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Decision Models – Problem Analysis
LDSP: 6720 – Developing Effective Decision Models
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There are a number of different problem solving methods, techniques and styles, and the purpose of this paper is to review the analysis portion as it relates to the case study assigned to this week. Further, this paper will provide a critique to the solution of the case study problem which will include three distinct errors made in the problem solving phase. The errors were overcome, but not without much anxiety, lost time and heightened emotions.
The three errors, which all occurred at separate phases of the analysis, at times also were transpiring simultaneously, which compounded the effect of each one. Each was enough to throw the group off-track; the synergistic effect of all three almost doomed the team. It took an outside member (Joyce Luane) to see the detail that the others did not as a result of their error laded blinders. The three errors were allowing assumption to trump knowledge, or as Doug Smith relates it in his book Make Success Measurable (1999), the “I already know that!” approach when looking at and reviewing details and facts. Smith asserts that the Knowledge versus Assumption error is one of the most widely committed mistakes organizations make when performing analysis, setting objectives and outcomes and establishing performance measures. It is such that we make the assumption we know all there is to know with what is right in front of us, and that we do not need to analyze whether it is the intuition voice in our head or the harder to get at facts, circumstances and details that take ever so long to compile. In fact, what we assume to be true is frequently not, therefore we do not have true knowledge but only assumptions.
In the case of the rejects, the assumption that it was a “human problem” (Ralph Coggin, I.R. Mgr.) caused much discussion and wasted time on peripheral labor relations issues that were important but not urgent. This brings us to the second error: mis-prioritzing the Important/Urgent
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categorization that Covey presents in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989). Covey proposes there is a four-quadrant Johari window (Luft & Ingham, 1955) that can include four different categories labeled Urgent and Important, Urgent but Not Important, Not Urgent but Important and Not Urgent or Important. The problem Covey (1989) proposes is that we often mis-judge which quadrant the actual item or situation belongs in. If we put something that is Important into a category that labels it Urgent when it is not really Urgent, we will waste time due to the apparent immediacy of the item when in fact it could be put off until later.
In the case study for this week, clearly the labor relations and employee discontent is Important, but it may not actually be Urgent. It is, however, very ‘in-your-face’, which...