Programming & Development

Creative Problem Solving


This workshop will give students an overview of the creative problem solving process, as well as key problem solving tools that they can use every day. Skills such as brainstorming, information gathering, & analyzing data will be covered during class.

Course Objectives
Understand problems and the creative problem solving process. Identify types of information to gather and key questions to ask in problem solving. Identify the importance of defining a problem correctly. Identify and use four different problem definition tools. Write concrete problem statements. Use basic brainstorming tools to generate ideas for solutions. Evaluate potential solutions against criteria, including cost/benefit analysis and group voting. Perform a final analysis to select a solution. Understand the roles that fact and intuition play in selecting a solution. Understand the need to refine the shortlist and redefine it. Understand how to identify the tasks and resources necessary to implement solutions. Evaluate and adapt solutions to reality.

Course Outline:

Workshop Objectives
What is a Problem?
What is Creative Problem Solving?
What are the Steps in the Creative Solving Process?
Case Study
Module Two: Review Questions
Understanding Types of Information
Identifying Key Questions
Methods of Gathering Information
Case Study
Module Three: Review Questions
Defining the Problem
Determining Where the Problem Originated
Defining the Present State and the Desired State
Stating and Restating the Problem
Analyzing the Problem
Writing the Problem Statement
Case Study
Module Four: Review Questions
Identifying Mental Blocks
Removing Mental Blocks
Stimulating Creativity
Case Study
Module Five: Review Questions
Brainstorming Basics
Brainwriting and Mind Mapping
Duncker Diagrams
Case Study
Module Six: Review Questions
The Morphological Matrix
The Six Thinking Hats
The Blink Method
Case Study
Module Seven: Review Questions
Developing Criteria
Analyzing Wants and Needs
Using Cost/Benefit Analysis
Case Study
Module Eight: Review Questions
Doing a Final Analysis
Paired Comparison Analysis
Analyzing Potential Problems
Case Study
Module Nine: Review Questions
Identifying Tasks
Identifying Resources
Implementing, Evaluating, and Adapting
Case Study
Module Ten: Review Questions
Planning the Follow-Up Meeting
Celebrating Successes
Identifying Improvements
Case Study
Module Eleven: Review Questions
Words from the Wise
Lessons Learned

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