reviewed to determine whether it’s favorable as expected or unfavorable. The worker also immediately enrolls for master’s degree after completing their bachelor’s degree.
The six-step problem-solving process for different problems affecting individuals or companies offers various benefits in solving problems. The problem is systematic and considers, or possible factors and alternative solutions hence eliminate the possibility of implementing a wrong solution. The process involves reflection of the actions hence can assess the performance of the alternative solution selected. It is crucial for persons and organizations to incorporate the procedure in addressing problems and challenges so as to enhance productivity and minimize errors.
Sprankle, M. (1989): Problem solving and programming concepts. Prentice Hall PTR.
Stamatis, D. H. (1995): Total quality service: principles, practices, and implementation. CRC Press.