the process of problem solving

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The problem-solving method is a logical course of action that one takes when he or she has a target but does not know how to achieve the goal. It all depends on how much you understand and see the situation, as well as the decision you want to make. Issues and remedies differ greatly, and it can be difficult to decide how to get to the answer. It can also be difficult to define the precise dilemma you are facing and how to go about solving it.
The six stages of the problem-solving model are as follows: define the problem, evaluate the problem, and come up with potential solutions. Then, you are required to examine these solutions, select the best one, and finally, plan the next course of action. This paper purposes on applying this six-step model to a specific problem scenario.

Step one; problem definition.

This is the first crucial step in problem-solving; you have to ensure you understand what needs to be solved. Defining the problem involves comparing your current state to the future situation you want to be. In our case scenario; the issue at hand is lack of enough time to study for a test which will determine if you fail out of school, because of how you have been recording poor grades throughout the term.

Step two; problem analysis

This involves critically analyzing the current situation that you are in and what is the circumstance you should overcome (Bonem, 2011). Here you dig out the cause of the problem and understand what is causing the problem. In this situation, the 55 hours scheduled for work is the main reason as to why the person does not have enough time to study because one cannot call in unless one has a doctor’s permit. The party at the best friend’s house is a contributing factor too because if the person attends the party, it means that he will have wasted the little time he has to study by attending a party.

Step three; generate possible solutions

This step involves coming up with as many potential solutions; every idea should be treated as a new idea and worth considering. At this stage, you do not evaluate the possible solution but concentrate on generating as many answers as possible (Bramson, 2014).

The possible solutions for this situation are; failing to attend the party at the best friend’s house, calling in sick even without the doctor’s permit, studying after getting from work,

Step four; analyzing the solutions

In this stage, one is required to examine the answers generated at step three critically. Therefore, one is expected to come up with the right and wrong points of every potential solution. By failing to attend the party at the best friend’s house will help you create some extra time that you can use to study for the examination, however, this will mean that you miss the party that you have been dying to attend for months.

The next possible solution is calling in sick without a permit from the doctor; this solution too will help you get ample time to study for exams. However, this solution has consequences also, and it means that you get a two-week suspension without pay. The last possible solution is studying after coming home from work, here; you will have ample time to read for your examination even though it means that you will have to study while very tired.

Step five; selecting the best solution

In this step you look at the factors influencing each potential solution and decide which solution to go with and which one you should disregard. You must choose the solution that seems to be the most effective from all the potential solutions by weighing the pros and cons of each possible solution (Robert J Sternberg, 2014).

The solution that seems to be the most effective in this situation is studying after getting home from work; this is because by choosing either of the other two will mean that you will have to miss out on something. By calling in sick, you get a two week no pay suspension and by failing to attend the party, means that you miss out on a party that you have been dying to attend for months and once it passes you miss out entirely.

Step six; plan the next course of action.

In this step you decide on how to make the best solution you have arrived at work, it is meant to ensure that the valuable thinking used up in the problem-solving process, becomes a reality.

Studying after getting home means that you will have to read while tired, the best thing to do will be; taking a 2-3 hour rest after getting home, freshen up and then study. By doing this you will be able to study while your mind is fresh and your body is relaxed.


Regardless of whatever problem one is facing, they can apply the six step-problem solving model to help reach the solution. This model is flexible and can be used to handle any problematic situation as it comes with an adjustable number of tools and requires one to follow one step at a time till you reach to the last stage which involves implementing the solution.


Bonem, J. M. (2011). Problem Solving for process operators and specialists. John Wiley & Sons.

Bramson, H. L. (2014). Meditation representation: advocating as the problem solver. Walters Kluwer law & business.

Robert J Sternberg, P. A. (2014). Complex problem solving: principles and mechanism. Psychology Press.

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