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Rapid Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills Short Course

Unit Standard

24817 (8 credits) in the Generic Management Level 4 Qualification


2 days


Classroom or Online


The pace of business today, along with fierce competition and economic pressure means that problem solving needs to be applied and quality decisions made quickly. For an organization to stay ahead of the pack, it needs managers who are able to generate rapid and viable solutions to business problems.

By attending this 2-day Rapid Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills course, you will learn how to use established problem-solving methodologies to ask the right questions at the right time, thinking and reacting quickly, intelligently, and systematically to get to the best solution to any business problem you are faced with.

Delegates will learn the science of asking the right questions at the right time, and to think and react quickly, intelligently, efficiently, systematically, with discipline, in detail, and with focus


  • Distinguishing fact from emotion by understanding and successfully navigating problem solving and decision-making traps
  • Eliminating recurring problems by understanding and addressing both symptoms and root causes
  • Understanding the decision-making process
  • Making effective business decisions, despite time pressure, by applying decision-making techniques and following tried and tested methodologies
  • Generating a range of viable solutions rapidly by developing your creative, analytic and critical thinking skills
  • Reducing workplace stress and mitigating the impact of problems by having a clear, well-communicated action plan


Managers, Supervisors, Team Leaders, Engineers, Project Managers. This course is also applicable to everyone whose job it is to solve problems daily and make fast and high-impact decisions frequently.


Establishing the Problem that Needs to be Solved

  • Dissecting a problem accurately and clearly
  • Cutting through the “nonsense” to get to where the problem actually lies 
  • Understanding and applying the prevailing established techniques like:
       – The 5 Why’s
       – Fishbone
       – Information Tree
       – Force Field Analysis

Expanding your Knowledge of the Problem

  • Discovering how to purposefully, with focus and in detail, collect all the information necessary to discover the root cause of the problem 
  • Learning how to ask the right question at the right time 
  • Knowing how to distinguish between useful and useless information that might led you astray

Using Comparative Thinking Skills to Define your Problem

  • Understanding applied comparative thinking skills
  • Identifying the unique occurrence in a situation and how this differs from other situations that are not experiencing any problems
  • Understanding that this uniqueness is what caused the problem
  • Realising that those uniqueness’s will help you get to the bottom of the problem
  • Learning to compare what the problem is with what the problem could have been, but is not
  • Using this comparative process to isolate everything that makes your problem unique

Developing and Testing a Hypothesis

  • Developing feasible explanations / theories of what might have caused the problem from all the information you gathered and comparative thinking you applied
  • Exhausting all possible explanations and theories that might exist
  • Tabulating all this information clearly and presenting it with authority
  • Identifying the one explanation or theory that explains the root cause of the problem better than any other explanation or theory

Pinpointing the Correct Cause

  • Developing an airtight, logical and undisputable reason that explains why your final cause is the true and correct root cause of the problem, and not any of the other explanations / theories
  • Dislodging false or incorrect theories that lead to incorrect decisions and the inevitable waste of money

Solving the Problem

  • Making the best and most efficient decision of what action to take to solve the problem at the least cost and effort, but still with the best results that will solve the problem permanently
  • Conducting informal progress reviews
  • Catch someone doing things right
  • Bringing enjoyment, fun, camaraderie, pride and satisfaction into the workplace

By attending this practical two day Business ProblemSolving course, you will learn the science of asking the right questions at the right time and to think and react:

  • Quickly
  • Intelligently
  • Efficiently
  • Systematically
  • With Discipline
  • In Detail
  • With Focus