Problem-solving and decision-making book logo

Students working with Lego Mindstorm robots

These are skills you will use regularly on your course in a technical context but which can be applied more widely to other situations. Similar processes are required in order to break down the problem, identify and analyse the factors involved, and then explore the relative merits of different solutions. Monitoring and then evaluating effectiveness is also essential to achieve a satisfactory solution.

 

Cause & Effect analysis (or Fishbone Analysis) provides a structured way to help you think through all possible causes of a problem. This helps you to carry out a thorough analysis of a situation.

 

Problem-solving diagram

 

Identify the problem Work out the major factors involved Identify and analyse possible causes





«Click on the elements of the diagram to find out more about each step!





 

You could try this method with a computing task, but it can also be used for a career-related ‘problem’. Task 5 is an activity based on your plans for the next long vacation or the period post-graduation.