Oak Innovation: Problem Solving Skills Training Course Material


Picture delivering your own webinar, virtual training session, or traditional classroom session on problem-solving skills. Just add your logo and brand the content as your own.

What you get:

  • 26-page facilitator manual
  • 76-page participant manual
  • 30 Powerpoint slides
  • Practical exercises
  • Reading list
  • Course evaluation form
  • Course action plan
All training course material instantly available after checkout

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How to deliver a training course on problem-solving skills

Deciding what content to include within a problem-solving course can be tricky. This is why we provide people with training material that will save time.

Let’s explore what material you will receive and how best to use this content.

Sample training course material

Wave goodbye to endless hours of developing content from scratch. And, imagine how wonderful it feels to deliver a training course on problem-solving skills (see sample training course materials below).

Benefits of this training course material

  • Instantly available
  • Freedom to add your logo
  • Brand everything as your own
  • Fully customizable
  • Deliver the course wherever you want
  • All content is developed by industry experts
  • Saves you time and effort
  • Affordable
  • No experience required

What our customers say

My colleagues and I were so impressed with the quality of the Problem Solving course and all the marvelous extras that were included that we bought the whole suite of courses! Thank you for introducing our organization to your products.

Betsy Pickren, Founding Partner, Exceleration Partners

Thanks very much for the problem-solving material. It’s all very comprehensive. You offer much more, which will surely help trainers a great deal.

Adam Knight-Markiegi, Policy Officer, Sitra

I have over 30 years of Training and Development experience. I just finished previewing Oak’s newest course entitled Problem Solving. Having done the research, designed and developed many training programs myself from the ground up, I can tell you that this program is ready to go! It is as complete and comprehensive as I have ever seen. It allows for customization and tailoring and is flexible enough to fit any business situation. I have used Oak products in the past and can assure you that you will not find a better product on the market that matches the comprehensive nature, quality, and price of this offering, they have thought of everything! Trust me, save yourself a lot of time, money, and energy. you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Dave Benak, Training Pays

Explore these customer stories

What you’ll get

  • 26-page facilitator manual
  • 76-page participant manual
  • 30 powerpoint slides
  • Practical exercises
  • Further reading
  • Course evaluation form
  • Action plan

Learning objectives

At the end of this training course your participants will be able to:

  • Define problem-solving
  • Identify different types of problems
  • Apply ten techniques
  • Put in place two effective planning techniques
  • Apply a seven-step model
  • Understand why problem-solving can sometimes fail
  • Determine what methods are best

Course outline

In an effort to provide you with as much value as possible, we’re going to show you how to deliver the key sections of this training course.

Introduction – Most of us spend a lot of our workday solving problems. Starting with the basics, we have to get to work (getting out of bed for some can be challenging enough!!!). Then, while at work, we have a wide range of organizational and personal situations that will require problem-solving skills (these can be both small or large, regular or irregular). We move through the day interacting with problem situations, and so on throughout the day.

Within business environments, we often refer to a problem as a deviation from acceptable performance. This deviation may seem a little challenging but is straightforward. For example, there can be a gap between what is happening and what is supposed to be happening. The purpose of problem-solving at work, therefore, becomes to close this performance-gap wherever possible.

Getting into the detail of the content will allow you to use the content to explore what is a problem. Then, discuss why we need to solve problems. And, encourage participants to use reflection while solving problems.

Problem-solving techniques – For so many businesses, it is just the right time to think about improving problem-solving skills. This is something we frequently hear from clients with leadership development training needs.

While the uninitiated tend to think of problem-solving techniques as challenging or involving lots of complicated steps, those who are prepared to dig a little deeper will tell you how many of these techniques are very straightforward and useful.

With all this in mind, use the content provided to examine ten problem-solving techniques. These include:

  • Brainstorming
  • TPN Analysis
  • Matrix Analysis
  • Paired Comparisons
  • Team Purpose Analysis
  • The Cause & Effect Diagram
  • SWOT Analysis
  • The 5 Ws
  • The 5 Whys
  • The Six Thinking Hats

During this critical section, we suggest that you share your perspectives on problem-solving within companies. Your experiences and reflections will make the content more meaningful to your audience. And, with so many opportunities for open discussions, this part of the course is ideal for stimulating feedback. Build a relationship with your audience that will pay off in terms of their engagement and participation. To put it simply, this form of storytelling and exchange will help your audience to get the maximum benefit from the material presented.

Planning & implementation – Ever find yourself so challenged, frustrated, and annoyed, that you can’t solve a problem? Well, these stumbling blocks happen to us too, and we’ve no doubt that your audience has felt the same way. This sense of being overwhelmed is very natural, expected, and should be acknowledged to your audience.

One of the best ways to improve the problem-solving skills of your audience is to use the content to explore the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle and force field analysis.

The PDCA Cycle is often referred to as the Deming Cycle or the Deming Wheel after its proponent, W Edwards Deming. It is also sometimes called the Shewhart Cycle. In this model, there are four simple stages. Use the content provided to discuss these stages with your audience.

Next, introduce the force field analysis method to highlight that there are many competing forces at work within all decision-making processes. We find that Force Field Analysis is a robust technique when used in conjunction with the PDCA Cycle – especially for looking at all the forces for and against a plan. In particular, it will help your audience to weigh the importance of these factors and allow them to decide whether a project is worth implementing.

Use the content to share that Kurt Lewin developed this technique to assist in diagnosing situations (e.g., all the forces for and against a decision). Experience shows that it is particularly useful when looking at the variables involved in planning and implementing a change program and when attempting to overcome resistance to change. Lewin assumed that in any situation, there are both driving and restraining forces that influence any change that may occur.

A useful problem-solving process – The need for effective problem-solving methods is one of the most common reasons companies seek out training courses. Businesses want practical and valuable tools to improve performance and to prevent problem situations early.

Here is a seven-step Problem Solving Process that you can discuss with your audience. These steps include:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Explore the problem
  3. Set goals
  4. Look at alternatives
  5. Select the best solution
  6. Implement the solution
  7. Evaluate

When problem-solving fails – Think about your own experiences with solving problems. We suspect that some of these experiences were successful, and others may not have gone so well. Use the content provided to share that problem-solving can fail because of the following four reasons:

  1. Poor problem-solving skills
  2. Lack of focus
  3. Lack of resources
  4. Non-implementable solutions

Sharing problem-solving success stories with your audience at this stage in the course will also help to embed their learning.

Amazing expert guides will get you to the place you want to be

Over the years, we noticed that some people, along the way, have asked for a little more creative input. And, let’s face it, there are times when we all need an extra spark to make our training courses shine even brighter.

So allow us to introduce our free expert training guides. An innovative collection of guides that mix inspiration, insights, techniques, and skills, sprinkled with everything you’ll need to deliver a successful training course. These guides are a security blanket of experience just for you. With eight free training guides instantly available, and each jam-packed with value, it’s the easiest way to get ahead.

  • Training icebreakers
  • How to select training materials
  • Training games
  • How to increase participation
  • Learn to improve your questioning skills
  • How to improve your listening skills
  • Learn how to deal with difficult people
  • How to evaluate training courses

Your courses, your way – everything you need to be the best

Within companies, across teams, on the go — wherever and however you want to deliver this course, it’s never been easier to put this content into action.

Wave goodbye to spending time developing training courses and say hello to awesome content that you can instantly download, customize, and even brand as your own.

You can download this training course material on problem-solving skills immediately after checkout.

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How to answer common questions

What is problem-solving?

Problem-solving is the “steps we take to achieve a specific goal.”

What are the main types of problems that can exist?

These two main types of problems that can exist are:

  1. Problems where the current situation is unexpected. These are known as closed or maintenance problems.
  2. Those where we want to change our current position in some way. But, that there is an obstacle preventing us from doing so. These are open-ended or achievement problems.

What is a closed-ended problem?

Closed-ended problems occur when something happens that should not have happened, or something we expected to happen has not happened (e.g., there is a change from what would be typical or expected).

For example, it could be the unexpected resignation of a critical member of staff, or that the materials required to produce your new product have not arrived as planned.

The cause (or obstacle) may be known or unknown. Still, something now needs to be done about it.

What are open-ended problems?

Open-ended problems occur when we want to achieve a specific objective, but certain obstacles are blocking our progress. There are three main types:

  • When we are unable to reach our current objective (e.g., failing to meet a production target)
  • When we could exceed our current objective (e.g., improved efficiency)
  • When a new objective could be achieved through problem-solving (e.g., creating a new product or service)

Why are problem-solving skills important in the workplace?

Problem-solving skills are important in the workplace because:

  • Staff can become de-motivated
  • Loss of customers
  • Waste of resources
  • Reduction of profit
  • Compromised growth/survival risk
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased enjoyment
  • Less stress
  • Improved quality
  • Improved efficiency

What are the main types of problem-solving techniques?

Here are the top ten problem-solving techniques:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. TPN analysis
  3. Matrix analysis
  4. Paired comparisons
  5. Team purpose analysis
  6. Cause and effect diagram
  7. SWOT analysis
  8. The 5 Ws
  9. The 5 Whys
  10. Six thinking hats

What are the steps involved in completing a TPN (Total, Partial, or None) control analysis?

A TPN Analysis is a simple technique that will allow you to look at problems from the perspective of what ones you can do something about. The methodology for TPN analysis is very straightforward:
Take the numbered list from your brainstorming session. For each item on the list, decide whether your span of control over that item e.g.,

  • T - Total
  • P - Partial
  • N - None

This breakdown will force any individual or group to look only at the problems that they can have a real impact. It is essential that when adopting this technique that a degree of realism and honesty is applied. Time after time, we find that participants always realize that they have a lot more control over problems that the first estimate. It is this change of approach that we especially wish to share with you. With practice, we can all approach problems from a more confident starting position and also develop more successful solutions. This personal value of ‘possibility’ will significantly improve how you approach and ultimately solve more problems within work and non-work settings.

What is a simple problem-solving model?

A simple problem-solving model includes the following seven steps:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Explore the problem
  3. Set goals
  4. Look at alternatives
  5. Select the best solution
  6. Implement the solution
  7. Evaluate

What are the main reasons some problem-solving techniques fail?

These are the main reasons why some problem-solving techniques fail:

  • Poor problem-solving skills
  • Lack of focus
  • Lack of resources
  • Non-implementable solutions
  • Responsibility for problem-solving

How will these training materials help you instruct your learners to be better problem solvers?

These course materials will help your participants to improve their problem-solving skills. And, they will understand a range of problem-solving techniques.

Can I edit the content and add my company logo?

Yes. You can now add your logo and customize the course content freely using Microsoft Word and Powerpoint. You can also deliver the course materials where, when, and as often as needed. Here at Oak Innovation, we like to give you more. That's why every set of course materials include training manuals, slides, and guides. We also include exercises, tests, further reading, action plans, and much more.

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Oak Innovation: Problem Solving Skills Training Course Material