Level 1 Module 7: Problem Solving & Decision Making
Step 1) Overview: You and the people who work with you are constantly faced with challenges that they have to overcome as part of their work responsibilities. As a manager and a leader you are a role model of resiliency in the workplace constantly showcasing the use of problem-solving skills to deliver high-quality solutions. You have to demonstrate the power of 5-Step problem-solving by showing the people you work with how this process is used to deliver robust solutions. The power of this repeatable method is that it can be used in almost any workplace.
Step 2) Action Learning: Please watch the two videos below.
The following video is a 4-minute segment that tells you how a leader owns the problem-solving process and uses it to empower the team to solve problems. The 5-Step Process consists of (1)Define the problem and use 5-Whys to isolate the root cause (2)Specify your objectives (3)Identify alternatives, evaluate them, choose one (4) Implement the solution you chose, adjust it if needed (5)Verify that the problem is solved. This is a universal problem-solving approach that can be used in almost any setting to improve your problem-solving skills.
Step 3) Points to Ponder:
1). Have you tried to solve a problem and discovered that your “solution” does not solve the problem because it does not address the root cause of the problem? How did you remedy the situation?
2). The 5-Step Process is sometimes called Scientific Problem-Solving because it asserts the need for fact-based decisions that are designed to address the root-cause of the problem. How are problems solved in your workplace? Is it commonplace for experienced people in your workplace to take decisions based on hunches? Do you see formal use of the 5-Step frequently?
3). What lessons did you learn from this module? If you were to embrace the 5-Step and 5-Whys as your method for solving workplace problems, what challenges or obstacles do you expect to encounter? How would you overcome them?
Step 4) Interactive Discussion: (Optional): After viewing the videos for this module and exploring the Points to Ponder please request your BPC representative to schedule a “Lunch & Learn” to give you the opportunity to discuss the lessons learned from this Module with others in your company that have completed the Module. If you have any questions or need more information please send a message to
Step 5) Next Level (Optional): Read the Reference: “Root Cause Analysis: The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action ” by Duke Okes published by ASQ Quality Press (2009) ISBN-13: 978-0873897648.
The next video is a 5-minute segment that demonstrates how a typical “5-Whys” exercise can be used to drill down and refine the problem definition because most problems in the workplace are not what they seem to be at first glance. An additional feature of the “5-Whys” exercise is that it can be used to engage team members and harness their unique skills and perspectives.