When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it? There are many ways to approach a problem. In this first Case Assignment, you will apply basic research and word processing skills to write a brief review of problem-solving techniques found in an Internet search.
****Please note: Microsoft Word products are available for free to Trident students through your web-based student email. You can access your student email through the TLC portal by clicking on the envelope icon in the upper right-hand corner of the TLC portal page.********
This assignment is designed to help you develop an understanding of how to conduct Internet research and evaluate the quality of the research. You will also develop Microsoft Word skills, and for the Mac user – Word for Mac.
STEP 1: Before you begin your search, review the Trident Writing Style Guide, located on the Trident TLC Home page:
Skim the entire document, and focus your reading on pages 16-18. When looking for references on the Internet, review the questions posed under “Identifying Credible and Reliable Sources” before using any Internet sources for this and all of your assignments requiring research. If you can answer all of the questions posed positively when looking at a particular site, then you can be pretty sure you have located a good reference; if it doesn’t measure up one way or another, it’s probably a site to avoid. The key to the whole process is to think critically about what you find on the Internet; if you want to use it, you are responsible for ensuring that it is reliable and accurate.
STEP 2: Review and bookmark the following websites for Word tutorials:
Word 2013 training courses, videos and tutorials
Word 2010 training courses, videos and tutorials
Word for Mac Training
STEP 3: Write a 3-page paper reviewing how you researched Problem Solving using the Internet. Find two websites on Problem Solving to use in writing your paper. Using Dr. Timothy Mullen’s Trident University Writing Style Guide, determine the reliability and validity of the two websites on Problem Solving.
Mullen, Timothy. 2014. Trident University Writing Guide. Accessed on July 28, 2015 at https://mytlc.trident.edu/index.php
Your paper should discuss the following:
· How you found your websites/references on Problem Solving and how you applied the key guidelines to identifying credible Internet sources.
· Compare the two methods of Problem Solving that you found and comment on which you think is most useful to you.
· Report any issues you had conducting your research and/or formatting your document in Microsoft Word.
STEP 4: Format your paper to the Assignment Expectations below.
Format your paper using the following parameters:
1. Center the title, your name, and date on a separate page. Use Times New Roman and 14 point font.
a. Bold the title only
2. Set Left and Right margins at 1 inch
3. Number the pages
4. Insert a footer
a. Left justified
b. Times New Roman, 12 point font
c. Line spacing at 1 ½
6. Middle Paragraphs
a. Use bulleted list in one paragraph
b. Insert a picture or chart
a. Right justified
b. Times New Roman, 11 point font
c. Line spacing at single
8. Complete a word count of the entire document and report it at the end of your document before the References section.
9. Include a References section using the guidelines from the Trident University Writing Style Guide provided above. Include this site as a reference in addition to the two sites you found on Problem Solving.
10. Upload your document as a Word doc or pdf into the Case drop box by the module due date.
Module 1 Case: Word Processing and Problem Solving Techniques
Albert Einstein is famously quoted for stating that a problem that is well defined is half way solved (Litemind, 2015). Problems are part of day to day life. Problems need solutions. There are many methods and approaches to problem-solving and all of these agree that defining the problem is the first stage. More research is needed for the particular problem to define it well. This helps with the understanding of the problem to a detailed level and granularity. There are various resources to use in conducting this research wing to the existence of sources of information about problem solving. Despite the availability of disparate sources of information on problem solving, this paper is limited to researching problem solving using the internet. There is more information in the internet than there is in any other sources. This paper will also explore ways of determining whether an internet resource is credible and reliable as far as problem solving is concerned.
A common approach in research using the internet is to use a search engine like google.com, bing.com, or yahoo.com. Google is the most common one and has indexed more websites than the others. It is the search engine preferred for this research to identify websites with information on problem solving. A simple Google search of “Problem Solving Techniques” returns sixty two millions hits. To identify the most reliable sources, the following need to be considered; the author, the publisher, the source, date of publication and the presence of bias, among others.
Problems are opportunities to improve the system and relationships (Hicks, 2017). Tim Hicks suggests the following seven steps for effective problem solving:
- Identify the issues
- Understand everyone’s interests
- List the possible solutions or options
- Evaluate the options
- Select an option or options
- Document the agreement(s)
- Agree on contingencies, monitoring, and evaluation.
Tim Hicks has twenty-two years’ experience in consulting for both individuals and organisations on decision making and problem solving. This makes him a credible authority on problem solving. The first step in his approach is to identify the issue. This involves defining the problem. One way of formulating a good problem is to rephrase the problem (Litemind, 2015). A correctly worded problem statement can inspire action and change perspectives. Einstein proposes getting rid of bad assumptions as another way of defining a good problem statement. In addition to this, he also proposes chunk up, chuck down, finding multiple perspectives, using effective language constructs, making the problem engaging, reversing the problem, gathering facts, and finally problem solving the problem statement (Litemind, 2015).
Another website with information on problem solving is thebalance.com. The article on this web page is authored by Martin Murray, a senior consultant in supply chain management and an author. He advocates the use of the six-sigma approach in problem solving. Many Fortune 500 companies use this approach developed by Motorola (Murray, 2016). It proposes the use of a methodology called the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control).
Under the define stage, the problem should be as specific as possible. The problem definition should not be vague. Use of numeric representation is recommended.
The next stage in the DMAIC approach is Measure. In this stage, the problem should be quantified. It provides a means of measuring progress once a decision is made and an action is being taken. For instance, if the problem definition is “sales have dropped by 15% in the last quarter”, then an additional measure would be to look at regions where sales are decreasing. After definition of additional relevant measures, the next stage is Analyze. Here, relevant data is collected and analyzed. In this stage, an investigation is done into the factors causing the problem or whether the problem is purely random. The data collected can be compared to the data after the proposed solutions have been implemented as a measure for effectiveness (Murray, 2016).
The Improve stage focusses on finding viable solutions to the problem. Different solutions are compared and tested for any unanticipated consequences. After the best solution is identified, a plan for its implementation can be developed with set timelines. Control is the stage post implementation. This is to ensure that the implemented solution is dealing with the problem as intended and to make sure everything is on track. In this stage, the problem should be extensively documented for future reference. The decisions made in the preceding stages should also be documented and updated as necessary.
The advantages of the DMAIC process is that it provides a structured approach that can be customized and adopted to suit the problems of an individual or an organisation. It reduces the uncertainty in problem solving. Comparing this approach to the previous approach, this one is better due to various factors. One, its broad adoption by most of the Fortune 500 companies gives it credence. Secondly, it advocates for quantification of the problem, which makes it measurable and easy to track.
The only issue in this research was establishing the credibility of the website. To solve this, the credibility of the author and experience, and the purpose of the publication were identified. The guide provided by Timothy Mullen was also helpful (Mullen, 2015).
Hicks, T. (2017). Seven Steps for Effective Problem Solving in the Workplace. Mediate.com. Retrieved from http://www.mediate.com/articles/thicks.cfm
Litemind. (2015). Einstein’s Secret to Amazing Problem Solving (and 10 Specific Ways You Can Use It). Litemind. Retrieved from https://litemind.com/problem-definition/
Mullen, T. (2015). Trident University Writing guide. Trident University. Retrieved from https://mytlc.trident.edu/index.php
Murray, M. (2016). Six Sigma Concepts: The DMAIC Problem Solving Method. The Balance. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/six-sigma-concepts-the-dmaic-problem-solving-method-2221186
Do you need urgent help with this or a similar assignment? We got you. Simply place your order and leave the rest to our experts.