Problem Solving in Business

PART A

SECTION 1

PROBLEM SOLVING ANALYSIS AND PROCESS

Answer 1

A. One common situation that I have faced at my workplace was Poor Communication between manager and customers. Poor Communication can only occur due to lack of understanding. As in the country like New Zealand this is the common issue because it is a multicultural country. Sometimes people fail to convince and make other people understand what exactly the situation is, and a big mess occurred. So, sometimes team members fail to meet targets because of bad decision-making solutions.

As per Ackoff’s concept,

Problems are always interdependent with each other and sometimes managers are not confronted with the problems. The above stated situation leads to a big mess at workplace. Manager fail to understand what exactly the customer is looking for and the staff performed wrong task. This became the issue for company as we need to do the whole task again which took more time then expected. Ackoff says problems are concepts which are extracted from messes by analysing.

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Managers do not solve problems, they manage messes. (Ackoff, 1979)

As per Ackoff, there are three different ways to deal with problems i.e. To Solve, to resolve and to Dissolve the problem.

  • Resolving the Problem: To resolve a problem, only activities are considered which gives best outcomes or results. These activities mostly depend upon present facts and past understandings. Basically, it is a qualitative method not a quantitative method.
  • Solving the Problem: To solve a problem, such solutions are applied which we believe will give best outcome.

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    Most of the times these actions depend upon scientific procedures and techniques. It also includes the real experimentation techniques and mathematical charts and models.

  • Dissolving the Problem: To dissolve the problem, in this concept, the problem is completely removed. This can only be done through restructuring or redesigning the system found in the problem. This process not only deals with the problem most effectively, but also gives the better overall condition than just solving and resolving the problem. (Ackoff R., n.d.)

Problem Solving Diagram:

Answer 2

IMPORTANCE OF THINKING SKILLS IN PROBLEM SOLVING

Everyone experienced problems time to time. Some of the problems are complicated and very big, while others can easily be solved. There is slightly not a shortage of complications at workplace. Problem solving and critical thinking defines the ability to use information, evidences and database to solve the problems effectively and efficiently. This doesn’t mean you need to find an immediate answer, it means you must think on your own ability, measure problems and find alternatives and solutions. Effective problem-solving skills helps employees to work more efficiently with their co-workers and clients. In this, experience helps in making good decisions in order to solve the problems at workplace. (Quality, 2017)

Answer 3

  • In Heuristic Framework, the decisions are made very easily and are very satisfactory. The problem is driven in such a way that leads to very effective results immediately. It gives the quickest way to solve the problems at workplace.
  • In this approach, as a manager I tried finding my files on tables, in almirahs, drawers, etc.
  • In Systematic Framework, the problem is solved step by step. Firstly, we identify and understand what the problem is, then form a plan to reach to the desired goals. This framework is time consuming and it follows number of decision-making steps.

In this approach, the problem was I lost my files. I ask my staff whether they have seen the files or not. Then I checked all the possible places where I thought the files might be. At last I found them on the top of Almirahs.

Answer 4

Two strategies to overcome the conceptual blocks:

CONSISTENCY: It is a most powerful motivator for activities because it not only helps employees finding the alternatives by going out of their way, but also help them to feel positively about being dependable with their decisions even when the evidence says their decisions are not inaccurate. It refers to people’s tendency to perform in a way that matches their past conclusions or behaviours.

COMMITMENT: It means having stand for something. At workplace, when you are willing to give the time and energy to do something that you believe will give the best outcome. This is time consuming and comes with best alternatives by following every step of decision-making.

SECTION B

PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

Answer 1

The main problem I found in Ocean Manor Resort is Cleanliness. The rooms, lounge and other hotel areas were not properly cleaned and were very dirty. There was a foul smell everywhere that no body can neglect that. There were moulds in every corner and on every stuff that was placed in rooms. The hotel staff was so rude even though they were not concerned about anything. They still have the old version of room keys. They were not allowed to use phones, radios, etc. at work but they still were using them. Cleanliness is more important than security, but the hotel management refuses to do so. The customers of Hotel Manor book the rooms first, then they cleaned their rooms by themselves before staying in the rooms. I found it rude and unprofessional.

Answer 2

Two goals hotel must consider as a part of its long-term business plan:

  • The goal of Ocean Manor Resort is to make their customers happy by providing them clean and hygienic environment. As the customers are spending lots of money to book rooms for relaxation and for having good and memorable time.
  • The success of any Resort can be seen through the fact and figures about how happy their customers are. Proper training must be given to the staff so that they can make the customers more comfortable. The goal must be to derive the solutions of every problem that occurred in the Resort. To get the goals achieve, the Resort’s management must work on delivery of services that are delivered to customers. Every member must do hard work so that the Resort’s goals and agenda should reach the market standards.

Answer 3

Strategy to achieve suggested goals:

LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE. Any future goals the Ocean Manor has set only be achieved through knowing what you learn from your past and current goal standards. When you set something to achieve, perform a brainstorming process for what to consider and what not to. As when we set goals, always use the knowledge about what you have learnt in the past to create mote effective strategies and agendas. They staff must listen to the top management before performing any task to avoid future mis happenings. By performing every task effectively, Ocean Manor Resort will be on top with high ratings.

Answer 4

Outcomes that I expect to occur in the company:

  • Confident and Creative individuals: People become more confident with self-respect, their ambition, secure values and beliefs, etc. The Resort’s staff must be able to relate to others and should learn how to manage themselves. Sometimes they need to access the risk level and make informed decisions to achieve goals.
  • Productive: Staff must be creative and having power to produce new ideas and inventions. With right choices, higher values and incomes everyone can achieve the desired goals.
  • Active and informed staff: As Ocean Manor Resort have unqualified staff which results in failing achieve desired goals and unhappy customers. Earlier the staff was inefficient and unproductive, which leads to lost in customers. Staff must be more productive and confident in what they are doing. Having trained personnel means the staff is learning new skills and can help in creating a better working environment.
  • Better Delivery of services: Ensuring that customers are receiving what exactly they are looking for is a sign of better delivery of services. Ocean Manor owner or manager should make collective client contribution service distribution a major goal, if they want to stay in the competitive environment in the market.

Answer 5

As a business leader, your focus is always moving forward by calculating what is your next move to achieve the desired goals. As previously, Ocean Manor Resort was very unhygienic and messy. The staff was very rude, and they don’t pay attention to the customers requirements. Most of the areas were mouldy and full of fungus. After inspection, everything was changed. They place new stuff in every room, installed more shelves, hanged new curtains, etc. Now the rooms look more hygienic and cleaned. The staff is more confident to dealt with every situation. They are more productive in their work and delivering best services to their customers. If certain situations arise, the owner or manager must follow the steps to overcome the problems:

  • Identification and clarification of the problem.
  • Research
  • Develop creative challenges
  • Creative ideas to solve the problems
  • Evaluate the ideas
  • Develop action plans to accomplish
  • Implementation to achieve the goals.

PART B

Answer 1

Deming’s PDCA model is a four-step method developed to create a way just to identify what caused products to fail to meet expectations of customers. This model involves systematically testing solutions which are possible to assess the outcomes.

The four phases are:

PLAN: Firstly, identify and analyse the problem and opportunity. Then must develop suggestions about what the issues may be, and which one is the best. As Philippa Lewis is thinking to start incorporating Ozone-based laundry, but for this she must aware about the challenges she is going to face during this new addition. She needs to plan about what sort of technology she needs; how much water pressure is required and how much will be the labour cost. She can start eco-friendly laundry after solving all the problems.

DO: After planning, Philippa needs to test the possible results on small scale basis to measure the outcomes as to promote the kiwi business eco-friendlier. By introducing ozone to her washing techniques, she might gain huge efficiency while being kinder to the environment. The gas will destroy bacteria and will clean and brighten the clothes without using hot water naturally by reverting oxygen. She can perform smaller test to check how this really works and if found perfect can continue further.

CHECK/STUDY: It means study and measure the results effectively and then decide whether the solutions are supportive or not. She can check the usage of water, electricity consumption and gas consumption to get the idea about how everything is going. From different prospective, the efficiency of cost, competition can be measured. Must take consideration about the pros and cons of introducing something. At that point she can chat with the group and if discover any mis happening and can change the execution plan.

ACT: It means if the solution is perfect and successful, implement it. After doing all the planning and research, Philippa can perform advertisement to tell people what she is introducing, and then she can perform the laundry services with Ozone in it to check the public reviews. By following the overall process, they are promoting an eco-friendly kiwi business without the usage of hot water. They can perform more if there is a need. (Tools, n.d.)

FLOW CHART

TONY PROCTOR’S creative problem-solving model consists of six steps i.e. objective setting, fact, problem, idea, solution and action or acceptance.

The six steps are:

OBJECTIVE SETTING: By using ozone for washing clothes, Philippa wants to setup eco-friendly kiwi business which will be not harmful for environment and will use less water, power and gas. It will help her to set up low cost efficiency and make the business more competitive in the business world.

FACT FINDING: Find the facts or information that are proved to be true. Philippa must be aware about the pros and cons of starting a new service. On this basis she can formulate the decisions based on judgement.

PROBLEM DEFINITION: Using ozone for cleaning clothes internationally for some years and now Philippa wants to introduce the same technique in New Zealand where this technique doesn’t exist. Proper modifications and moderations are required to setup eco-friendly ozone-based services to achieve the sustainability in the business.

IDEA: Idea behind this invention is to introduce eco-friendly laundry service in New Zealand on very less cost. This technique will require less water and will kill bacteria without the usage of hot water. It will also brighten and whiten the clothes.

SOLUTION FINDING: In order to achieve the desired goals, the introduction of new technology needs financial help as well. By choosing better solutions, the case like ozone-based services reproduces ozone under pressure and will wash without the usage of hot water.

ACTION: By choosing the best alternatives or solutions, implement the solutions and ways which are sorted out by performing strategic plans. Later, update the laundry services by showing new techniques to get customers feedback and beliefs. This will help in knowing what need to be done more to deliver better services.

FLOW CHART

ANSWER 2

I have used two problem solving methods to help Philippa Lewis introducing Ozone Based Services to her Laundry in NZ. i.e. PDCA and Problem-Solving Model.

These two models PDCA Model and Creative Problem-Solving Model shows, she wants to introduce some new techniques to her laundry services. First, they tried finding what are the problems they are facing and why their services are going down and developing the objectives to overcome these problems. They performed a survey and find out the similarities between the procedures of washing clothes is reliable or not. On the other hand, the most common thing in these two models is, they brainstorm many actions and alternatives and then they choose the best action that will help in achieving the desired goals. They are upgrading the machinery and techniques to introduce Ozone-based service to their laundry in New Zealand.

Difference between these two models is that in PDCA model after performing and checking the actions there is no any further detailed analysis what is going on and what need to be considered. It is a simple approach to perform any action. On the other hand, Creative Problem-Solving Model is a detailed research approach on identifying the problem by setting objectives and best alternatives and actions to achieve the desired goals and outcomes. They checked everything from ground level to top and then introduce actions to do implementation of Ozone-based services in cleaning clothes that will brighten, whiten and will kill bacteria without the usage of hot water. They got good feedback from customers and growing very fast. (Nzherald.co.nz, 2019)

Bibliography

  • Ackoff, 1. (1979). Problem Solving and Goal Setting. Retrieved from
  • Ackoff, R. (n.d.). No compromise: Dissloving problems. Retrieved from
  • Quality, L. (2017, september 18). importance of problem solving and thinking skills at workplace. Retrieved from
  • Tools, M. (n.d.). Plan Do Check Act (PDCA). Retrieved from
  • Nzherald.co.nz. (2019, february 25). Using Ozone for laundry a gas. Retrieved from

Cite this page

Problem Solving in Business. (2019, Nov 19). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/problem-solving-in-business-essay

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