Problem solving and decision making both rely on imagination, and thus, each requires creativity for which the creative brainstorming method is especially helpful. In problem solving, different people coming together to discuss a problem so as to find solutions. The problem can be as wide as a society, or it may be restricted to a specific industry. The solution might be commercial, such as producing new products, or non invasive, like fixing a problem that confronts humanity. Whatever the problem is, the participants come together with different sets of abilities and skills to use their individual creativity so as to find solutions.
On the other hand, decision making
is more of a process, it entails systems thinking to arrive at a solution. Decision making is not usually a case of problem solving. Usually, there is a proven best way to achieve a certain goal, or there's some established procedure about the best way to achieve it. Decision making can also be direct, based on the knowledge of what is right or wrong. Sometimes, people don't have to know or understand why something is done, they simply need to know that doing it is correct.
But when problems involve complex procedures, the decision making and problem solving process sometimes cannot be conducted effectively without a proper system of decision making and problem solving. There are several methods available for the purpose, and a few have been found to be more efficient than others. Some of those methods include conventional swot analysis, cognitive procedures, complex systems thinking, and problem solving tasks. Each of these methods has distinct strengths and weaknesses. The potency of each lies at the suitable use of the methods.
The conventional swot analysis is the first among these methods. In this method, the choice of the dilemma is the principal focus. Thus, the selection of the most important problems is considered the principal focus. It's followed by a thorough investigation into the factors which influence the solution of the issue, together with an evaluation of the effects of each factor on the solution. Then, the possible consequences of ignoring the critical problems is projected and a plan on how to manage them is generated. This plan is then implemented in a planned and monitored manner.
The other method that's employed is the rational approach. In this technique, both the difficulty and the decision making are rationalized. Every step in the rationalization process is analyzed and the most reasonable choice is chosen. After all the explanations and the comparisons, the most appropriate action plan is generated and implemented.
However, both of these methods have limitations. The conventional method considers all of the relevant variables and calculates the best solutions for the issues involved. This makes it too rigid. On the other hand, the rational approach will become overly subjective, in order to render the problem-solving process random. This results in the total dissatisfaction level being extremely high.
Problem-solving and decision making can be effectively implemented together with the process of strategic planning. Strategic planning is based on the notion that different activities should be coordinated to achieve the exact same overall result. The very best strategy will solve a number of complex problems in the same timeframe, while minimizing the total price. In a tactical decision making and problem solving procedure, the general aim is to maximize the value of the investments made in a particular project. Consequently, the focus is on achieving the long term goals instead of just short term ones.
These methods are excellent for problem solving in the government sector, where issues regarding public safety, infrastructure, finances and responsibility to the citizens are usually dealt with. All the choices made must be carefully monitored by a committee to ensure they're not made arbitrarily. The process of strategic planning must also be subject to periodic review and updated as new situations arise. Strategic planning has been used successfully to take care of all sorts of complex projects. It can also be successfully utilised to make decisions about major business and economic concerns, like those affecting the welfare of the company or the country as a whole.