Applying a Six-Step Problem Solving Process to a Specific Problem Scenario – PHI 210

PHI 210 Assignment 2 Instructions: Problem Solving

When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it? This assignment asks you to apply a six-step to problem solving process to a specific problem scenario. You will write a paper that presents a synthesis of your ideas about solving the problem using this systematic approach. As Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

Scenario 1: You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree, when a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees, so you know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not. Review the six-step problem solving process outlined in the webtext, based on the article “The Problem Solving Process

  • Step One: Define the problem
  • Step Two: Analyze the problem
  • Step Three: Generate options
  • Step Four: Evaluate options
  • Step Five: Make your decision
  • Step Six: Implement and reflect

Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:

  • Define the problem in the scenario that you have chosen.
  • Analyze the problem in the scenario.
  • Generate options for solving the problem in the scenario.
  • Evaluate the options for solving the problem.
  • Decide on the best option for solving the problem.
  • Explain how you will implement the decision made and reflect on whether this option was the most effective.
  • The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:
    • Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.
    • Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
    • Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.

Applying a Six-Step Problem Solving Process to a Specific Problem Scenario

Introduction

In our everyday lives, we are confronted by different sets of problems that require a deep analysis for us to get to a reasonable solution and conclusion. This paper elaborates on the use of a six-step process in solving a problem that presents itself regarding an employment opportunity. The six steps employed are the definition of the problem, analyzing the problem, generating options, evaluating the options, making a decision, and implementation of the decision and personal reflections on the process. 

1.    Defining the Problem

Whenever a dilemma faces a person, it is important to breakdown the various scenarios that have culminated in the dilemma (Baker, 2017). One of the most efficient ways of breaking down the scenarios involves defining the problem. This definition of the problem helps in laying down the most suitable path towards a reasonable and appropriate solution. In the case provided, I have to find a solution that caters for my education needs as well as my career progression. The problem that I have is, either decide to remain with my current company or move to the new opportunity at the competing company. The competing company is offering $15000 more per year as well as assuring me that I will get the job if only I accept it.

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The company would also compensate me for the relocation expenses, in addition to giving me a car allowance. The main challenge with this company is that all the supervisors have master’s degrees, which means that I’ll have to consider getting the same immediately. My current employer is not offering any of the highlighted benefits above. However, it would compensate for my study fees, which the competing company does not offer. All these circumstances have a narrow window of two weeks over which I should make a decision, considering that I would be graduating in two weeks, at the same time the new job offer from the competing company is set to start.

2.    Analyzing the Problem

Part of analyzing the problem involves understanding the current position to be able to compare it with a new alternative. In my current company, I stand a significant chance of being promoted once I graduate with a bachelor’s degree in two weeks. Another important advantage that my current company offers is tuition reimbursement. This means that the expenses I have incurred while acquiring my degree will be reimbursed, as well as any future fees in case I decide to pursue a master’s degree while working with the company. The competing company, however, is offering very attractive and very lucrative add-ons.

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First of all, the company will provide me with a new working environment that is important to any worker. Additionally, the company is assuring me of a supervisor’s role, and the fact that I will be able to work with my former supervisor is very attracting. The company’s offer to take care of my relocation costs as well as provide me with car allowances is something that calls for a deep consideration from me. Considering that all the company’s supervisors have master’s degrees, I should put that in mind as it means that I will need to acquire the same as soon as possible, without any tuition reimbursement from the company.

3.    Generating Possible Solutions

 This stage of solving the problem is very critical in terms of making it clear which pathways could offer concrete solutions. Having analyzed the problem, it is clear that there are only two ways out of it. The first one involves opting to remain with my current company. This is because of the allure of assured progression in my education at a relatively affordable manner. The second solution is choosing to take up the employment opportunity at the other company. By doing this, I will be able to enjoy the enormous opportunities and advantages on offer.

4.    Evaluating the Options

This stage involves taking a deeper look at the options to be able to clearly define the advantages and disadvantages associated with each (Paul, 2018). The first option is choosing to decline the offer from the competing company. This will allow me to finish my current degree and continue to a master’s program. This has the advantage that the current company will reimburse my tuition. Choosing to decline the other offer means I will also avoid relocating to a new place, a process that can be very demanding. Having served the company for a long time, it is highly likely that I will be able to stand a good chance for promotion. However, there is no guarantee of promotion.

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The second option involves me taking up the position being offered by the competing company.  This option has many advantages to me, especially based on the level of position being offered. Having worked for a long time, I feel I have acquired the necessary skills and experience to work at a supervisory level. The fact that there is a car allowance means that I am well catered for by this option, in addition to my relocation expenses being reimbursed. The only challenge associated with this option is the fact that I will have to consider getting a master’s degree as soon as possible to be on par with the other supervisors in the company.

5.    Selecting the Best Option

Having analyzed the available options, this stage provides me with an opportunity to choose the one that suits me.  The better option from the two is to take the offer from the competing company. The company is offering everything that I need at this stage of my career. The main challenge of having to acquire a master’s degree as soon as I can is one that I am ready to take.

6.    Implementation and Reflection

This step allows me to put the option that I have opted for into action. I will, therefore, inform the competing company of my desire to take up the position that they have offered me. However, I will implore them to allow me an extra week for me to finish up my current degree. Considering that this is a realistic request, I hope that they will accept it. If this falls through, however, I will still have an option of continuing with my current company.  Looking back at my decision-making process, I believe that the result is a success as it has allowed me to analyze the problem deeply. This has allowed me to choose to take up the new position, which I believe is the best thing to do at this stage.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is possible to make a sound decision through the use of an effective decision-making process. Defining the problem allows a person to narrow down to the real dilemma at hand. Analyzing the problem brings clarity and informs on what option is the best. Having a clear way of how to implement the chosen solution is also a critical step as it is where the solution is put to action.

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