Problem Solving

Use Case

Description

A use case is a set of instructions that an individual in a process completes to go through one single step in that process. It describes what the user does to interact with a system.

5W2H

Description

5W2H is a tool that provides guiding questions when assessing a process or problem. The five W's-who, what, when, where, and why, and the two H's-how and how much - force you to consider various facets of the situation being analyzed.

Cause-and-Effect Diagram

Description

Cause-and-effect diagrams provide a visual means of conveying all suspected and possible causes and consequences of a specific problem.

Contingency Diagram

Description

The contingency diagram uses brainstorming to generate a list of problems that could arise from a process. Once problems are identified, then solutions to the problems are determined.

Critical Incident

Description

The critical incident method is utilized to identify a process, subprocess, or problem that can be fixed or enhanced. It can also be used to identify a source of a performance deficiency. The technique attempts to find information pertaining to organizational problems, and requires honest responses from the participants. This means that the participants must be assured they can freely express their opinions, and therefore requires full management support.

Critical-to-Quality Analysis

Description

A critical-to-quality (CTQ) analysis is a means of examining a process’s flowchart in order to find quality features or characteristics that are significant and to identify problems. The method looks at inputs and outputs and identifies steps that determine the quality of process outputs.

Focus Group

Description

A focus group is comprised of a collection of several individuals who all discuss a particular subject, voicing and discussing their opinions and ideas on that subject.

Force-Field Analysis

Description

A force-field analysis identifies the forces that either aid in or are detrimental to arriving at a desired outcome. A scenario plays out as a balance between two forces: one attempting to alter the current state and the other attempting to keep it the same. When these opposing forces are equal to each other, no change occurs. Thus, to orchestrate changes, the force with a motive to change must be greater than the force maintaining the status quo. The force-field analysis attempts to uncover means of diminishing forces that impede change and foster those that encourage it.

Groupware Task Analysis

Description

Groupware task analysis (GTA) is used to study teams in order to analyze their tasks and activities. The information collected is then used when designing or analyzing comparable team systems. The method focuses on two task models.

Task model 1: Describes the situation as it currently exists.

Simulation Modeling

Description

Simulation modeling is a dynamic tool that models the behavior of a process over a period of time. It can show how random variation affects intricate, time-based events and resources.