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For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. To download a file containing this book to use offline, simply click here.Although the steps of problem solving and decision making that we will discuss next may seem obvious, we often don’t think to or choose not to use them.Normally, the author and publisher would be credited here.
The problem-solving process involves thoughts, discussions, actions, and decisions that occur from the first consideration of a problematic situation to the goal.
The problems that groups face are varied, but some common problems include budgeting funds, raising funds, planning events, addressing customer or citizen complaints, creating or adapting products or services to fit needs, supporting members, and raising awareness about issues or causes.
A deliberate approach is especially beneficial for groups that do not have an established history of working together and will only be able to meet occasionally.
Although a group should attend to each step of the process, group leaders or other group members who facilitate problem solving should be cautious not to dogmatically follow each element of the process or force a group along.
Group members may also want to begin setting out an agenda or timeline for the group’s problem-solving process, looking forward to the other steps.
To fully analyze the problem, the group can discuss the five common problem variables discussed before.Five common and important characteristics to consider are task difficulty, number of possible solutions, group member interest in problem, group member familiarity with problem, and the need for solution acceptance.As you read through the steps in the process, think about how you can apply what we learned regarding the general and specific elements of problems.Contact us if you experience any difficulty logging in.This book is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license.It’s frustrating to get to a crucial point in building or fixing something only to realize that you have to unscrew a support board that you already screwed in, have to drive back to the hardware store to get something that you didn’t think to get earlier, or have to completely start over.In this section, we will discuss the group problem-solving process, methods of decision making, and influences on these processes.Such a lack of flexibility could limit group member input and negatively affect the group’s cohesion and climate.At this stage, group members share what they know about the current situation, without proposing solutions or evaluating the information. What, if any, elements of the difficulty require clarification?Problems of all sorts have three common components: Discussion of these three elements of a problem helps the group tailor its problem-solving process, as each problem will vary.While these three general elements are present in each problem, the group should also address specific characteristics of the problem.