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Strategies In Decision Making Essay

1372 words - 5 pages

A quote by Albert Einstein states, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." (Khurana, 2006). Success in problem solving and decision-making lies in the ability of an individual to think critically, identify the most significant problem needing a solution, and prevent the problem from reoccurring. Problems can be found in all aspects of an organization and can be in the form of faulty process management, employee behavior issues, and input/output workflow processes. Solving organizational problems is best to be viewed as identifying opportunities or challenges and taking a disciplined approach to defining the problem and creating appropriate solutions (DeJanasz, Dowd, Schneider, 2001). A multitude of decision-making techniques exist and are available for an individual to use when solving problems. Regardless of the technique used, making an intelligent, rational decision requires processing information, assessing the involved risks, and taking actions resulting in positive outcomes.One major component of problem-solving requires identifying the root cause of the problem. Once the root cause is identified a plan must be implemented to eliminate and prevent the problem from resurfacing in the future. One way this can be accomplished is to implement the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. The first and most important step in the process is the Plan step. In this step, the problems need to be identified and potential solutions need to be defined. The challenge is to correctly identify the right problems and then create the plan for fixing the problems. The second step is the Do step. This is where the Plan is actually implemented. The third step is to Check if the implemented plan is resulting in specific and measurable improvements. In this phase, it is important to ensure the correct problem is being solved, identify if any new problems were created, and determine if the implemented plan is a short-term or long-term solution. Based on the responses to those questions, the next step is to Act and ensure the problem is solved. In the Act step, one of 3 actions can take place. 1) nothing can happen as the plan implemented solved the problem and no further action is needed; 2) minor changes are made and the plan is tweaked or alternative plans are put in place; or 3) major adjustments are made. This will happen if the proposed solution did not solve the problem. Generally, if this happens, the cycle goes back to the planning stage and the process is started over. This technique is very effective in ensuring continuous, long-term improvement.The PDCA cycle is a balance of thinking and doing. Balance can be found between the Plan and Check functions and the Do and Act functions. By using the Plan step, one can lay out the solution plan to use as a guide. In the Do stage the actual results can be reviewed. The Check stage can be used to analyze the difference between the plan and the...

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