Problem Solving & Decision Making

This module on Complex Problem Solving and Decision Making (PSDM) management training  is part of the curriculum of critical management courses for developing leadership competencies and management talent.

PSDM Competencies – the ability to:

  • Recognize that a problem exists
  • Examine the situation from different points of view
  • States the problem clearly, quantitatively and objectively
  • Formulate flexible potential solutions and implement the most practical solution

Recommended materials

  • The Thinker’s Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving by Morgan D. Jones (Jun 1998)
  • Rapid Problem Solving with Post-It Notes by David Straker (Jul 1997)
  • Decision Making & Problem Solving Strategies (Creating Success) by John Adair (May 2007)
  • The Psychology of Problem Solving by Janet E. Davidson and Robert J. Sternberg PhD (Jun 2003)
  • Conquering a Culture of Indecision. By: Charan, Ram. Harvard Business Review, Jan2006, Vol. 84 Issue 1
  • The Hidden Traps in Decision Making. By: Hammond, John S.; Keeney, Ralph L.; Raiffa, Howard. Harvard Business Review, Jan2006, Vol. 84 Issue 1

Problem Solving and Decision Making Course

While we may make numerous decisions and solve problems routinely in the course of a normal day, many of us are uncomfortable scaling up to making important decisions and dealing with complex problems with multiple root causes. This training course provides these skills in identifying options, conducting thorough analysis, and making critical decisions based on facts and rational judgement.

This workshop will help you teach participants how to:

  • Make better decisions through creative problem solving
  • Analyse multiple root causes in a target problem
  • Evaluate underlying assumptions to broaden the solution framework
  • Present ideas clearly in a team-based problem solving environment
  • Perform option analysis to objectively select among different alternative solutions
  • Promote team alignment through group-based decision making


The programme is designed for managers and decision-makers who are involved in complex multi-factor situations requiring analytical problem  solving.


  • An overview of problem solving
    • Some simple truisms in problem solving
    • Attitude before Knowledge and Skill
  • The PDCA Cycle
    • Problem solving as an iterative corporate cycle
    • The importance of planning before performing
  • Symptoms and Causes
    • The Five Why Technique
  • Avoid the silo trap in problem solving
    • The Ishikawa Fish-bone technique
    • The 4Ms, 4Ps or 4Ss
  • Cause and  Effect diagrams
    • Mapping the relationships between factors
    • Plotting bottlenecks and outliers
  • Assumption articulation
    • Case studies in narrow vision
  • Creativity in problem solving
    • Metaphorical thinking
  • Systems Thinking and problem solving
    • When solutions are worse than the problem
    • Reinforcing cycles
  • Decision making basics
    • Decision matrix
    • Paired Comparison


The Workshop will be activity-based and interactive with experiential and accelerated learning.

Participants will be fully engaged for optimal learning and maximum results.


2 days (16 hours)

Contact Us

For more information on customizing a Complex Problem Solving and Decision Making course for your organization, please contact to begin to draw from GroomTalent’s cutting edge knowledge base