Problem-solving and decision-making are integral to success. Whether it is your personal life or the professional domain, you need to master the art.

If you are well-versed with problem-solving and decision-making in the workplace, then you can manage situations well and also evolve at a personal level.

Problem-solving and decision-making at the workplace

Problem-solving decision-making is embedded in the functions of business management. You need to be capable of identifying the problem. You can use a stepwise process to identify the problems, find out the solutions and take decisions to execute the solutions.

There are a lot of areas in which problem-solving and decision-making skills can benefit you.

These are:

  • Assessing the situations effectively

  • Discussing the challenges with an aim to find solutions

  • Improving your personal image as a leader

  • Evaluating options

  • Forecasting the impact of decisions

  • Creating action plans

The process of problem-solving and decision-making has five major steps.

Let’s take a look at them to understand the importance of problem-solving decision-making in business environments with the help of some problem-solving and decision-making at the workplace examples:

  1. Problem identification and analysis

You can solve a problem only after you thoroughly understand it. Hence, the first natural step in the problem-solving and decision-making process is to identify and analyze the problem.

Rohit was the production head of an industrial unit. He realized that despite the installed capacity of producing 1,000 pieces a day, his factory was bringing out only up to 600 pieces. He spent the next one week observing the production process and spotted the problem areas using his analytical abilities at the end of the period. Almost half of the machines frequently broke down and the repairs took hours together. Also, the lighting in the production area was inadequate, which ended up reducing the working speed of the workers to avoid injuries and material wastage.

In this example, Rohit identified and analyzed the problem at hand.

  1. Collecting information

The next step in the problem-solving and decision-making process is to collect as much information as possible about the problem as well as the possible solutions.

Rohit moved on to this step once he had identified and analyzed the problem. He researched and collected information on the machines installed in his factory and on the maintenance mechanisms. He also figured out how to improve the lighting in the premises.

Once he was ready with the information related to various possible options, he decided to take the next step.

  1. Analyzing the options

Once you get to know the problem, collect the necessary information about it and figure out the possible solutions, you need to analyze them and, wherever possible, brainstorm the solutions with your colleagues or other stakeholders.

Rohit’s problem is a classic case of problem-solving and decision-making at the workplace examples.

He had great problem-solving and decision-making skills that enabled him to adopt a stepwise approach to resolving the issue and taking a decision.

He held a discussion with the workers and asked them for their inputs regarding what needed to be done. After the brainstorming, it was easier to identify some potential solutions.

  1. Evaluating pros and cons

The next major step in the problem-solving decision-making process is to consider the pros and cons of each option available before deciding on the ultimate solution.

Rohit and his production staff considered various options such as redoing the lighting fixtures in the factory, installing heavy-duty portable lights alongside the existing lighting, hiring an on-site technician to service the machines and even purchasing new machines.

They then worked on the projections of the initial cost, operational monthly expenditure and long-term benefits of each option. In the end, Rohit decided to go ahead and execute the fifth step of the process.

  1. Deciding on the solution 

Once you have given due consideration to the problems, your organization’s needs, the cost factors and other pros and cons of each available option, it is time to make a decision.

Rohit’s analysis brought about two facts:

  • The machines were bound to break down frequently

  • The lighting system was inadequate for optimal working

He opted to revamp the lighting with new brighter and more energy-efficient lighting and hired a full-time technician. Within a month, the production improved by 30% and everyone appreciated Rohit’s problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Conclusion

Problem-solving and decision-making is a critical and continuously evolving skill. Look around in the professional space, and you will see plenty of problem-solving and decision-making in the workplace examples.

Harappa Education’s Making Decisions helps you learn how to make smart decisions and solve problems efficiently. It teaches you the PRISM Framework’ of problem-solving and helps learners cultivate an analytical and systematic approach towards problem-solving and effective decision-making. You can enroll for this online course from anywhere, anytime and can develop the requisite skills.


Explore topics such as Decision Making, Steps of Decision Making, How to Make Decisions & Decision Making Methods from our Harappa Diaries blog section and develop your skills.

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