Each day, we face situations at work or within our personal lives that require us to think on our feet to solve problems and issues. Please review the past two weeks within your job. What problem(s)

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Each day, we face situations at work or within our personal lives that require us to think on our feet to solve problems and issues.  Please review the past two weeks within your job.  What problem(s) did you encounter?  Using the Creative Problem Solving Process, please map out the issue (in a list format).  After, how did you solve the problem?

I work for a group home with mentally disabled so you can that job for an example please

These are the 8 steps

Contrary to popular belief, creative ideas do not suddenly appear in people’s minds for no apparent reason. Often, they are the result of trying to solve a specific problem or to achieve a particular goal.

History has shown that Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and other creative geniuses worked in the same way. They do not wait for creative ideas to strike them. Rather they focus on trying to solve a clearly stated, at least in their minds, problem.

This approach has been formalized as Creative Problem Solving (CPS). CPS is a simple process that involves breaking down a problem to understand it, generating ideas to solve the problem and evaluating those ideas to find the most effective solutions. Highly creative people tend to follow this process in their heads without hesitation, others have to learn to use this very simple process.

An 8-step CPS framework

Although creative problem solving has been around as long as humans have been thinking creatively and solving problems, it was first formalized as a process by Alex Osborn, who invented traditional brainstorming, and Sidney Parnes. Their Creative Problem Solving Process (CPS) process has been taught at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo College in Buffalo, New York since the 1950s.

Problem solving is a mental process which is the concluding part of the larger problem process that includes problem finding and problem shaping where problem is defined as a state of desire for the reaching of a definite goal from a present condition that either is not directly moving toward the goal or is far from it.

Higgins describes eight basic stages in the creative problem solving process:

  1. Analyzing the environment
  2. Recognizing a probelm
  3. Identifying the problem
  4. Making assumptions
  5. Generating alternatives
  6. Choosing among alternatives
  7. Implementing the Chosen Solution
  8. Control

1 – Analyzing the environment

You need to be constantly searching for problems including opportunities. Being able to recognize problems and opportunities as they arise are essential for success. This phase involves gathering information on the organisation, market, competition, economy, customers, personnel, processes, assumptions, weak signals, internal and external organisation environments. What is happening that might lead to problems or opportunities? Remember that the SWOT analysis can best be used in this step.

2 – Recognizing a problem

Using the information gathered in the first step an awareness of problems or opportunities is formed.

3 – Identifying the problem

This stage involves ensuring that efforts are directed to solving the real problem rather than merely eliminating symptoms, and establishing the objectives of the problem-solving process. What will constitute evidence that the problem has been solved? The outcome of this stage is a set of decision criteria for evaluating various options. Rational and Intuitive thinking will be used at this stage. Remember this is where you ask questions such as Who?What?Why?Where?How? etc.

4 – Making assumptions

It is necessary to make assumptions about the condition of future factors in the problem situation, eg state of the economy. Assumptions can be a major constraint on the potential success of a solution, or overestimating the potential of an alternative.

5 – Generating alternatives

Generating alternatives involves cataloging the known options (a rational act) and generating additional options (a rational and intuitive act. It is at this stage where most of the creativity processes are found. It is important to generate many alternatives for the next stage of choosing among alternatives. Techniques can be grouped into individual techniques and group techniques. The more you generate, the better the opportunity to find a good solution.

6 – Choosing among alternatives

This stage should be based on a systematic evaluation of the alternatives against the criteria established in the third stage. A rational part of this exercise is determining the possible outcomes of the various alternatives.

7 – Implementing the Chosen Solution

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do and a plan for accomplishing it, you can take action. Set goals, target dates, gain support from others and map out the detailed steps. Implementation is a series of problems and opportunities.

8 – Control

Evaluating results is the final, and often over-looked state in the creative- processing process. The purpose of this stage is to determine how well the actions you took have solved the problem, and can feed directly back into the environmental analysis stage, beginning a new cycle of creative problem solving. It is important to recognise deficiencies in your own solutions if necessary. There are no specific techniques. Refer back to the first technique of Analysing the Environment.

Each day, we face situations at work or within our personal lives that require us to think on our feet to solve problems and issues. Please review the past two weeks within your job. What problem(s)
I would first like to say that this class has helped tremendously in the last three weeks with my every day and rather large problems at work. This discussion comes at a great time, I am using a scenario that has been happening at work for nearly the last four years.  1)Analyzing the environment Our company switched to a web based HRIS (Human Resources Information System) nearly four years ago. We are a unique company where we cannot use “off the shelf” products and require custom reports, programs, etc. Therefore, we decided to go with a solution that was not a 100% fit. 2) Recognizing a problem Upon testing, we realized that our HRIS cannot properly bill for Life Insurance and Long-Term Disability the way it is currently set up. Of our nearly 3,000 total employees, we only have 100 employees who work in multiple departments. This problem is only affecting approximately 3% of our employees. 3)Identifying the problem In order to properly bill for Life Insurance and Long-Term Disability we have worked with our HRIS company to build out a program behind the scenes to properly charge employees who work in multiple departments the correct amounts based off their salary in each. 4)Making assumptions We use a few different formulas depending on the salary you are making. And if you are over a certain amount you max out. We had to show the formulas and how they work and give different scenarios. We had to assume the following: If we were to have the program created and use the formulas, would it bill correctly? If it didn’t bill correctly, can we easily undo it and not use the program? Each person only has one record currently, do we need to create two or more than one record depending on how many departments they work for? If it doesn’t work, how can we get it to work? Will this affect any other billing or reports for other departments? If it does affect another department, how can we make it work for everyone? We tend to always assume that things will take longer than expected when completing any project in our company. We had been told the whole process to complete this program from planning to execution would take approximately six (6) months. We are currently in year four (4). We have been between Stage 3 and Stage 4 for four (4) years. 5) Generating alternatives We had three alternatives: One – We do not do anything and continue to leave the billing incorrect as it has been for nearly 4 years on the current HRIS program. In this situation we are currently losing money since most of the charges are incorrect, some being off by $1-5 per person.   Two – We can manually update the 100 employees Life and Long-Term Disability benefits every month. At first this would be time consuming to complete the correct formulas for each employee, as the benefits are based off of your salary in each department. Every month this would add an extra step to manually update the benefits when completing our monthly billing adjustments. Three – We work with our HRIS partners to customize and code a program behind the scenes to do the calculations specifically for those 100 employees. Once our HRIS partners complete and are ready to release the update within our HRIS, all we would need to do would be to make sure that should we have any new multi employees their individual profiles are correct and completed. For the first few months we would monitor to make sure the locations are being billed correctly based off the salary in each place. 6)Choosing among alternatives With our three options the clear answer is to choose option number three. In the long run this will be the best option as it is the most work upfront, but then the work is done once we can verify that the program is running correctly.   7)Implementing the Chosen Solution As of October 1, 2020, we were actually able to implement option number three when we ran our monthly billing report. The project was complete in the month of August, but due to September being our biggest month workwise we decided to turn on the program in October. Shortly into completing our adjustments, we noticed some strange percentages that happened in October that did not happen in September. While comparing the bills we noticed that it happened with people who no longer worked for multiple department, it took a while to figure out what the issue was. Once we were able to fix the issue on the payroll side, we were able to re-run the bills. 8)Control On this project there were primarily three of us from our company and two from our HRIS company. My co-worker and I were able do the final implementation of the project this week. We were able to finally run our bill properly and without days of reprocessing. We were to successfully finish this project. We realize that this will be something to make sure if we have employees working in multiple departments that we customize their profiles correctly. As of right now this is working properly for us, should it impede on another department then we would have to see how to make it work for everyone

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