Problem Solving

Oak Innovation


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How to get problem solving training materials that will save you time and effort

With expectations soaring, business managers and professional trainers must deliver exceptional problem solving training courses to stay relevant.

So, if you want to deliver your own problem-solving training course, but are not sure where to start, we’ve a great solution for you.

Oak Innovation training course materials are specifically designed to build problem solving skills at all levels within the workplace (e.g., managers, team leaders, supervisors and front-line staff). And, the course material can be easily integrated within all types of personal development programs that may be planned.

Deliver each part of the course with a goal in mind

The following topics are covered within the slides, manuals and support materials provided.

Introduction – Start by exploring what is a problem. Then, discuss why we need to solve problems. And, encourage participants to use reflection while solving problems.

Problem solving techniques – Next, examine ten problem solving techniques that can be used to solve more problems. 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

Planning & implementation – Then, explore PDCA and force field analysis.

An effective problem solving process – Next, provide participants with a seven step Problem Solving Process.

When problem solving fails – End the course by exploring why some approaches may not succeed. And, raise the need for greater responsibility while solving problems.

Course objectives

Use these training course materials to deliver a course on effective problem solving. At the end of the 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 techniques are best

These training course materials can be edited to include your own logos. And, all materials can be delivered as your own.

What you get

You will instantly receive the following training course materials to deliver your own problem solving training courses:

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

Bonus free training materials available

You will also receive the following free training guides:

  • 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

Frequently asked questions from problem solving training courses

What is problem solving?

Problem solving is simply defined as “steps we take to achieve a specific goal”.

What are the main two types of problems that can exist?

Problems can be broadly divided into two groups:

  1. Those where the current situation is not what was expected. These are known as closed or maintenance problems.
  2. Those where we want to change our current situation in some way but there is an obstacle preventing us doing so. These are referred to as open-ended or achievement problems.

What are closed problems?

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

For example, it could be the unexpected resignation of a key 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, but something now needs to be done about it.

What are open problems?

Open-ended problems occur when we want to achieve a specific objective but there are certain obstacles blocking our progress. These can be subdivided into three main groups:

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

Why do we need to solve problems in organizations?

The answer is again very straightforward. In organizations, where problems exist but remain unsolved the following will most likely occur:

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

What are the 10 main problem solving techniques?

If you’re looking problem solving techniques, here are the top ten approahes available:

  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 analysis?

A TPN Analysis is a simple technique that will allow you to look at problems from the perspective of what ones you can actually 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 it is

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

This will force any individual or group to look only at the problems that they can have a real impact upon. It is essential that when adopting this technique that a degree of realism is applied and there is a requirement for a high degree of honesty in this technique otherwise the end result will be skewed. Time after time, we find that participants always realize that they have a lot more control of problems that they 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 greatly improve how you approach and ultimately solve more problems within work and non-work settings.

What is a simple problem solving model?

If you’re looking for a simple problem solving model to follow, here are seven simple steps that you can use:

  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

Why do some problem solving techniques fail?

Here are important reasons to keep in mind:

  • 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 imporve their problem solving skills. And, they will understand a range of problem solving techniques.

Can I edit the content and add my own company logo?

Yes. You can now add your own logo's 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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Customer stories

“Oak continually attends to the needs of various businesses and either creates or adjusts training modules on a variety of topics to be self-contained, practical and easy to use. And they stand behind every product with personal service.”

Rey Carr, CEO,
Peer Resources

“My apologies for getting back at such a late date regarding your Problem Solving Course.

My feedback and comments are all positive. I was surprised to see the amount of information given in the participants manual. Thank you! It never fails that I need to add information into the participant manual.

I also was glad to see the increased amount of participant activities. Participants want to be involved more in exploring the skills being transferred – this course provides more activities. I can see how many of the activities provided can be used in group settings to increase participant transfer of knowledge.

Over all, this product is great. It allows for customization toward everyone’s own use while allowing the trainer to maintain the core knowledge of information to be taught in a clear and concise manner.

Thank you and great job.”

Theadus McClain
FKP Architects

“I have over 30 years of Training and Development experience. I just finished previewing Oaks newest course in problem solving skills. 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, Owner

“I had a careful look over your course in problem solving skills program. For the record, I’ve been facilitating this course for the last 5 years in a lot of companies – telecomm, banking, oil & gas, FMCG, pharmaceutical, etc. SO, I could match the content of your training with the actual needs and problems raised by the participants.

So, it is a well-structured program, covering the most important aspects of the problem solving process, giving a strong mindset oriented towards creating a positive attitude and a proactive culture within the company.”

Diasfera Ltd

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my learning experience for the course by Oak. Its one of the best courses I have gone through on the mentioned subject. I really enjoyed the way, methodology and the contents of the course. The course contents are enriched with the practical exercises, examples, problem solving models and key definitions. It also puts flash on further reading, materials and books to be consulted for in-depth exposure of the subjected topic. Hence, I strongly recommend this course to the professionals of various sectors of the industries because it will enable and upgrade them from ordinary level of skills to breakthrough level of skills. Professionals will not only enhance their knowledge but also save time and money in reaching the effective and efficient solutions of their particular problems in their industry.”

Farhan Majeed
Marketing Circle

“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,

“The methodology used in the approaches to problem solving is great. All the approaches for better creative problem solving work even outside the work environment. I am mostly impressed with the Attitude & Process approaches.

Keep up the good work.”

Kelvin Chuks Onwuharine
Personal Assistant To The Managing Director/CEO
Chase Express Services Limited.

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