Problem Solving Courses

Learn problem solving with online classes in critical thinking, problem solving, strategic management and more. Gain fundamental skills to advance your career.

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What is problem solving.

The definition of problem-solving is the process and ability to find solutions within complex problems and issues. Solving problems and finding potential solutions to fix a current issue is part of the problem-solving process. Practical problem solving can deal with creative thinking to see common sense to the original problem and figure out what the next steps should be. The beauty of problem-solving is that new issues come up all the time, so learning the steps needed to identify a solution will be an essential skill to have. There is no one way via problem-solving techniques, so it's important to learn skills to figure out solutions to issues.

Problem Solving Skills Examples

Many scenarios revolve around problem-solving and decision making. Being able to be a problem solver for a wide range of issues will make you more confident in any matter. Some typical examples in which problem-solving is necessary include math problems, project management, social problem solving, and more.

Who were Great and Famous Problem Solvers?

There are many famous problem solvers over the years to learn great tips from. Each of these people had different approaches to creative problem solving, but they were all masters in problem finding and solutions. Some of the greats include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Edward Jenner, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, and more.

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Problem Solving Resources

Case studies, problem solving related topics.

What is Problem Solving?.

Quality Glossary Definition: Problem solving

Problem solving is the act of defining a problem; determining the cause of the problem; identifying, prioritizing, and selecting alternatives for a solution; and implementing a solution.

Problem Solving visual

Problem Solving Chart

The Problem-Solving Process

In order to effectively manage and run a successful organization, leadership must guide their employees and develop problem-solving techniques. Finding a suitable solution for issues can be accomplished by following the basic four-step problem-solving process and methodology outlined below.

1. Define the problem

Diagnose the situation so that your focus is on the problem, not just its symptoms. Helpful problem-solving techniques include using flowcharts to identify the expected steps of a process and cause-and-effect diagrams to define and analyze root causes .

The sections below help explain key problem-solving steps. These steps support the involvement of interested parties, the use of factual information, comparison of expectations to reality, and a focus on root causes of a problem. You should begin by:

2. Generate alternative solutions

Postpone the selection of one solution until several problem-solving alternatives have been proposed. Considering multiple alternatives can significantly enhance the value of your ideal solution. Once you have decided on the "what should be" model, this target standard becomes the basis for developing a road map for investigating alternatives. Brainstorming and team problem-solving techniques are both useful tools in this stage of problem solving.

Many alternative solutions to the problem should be generated before final evaluation. A common mistake in problem solving is that alternatives are evaluated as they are proposed, so the first acceptable solution is chosen, even if it’s not the best fit. If we focus on trying to get the results we want, we miss the potential for learning something new that will allow for real improvement in the problem-solving process.

3. Evaluate and select an alternative

Skilled problem solvers use a series of considerations when selecting the best alternative. They consider the extent to which:

4. Implement and follow up on the solution

Leaders may be called upon to direct others to implement the solution, "sell" the solution, or facilitate the implementation with the help of others. Involving others in the implementation is an effective way to gain buy-in and support and minimize resistance to subsequent changes.

Regardless of how the solution is rolled out, feedback channels should be built into the implementation. This allows for continuous monitoring and testing of actual events against expectations. Problem solving, and the techniques used to gain clarity, are most effective if the solution remains in place and is updated to respond to future changes.

You can also search articles , case studies , and publications  for problem solving resources.

Innovative Business Management Using TRIZ

Introduction To 8D Problem Solving: Including Practical Applications and Examples

The Quality Toolbox

Root Cause Analysis: The Core of Problem Solving and Corrective Action

One Good Idea: Some Sage Advice ( Quality Progress ) The person with the problem just wants it to go away quickly, and the problem-solvers also want to resolve it in as little time as possible because they have other responsibilities. Whatever the urgency, effective problem-solvers have the self-discipline to develop a complete description of the problem.

Diagnostic Quality Problem Solving: A Conceptual Framework And Six Strategies  ( Quality Management Journal ) This paper contributes a conceptual framework for the generic process of diagnosis in quality problem solving by identifying its activities and how they are related.

Weathering The Storm ( Quality Progress ) Even in the most contentious circumstances, this approach describes how to sustain customer-supplier relationships during high-stakes problem solving situations to actually enhance customer-supplier relationships.

The Right Questions ( Quality Progress ) All problem solving begins with a problem description. Make the most of problem solving by asking effective questions.

Solving the Problem ( Quality Progress ) Brush up on your problem-solving skills and address the primary issues with these seven methods.

Refreshing Louisville Metro’s Problem-Solving System  ( Journal for Quality and Participation ) Organization-wide transformation can be tricky, especially when it comes to sustaining any progress made over time. In Louisville Metro, a government organization based in Kentucky, many strategies were used to enact and sustain meaningful transformation.


Quality Improvement Associate Certification--CQIA

Certified Quality Improvement Associate Question Bank

Lean Problem-Solving Tools

Problem Solving Using A3

NEW   Root Cause Analysis E-Learning

Quality 101

Making the Connection In this exclusive QP webcast, Jack ReVelle, ASQ Fellow and author, shares how quality tools can be combined to create a powerful problem-solving force.

Adapted from The Executive Guide to Improvement and Change , ASQ Quality Press.

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problem solving management course

Problem management: 8 steps to better problem solving

Alicia Raeburn contributor headshot

Problem management is an 8 step framework most commonly used by IT teams. You can use problem management to solve for repeating major incidents. By organizing and structuring your problem solving, you can more effectively get to the root cause of high-impact problems—and devise a solution. Solving the root cause prevents recurrence and creates a repeatable solution to use on similar errors in the future.

In an IT department, errors and mishaps are part of the job. You can't always control these problems, but you can control how you respond to them with problem management. Problem management helps you solve larger problems and reduce the risk that they’ll happen again by identifying all connected problems, solving them, and planning for the future.

What is problem management?

Problem management is an 8 step framework most commonly used by IT teams. Your team can use problem management to solve for repeating major incidents. By organizing and structuring your problem solving, you can more effectively get to the root cause of high-impact problems—and devise a solution. Problem management is a process—used mostly by IT teams—to identify, react, and respond to issues. It’s not for every problem, but it’s a useful response when multiple major incidents occur that cause large work interruptions. Unlike problem solving, problem management goes beyond the initial incident to discover and dissect the root causes, preventing future incidents with permanent solutions.

The goals of problem management are to:

Prevent problems before they start.

Solve for repetitive errors.

Lessen each incident’s impact. 

Problem management vs. incident management 

Example: Someone leaves their unprotected laptop in a coffee shop, causing a security breach. The security team can use incident management to solve for this one, isolated event. In this case, the team could manually shut down the accounts connected to that laptop. If this continues to happen, IT would use problem management to solve the root of this issue—perhaps installing more security features on each company laptop so that if employees lose them, no one else can access the information.

Problem management vs. problem solving

While similar in name, problem management differs slightly from problem-solving. Problem management focuses on every aspect of the incident—identifying the root cause of the problem, solving it, and prevention. Problem solving is, as the name implies, focused solely on the solution step. 

Example: You’re launching a new password management system when it crashes—again. You don’t know if anything leaked, but you know it could contain confidential information. Plus, it’s happened before. You start the problem management process to ensure it doesn’t happen again. In that process, you’ll use problem solving as a step to fix the issue. In this case, perhaps securing confidential information before you try to launch a new software.

Problem management vs. change management 

Change management targets large transitions within your workplace, good and bad. These inevitable changes aren’t always negative, so you can’t always apply problem management as a solution. That’s where change management comes in—a framework that helps you adjust to any new scenario.

Example: Your company is transitioning to a new cloud platform. The transition happens incident-free—meaning you won’t need problem management—but you can ease the transition by implementing some change management best practices. Preparing and training team members in the new software is a good place to start.

Problem management vs. project management

Project management is the framework for larger collections of work. It’s the overarching method for how you work on any project, hit goals, and get results. You can use project management to help you with problem management, but they are not the same thing. Problem management and project management work together to solve issues as part of your problem management process.

Example: During problem management, you uncover a backend security issue that needs to be addressed—employees are using storage software with outdated security measures. To solve this, you create a project and outline the tasks from start to finish. In this case, you might need to alert senior executives, get approval to remove the software, and alert employees. You create a project schedule with a defined timeline and assign the tasks to relevant teams. In this process, you identified a desired outcome—remove the unsafe software—and solved it. That’s project management.

The 8 steps of problem management

It’s easy to get upset when problems occur. In fact, it’s totally normal. But an emotional response is not always the best response when faced with new incidents. Having a reliable system—such as problem management—removes the temptation to respond emotionally. Proactive project management gives your team a framework for problem solving. It’s an iterative process —the more you use it, the more likely you are to have fewer problems, faster response times, and better outputs. 

1. Identify the problem

During problem identification, you’re looking at the present—what’s happening right now? Here, you’ll define what the incident is and its scale. Is this a small, quick-fix, or a full overhaul? Consider using problem framing to define, prioritize, and understand the obstacles involved with these more complex problems. 

2. Diagnose the cause

Use problem analysis or root cause analysis to strategically look at the cause of a problem. Follow the trail of issues all the way back to its beginnings.

To diagnose the underlying cause, you’ll want to answer:

What factors or conditions led to the incident?

Do you see related incidents? Could those be coming from the same source?

Did someone miss a step? Are processes responsible for this problem?

3. Organize and prioritize

Now it’s time to build out your framework. Use an IT project plan to organize information in a space where everyone can make and see updates in real time. The easiest way to do this is with a project management tool where you can input ‌tasks, assign deadlines, and add dependencies to ensure nothing gets missed. To better organize your process, define:

What needs to be done? 

Who’s responsible for each aspect? If no one is, can we assign someone? 

When does each piece need to be completed?

What is the final number of incidents related to this problem?

Are any of these tasks dependent on another one? Do you need to set up dependencies ?

What are your highest priorities? How do they affect our larger business goals ? 

How should you plan for this in the future?

4. Create a workaround

If the incident has stopped work or altered it, you might need to create a workaround. This is not always necessary, but temporary workarounds can keep work on track and avoid backlog while you go through the problem management steps. When these workarounds are especially effective, you can make them permanent processes.

5. Update your known error database

Every time an incident occurs, create a known error record and add it to your known error database (KEDB). Recording incidents helps you catch recurrences and logs the solution, so you know how to solve similar errors in the future. 

[product ui] Incident log example (lists)

6. Pause for change management (if necessary)

Larger, high-impact problems might require change management. For example, if you realize the problem’s root cause is a lack of staff, you might dedicate team members to help. You can use change management to help them transition their responsibilities, see how these new roles fit in with the entire team, and determine how they will collaborate moving forward.

7. Solve the problem

This is the fun part—you get to resolve problems. At this stage, you should know exactly what you’re dealing with and the steps you need to take. But remember—with problem management, it’s not enough to solve the current problem. You’ll want to take any steps to prevent this from happening again in the future. That could mean hiring a new role to cover gaps in workflows , investing in new softwares and tools, or training staff on best practices to prevent these types of incidents.

Read: Turn your team into skilled problem solvers with these problem-solving strategies

8. Reflect on the process

The problem management process has the added benefit of recording the process in its entirety, so you can review it in the future. Once you’ve solved the problem, take the time to review each step and reflect on the lessons learned during this process. Make note of who was involved, what you needed, and any opportunities to improve your response to the next incident. After you go through the problem management process a few times and understand the basic steps, stakeholders, workload, and resources you need, create a template to make the kickoff process easier in the future.

5 benefits of problem management

Problem management helps you discover every piece of the problem—from the current scenario down to its root cause. Not only does this have an immediate positive impact on the current issue at hand, it also promotes collaboration and helps to build a better product overall. 

Here are five other ways ‌problem management can benefit your team:

Avoids repeat incidents. When you manage the entire incident from start to finish, you will address the foundational problems that caused it. This leads to fewer repeat incidents.

Boosts cross-functional collaboration. Problem management is a collaborative process. One incident might require collaboration from IT, the security team, and legal. Depending on the level of the problem, it might trickle all the way back down to the product or service team, where core changes need to be made.

Creates a better user experience. It’s simple—the fewer incidents you have, the better your customer’s experience will be. Reducing incidents means fewer delays, downtime, and frustrations for your users, and a higher rate of customer satisfaction.

Improves response time. As you develop a flow and framework with a project management process, you’ll be better equipped to handle future incidents—even if they’re different scenarios.

Organizes problem solving. Problem management provides a structured, thoughtful approach to solving problems. This reduces impulsive responses and helps you keep a better problem record of incidents and solutions.

Problem management leads to better, faster solutions

IT teams will always have to deal with incidents, but they don’t have to be bogged down by them. That’s because problem management works. Whether you employ a full problem management team or choose to apply these practices to your current IT infrastructure, problem management—especially when combined with a project management tool—saves you time and effort down the road.

With IT project plans, we’ve made it easier than ever to track your problem management work in a shared tool. Try our free IT project template to see your work come together, effortlessly.

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Explore Lean Thinking and Practice / Problem-Solving


Problem Solving graphic icon

Explore the process that’s foundational to assuring every individual becomes engaged by arming them with methods they can use to overcome obstacles and improve their work process.

leapers digging up problems

Overcoming obstacles to achieve or elevate a standard 

In a lean management system, everyone is engaged in ongoing problem-solving that is guided by two characteristics:

Lean thinkers & practitioners understand that the problem-solving process is impeded if you make the common mistake of mechanically reaching for a familiar or favorite problem-solving methodology or, worse, jump quickly to a solution. 

Leaders and teams avoid this trap by recognizing that most business problems fall into four categories, each requiring different thought processes, improvement methods, and management cadences.


The Four Types of Problems

Type 1: Troubleshooting:   reactive problem-solving that hinges upon rapidly returning abnormal conditions to known standards. It provides some immediate relief but does not address the root cause.

Type 2: Gap from Standard: structured problem-solving that focuses on defining the problem, setting goals, analyzing the root cause, and establishing countermeasures, checks, standards, and follow-up activities. The aim is to prevent the problem from recurring by eliminating its underlying causes.

Type 3: Target Condition:   continuous improvement ( kaizen ) that goes beyond existing standards of performance. It may utilize existing methods in new, creative ways to deliver superior value or performance toward a new target state of improvement.

Type 4: Open-ended:  innovative problem-solving based on creativity, synthesis, and recognition of opportunity. It establishes new norms that often entail unexpected products, processes, systems, or value for the customer well beyond current levels. 

By helping everyone in the organization to understand the importance of taking ownership of seeing and solving all types of problems, lean thinking & practice:

Ultimately, building a problem-solving culture creates a competitive advantage that is difficult for competitors to match.  

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10 Problem Solving Training Courses for Better Solutions

Problems are almost always inevitable in your organization. Your team may end up getting into a conflict with co-workers, and customers may have problems with your product or services, among others. Luckily, we’ve listed the best problem solving training courses to help your team come up with better solutions when faced with these problems.

EdApp Problem solving training courses

Problem Solving Training Course # 1 - Problem Solver by EdApp

At the heart of every problem is the desire of each side to solve the problem together and come up with solutions agreeable to everyone. EdApp’s Problem Solver teaches them how to do precisely that.

This problem solving training course gives your team creative conflict resolution solutions that are structured, reasonable, and data-driven. This program begins with an explanation of the significance of problem-solving and creativity, as well as not being bound by functional fixedness.

It also dives into many concepts and types of collaboration, as well as innovative problem-solving tactics, to better equip your teams for any challenges that may arise during problem discussions. Finally, it covers how to tackle the problem by identifying the main cause to avoid implementing band-aid approaches.

The great thing about taking an EdApp course is that there’ll be a series of quizzes included for better retention. They're presented in game formats, such as matching words, true or false, missing words, the traditional multiple-choice format, and more. These strategies make sure your team will have an enjoyable and engaging learning experience.

Created by EdApp

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Creating a Problem Statement for Your Organization

Problem Solving Training Course # 2 - Creating a Problem Statement for Your Organization by EdApp

The core mission of a nonprofit organization is to solve societal, environmental, and ethical problems. But as a budding organization, it can be tough to choose which problem you and your team want to address and solve. EdApp’s Creating a Problem Statement for Your Organization can help narrow down your organization’s choices.

This problem solving training course dives into the heart of a problem statement each organization should have. It talks about the importance of narrowing down what your organization aims to solve, which can help your team focus on issues better. It also gives different examples of problem statements to help you and your team identify the strengths and weaknesses of each. This will also give them a better idea of what to use and what not to use for your organization’s problem statement.

Created By EdApp

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Improving Your First Call Resolution (FCR)

Problem Solving Training Course # 3 - Improving Your First Call Resolution (FCR) by EdApp

The first call resolution is a critical indicator in the customer service sector. If your support employees can fix your customers' concerns at the initial point of contact, they’ll be able to build stronger relationships with them and have a more positive experience with your company. Improving Your First Call Resolution by EdApp walks your learners through the process of reaching that goal.

This problem solving training course explains what FCR is and why it is vital for them to get one. It then supplies your team with an understanding of how to determine whether or not a problem was truly handled and how well the client experience was throughout the conversation. Finally, it offers advice on how to enhance and optimize their conversations so that any customer conflicts are handled on the first contact.

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Handling Irate Customers (Call Center)

Problem Solving Training Course # 4 - Handling Irate Customers (Call Center) by EdApp

Handling Irate Customers (Call Center) by EdApp educates your staff on how to handle and resolve client calls. This problem solving training course is ideal for your support workers that are dealing with difficult clients and tough problems. It covers how to listen to upset customers so that they can learn how to give them better solutions to their problems and even build a better relationship with your organization.

This training also includes call resolution suggestions and tactics that your team may use on their next difficult call. At the end of the course, they’ll have the opportunity to practice several mock call conversations and hone their communication skills so they can better implement these approaches in their day-to-day support interactions.

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Managing Difficult Conversations

Problem Solving Training Course # 5 - Managing Difficult Conversations by EdApp

This EdApp problem solving training teaches your employees the vital information and resources they need to handle challenging and problematic talks. When a problem arises, everyone's voice should be heard. Managing Difficult Conversations teaches them how to actively listen to those they’re speaking with and check that everyone is heard. It covers subjects including prioritizing tough talks, addressing and tackling awkward interactions, offering constructive feedback, and apologizing honestly. It also teaches them how to spot frequent blunders during dispute resolution discussions.

Explore our library including problem solving training courses.

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Handling Objections with Emotional Intelligence

Problem Solving Training Course # 6 - Handling Objections with Emotional Intelligence by EdApp

Keeping a cool head can go a long way toward solving problems within and outside your organization. EdApp’s Handling Objections with Emotional Intelligence will teach your team how to do just that.

This problem solving training will teach them how emotional intelligence can help them resolve collective difficulties and arguments professionally and respectfully. It demonstrates how paying attention to another person's body language and attentively listening may help them have more productive conversations. Learners will also get a module on problem resolution and constructive criticism using the appropriate emotional approach.

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Active Listening

Problem Solving Training Course # 7 - Active Listening by EdApp

Problems can only be solved if your team knows how to actively listen to the people they’re interacting with. EdApp’s Active Listening details the steps and techniques they can take today to improve their active listening skills.

This problem solving training program teaches the principles of active listening to your team, which is great if they lack a basic grasp of this ability. It reviews the important listening strategies that can help people in improving their communication and relationship with one another. The second half of this course is dedicated to avoiding bad listening habits at all costs. These poor behaviors include listening to what isn't being said and speaking without making direct eye contact. It also digs into the difficulties of active listening and suggests ways to overcome them while dealing with conflict and problems.

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Retail Services - Communication

Problem Solving Training Course # 8 - Retail Services - Communication by EdApp

Communication is key to being able to smoothly navigate through problematic situations. This is especially true in retail services. That’s why EdApp designed a communication course dedicated to helping your retail teams get out of sticky situations.

In this course, your employees will learn how to actively listen to customers to better understand them and the possible issues they may have. They'll also become acquainted with open and closed-type inquiries, allowing them to select the best question type for various scenarios and interaction goals.

By the end of this training, your retail teams will be more engaged and strategic in their work. Observe how they engage and communicate with clients more effectively and often, resulting in greater sales and happier customers.

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Effective Communication in Customer Service

Problem Solving Training Course # 9 - Effective Communication in Customer Service by EdApp

EdApp's Effective Communication in Customer Service course was developed to improve customer service workers' listening abilities for better and faster problem resolution. So, if you manage a team in a similar field, this is an ideal course to consider.

This problem solving program comprises three short sessions that address themes, such as empathy, the function of active listening in developing a great customer connection, and the impediments to successful listening. It walks your team through the process of active listening and presents listening tips and tactics. Some examples are using verbal signals to demonstrate attention while interacting with customers and clarifying by summarizing and asking open-ended questions. There's also a lesson that emphasizes some of the typical issues that will keep your team from actively listening, even if they're using the strategies you've taught them.

EdApp Problem Solving Training Course - Expectations Setting

Problem Solving Training Course # 10 - Expectations Setting by EdApp

Knowing how to properly set different people’s expectations can go a long way in solving and avoiding problems in your organization. EdApp’s Expectations Setting will teach your team the tips and tricks for how to appropriately set expectations.

The problem solving course helps your learners avoid the pitfalls of having unreasonable expectations, which typically lead to disappointment, problems, frustration, and broken relationships. They'll learn how to deal with collaborative goal setting so that everyone feels consulted and heard, including outlining expectations for each party.

Create better solutions with problem solving training courses

In both a professional and personal setting, problems are almost always unavoidable. People with different opinions, backgrounds, and personalities can clash and create problems and conflicts inside and outside your organization. As a leader, it’s vital to equip your team with the right problem solving skills so they know how to get themselves out of sticky situations and create better solutions for everyone. Read our list of problem solving courses to get started on problem solving skills training today.

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Decision Making, Problem-Solving and Time Management

Decision Making, Problem-Solving and Time Management

This free online course includes:.

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Thanks for your review, what you will learn in this free course.

What role does stress play in decision-making, and why is this a crucial skill? Daily, we base ourselves on several decisions. Some decisions are simple, such as what to wear or eat today, while others are more complex and difficult, such as life decisions. And making decisions is a mental process. So it is extremely exhausting when we don't know how to do it correctly. We become apprehensive and tense when we cannot decide; it is as if we have a mission to complete but do not have the know-how. Then we put off deciding, which adds stress to our daily lives. This results in extremely negative feelings such as anxiety, depression, disappointment, low self-esteem, and the creation of a negative image of yourself. This time management training course will show some fantastic tools and techniques that you can use to make better decisions.

It begins by describing why decision-making is a valuable life skill and the different approaches to reaching a decision are discussed. You will discover that people can make judgments using intuition, measurement, testing possibilities, or simply asking for help and that we probably employ all of these options at some stage, depending on the situation. The seven stages of the decision-making process are described in the next section and the content of this time management online course covers how to complete the steps of the procedure and restart if you make a mistake. However, as with any process, there are some roadblocks to decision-making. Next, you will understand how lack of information, external pressure or preconception can be obstacles in the process. In addition, how personal characteristics such as insecurity, indecisiveness, lack of self-confidence, and lack of motivation harms decision making are explained.

The following section explores the tools, approaches, and procedures for deciding more easily and quickly. You will also be shown how to avoid the most common pitfalls that make it harder to make wise decisions. The next key section practically explains the ways of managing your time and setting realistic goals in every element of your life. The last part of this time management program explains the Wheel of Life and 1-1-1 technique that helps in achieving your goals. Multiple forms of decisions can help you cope with the pressures of time constraints, deadlines, and high demands and enrolling in this course will show you how interdependent time management and decision-making skills are. This free time management training is for anyone struggling to cope with the demands of work and life and could use improvement in their time management skills.

All Alison courses are free to enrol study and complete. To successfully complete this course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this course, you have the option to acquire an official Diploma, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world.

Your Alison is:

Alison offers 3 types of Diplomas for completed Diploma courses:

problem solving management course

All are available to purchase through the Alison Shop . For more information on purchasing Alison , please visit our FAQs . If you decide not to purchase your Alison , you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard . For more details on our pricing, please visit our Pricing Page

Knowledge & Skills You Will Learn

Complete this cpd accredited course & get your certificate , certify your skills, stand out from the crowd, advance in your career.

problem solving management course

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Problem Solving (Short Course)

Why Study Problem Solving?

Problems are an inevitable part of life, presenting a wide variety of challenges both at home and in our professional lives.  Some people are naturally more adept at problem solving than others. They instinctively know how to find the best possible solution for all types of issues, enabling them to solve them quickly and effectively.  For others, problem solving skills are not an in-built character trait, but a soft skill that develops with time.  To become a skilled problem solver is to become a highly valued asset in the eyes of employers.  Irrespective of field, sector and status, problem solving skills are universally relevant and of limitless value.  For anyone looking to become a more confident and capable problem solver, this free problem solving skills training course could be the perfect place to start.

By the end of this course the learner will be able to:

Apply Problem Steps and Tools.

All free online certificate courses at Oxford Home Study Centre are 100% free of charge from start to finish.  There is no enrolment fee, all study aids are provided via our online learning platform and all of our courses are self-paced for total flexibility.

Our exclusive free courses provide the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge, develop new skills and explore new professions.  Upon completion of your free online certificate course, you will have the option of claiming one of three different types of certificates for a small fee:

Each of these certificates could prove helpful in supporting future job applications, or helping you climb the career ladder with your current employer. All certificates are 100% optional upon successful completion of your course - available to purchase with your preferred postage option.

For more information on certificate costs, head over to our pricing page or contact a member of the team at Oxford Home Study Centre anytime.


Topics covered in the course.

Problem Solving course covers the following key topics:


Enhance your skills with our highly informative courses.

Pass the assignments by getting the required marks.

Get certified and enhance the worth of your CV.


problem solving management course

Once you get certified, employers have more trust in your capabilities. You can easily add the certification to your credentials and share it everywhere.

Becoming a certified professional gives the impression that you have better skills and you are committed to enhancing your skills. As a result, your chances of getting hired got increased.

Enhancing your understanding and knowledge is the key to get hired, achieve a higher position, and pursue a new career.


Strategic planning (short course), anger management (short course), crisis management (short course), operations management (short course), critical thinking (short course), time management (short course), stress management (short course), succession planning (short course), presentation skills (short course), management (short course), diploma in conflict management, certificate in conflict management, diploma in crisis management, certificate in crisis management, diploma in anger management, certificate in anger management.

problem solving management course

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Course info.

problem solving management course

Business Insights

Harvard Business School Online's Business Insights Blog provides the career insights you need to achieve your goals and gain confidence in your business skills.

Why Problem-Solving Skills Are Essential for Leaders in Any Industry

Business man leading team in problem-solving exercise with white board

Any organization offering a product or service is in the business of solving problems.

Whether providing medical care to address health issues or quick convenience to those hungry for dinner, a business’s purpose is to satisfy customer needs .

In addition to solving customers’ problems, you’ll undoubtedly encounter challenges within your organization as it evolves to meet customer needs. You’re likely to experience growing pains in the form of missed targets, unattained goals, and team disagreements.

Yet, the ubiquity of problems doesn’t have to be discouraging; with the right frameworks and tools, you can build the skills to solve consumers' and your organization’s most challenging issues.

Here’s a primer on problem-solving in business, why it’s important, the skills you need, and how to build them.

Access your free e-book today.

What Is Problem-Solving in Business?

Problem-solving is the process of systematically removing barriers that prevent you or others from reaching goals.

Your business removes obstacles in customers’ lives through its products or services, just as you can remove obstacles that keep your team from achieving business goals.

Design Thinking

Design thinking , as described by Harvard Business School Dean Srikant Datar in the online course Design Thinking and Innovation , is a human-centered , solutions-based approach to problem-solving and innovation. Originally created for product design, design thinking’s use case has evolved . It’s now used to solve internal business problems, too.

The design thinking process has four stages :

4 Stages of Design Thinking

Using this framework, you can generate innovative ideas that wouldn’t have surfaced otherwise.

Creative Problem-Solving

Another, less structured approach to challenges is creative problem-solving , which employs a series of exercises to explore open-ended solutions and develop new perspectives. This is especially useful when a problem’s root cause has yet to be defined.

You can use creative problem-solving tools in design thinking’s “ideate” stage, which include:

It can be tempting to fall back on how problems have been solved before, especially if they worked well. However, if you’re striving for innovation, relying on existing systems can stunt your company’s growth.

Related: How to Be a More Creative Problem-Solver at Work: 8 Tips

Why Is Problem-Solving Important for Leaders?

While obstacles’ specifics vary between industries, strong problem-solving skills are crucial for leaders in any field.

Whether building a new product or dealing with internal issues, you’re bound to come up against challenges. Having frameworks and tools at your disposal when they arise can turn issues into opportunities.

As a leader, it’s rarely your responsibility to solve a problem single-handedly, so it’s crucial to know how to empower employees to work together to find the best solution.

Your job is to guide them through each step of the framework and set the parameters and prompts within which they can be creative. Then, you can develop a list of ideas together, test the best ones, and implement the chosen solution.

Related: 5 Design Thinking Skills for Business Professionals

4 Problem-Solving Skills All Leaders Need

1. problem framing.

One key skill for any leader is framing problems in a way that makes sense for their organization. Problem framing is defined in Design Thinking and Innovation as determining the scope, context, and perspective of the problem you’re trying to solve.

“Before you begin to generate solutions for your problem, you must always think hard about how you’re going to frame that problem,” Datar says in the course.

For instance, imagine you work for a company that sells children’s sneakers, and sales have plummeted. When framing the problem, consider:

While there’s no one right way to frame a problem, how you do can impact the solutions you generate. It’s imperative to accurately frame problems to align with organizational priorities and ensure your team generates useful ideas for your firm.

To solve a problem, you need to empathize with those impacted by it. Empathy is the ability to understand others’ emotions and experiences. While many believe empathy is a fixed trait, it’s a skill you can strengthen through practice.

When confronted with a problem, consider whom it impacts. Returning to the children’s sneaker example, think of who’s affected:

Empathy is required to get to the problem’s root and consider each group’s perspective. Assuming someone’s perspective often isn’t accurate, so the best way to get that information is by collecting user feedback.

For instance, if you asked customers who typically buy your children’s sneakers why they’ve stopped, they could say, “A new brand of children’s sneakers came onto the market that have soles with more traction. I want my child to be as safe as possible, so I bought those instead.”

When someone shares their feelings and experiences, you have an opportunity to empathize with them. This can yield solutions to their problem that directly address its root and shows you care. In this case, you may design a new line of children’s sneakers with extremely grippy soles for added safety, knowing that’s what your customers care most about.

Related: 3 Effective Methods for Assessing Customer Needs

3. Breaking Cognitive Fixedness

Cognitive fixedness is a state of mind in which you examine situations through the lens of past experiences. This locks you into one mindset rather than allowing you to consider alternative possibilities.

For instance, your cognitive fixedness may make you think rubber is the only material for sneaker treads. What else could you use? Is there a grippier alternative you haven’t considered?

Problem-solving is all about overcoming cognitive fixedness. You not only need to foster this skill in yourself but among your team.

4. Creating a Psychologically Safe Environment

As a leader, it’s your job to create an environment conducive to problem-solving. In a psychologically safe environment, all team members feel comfortable bringing ideas to the table, which are likely influenced by their personal opinions and experiences.

If employees are penalized for “bad” ideas or chastised for questioning long-held procedures and systems, innovation has no place to take root.

By employing the design thinking framework and creative problem-solving exercises, you can foster a setting in which your team feels comfortable sharing ideas and new, innovative solutions can grow.

Design Thinking and Innovation | Uncover creative solutions to your business problems | Learn more

How to Build Problem-Solving Skills

The most obvious answer to how to build your problem-solving skills is perhaps the most intimidating: You must practice.

Again and again, you’ll encounter challenges, use creative problem-solving tools and design thinking frameworks, and assess results to learn what to do differently next time.

While most of your practice will occur within your organization, you can learn in a lower-stakes setting by taking an online course, such as Design Thinking and Innovation . Datar guides you through each tool and framework, presenting real-world business examples to help you envision how you would approach the same types of problems in your organization.

Are you interested in uncovering innovative solutions for your organization’s business problems? Explore Design Thinking and Innovation —one of our online entrepreneurship and innovation courses —to learn how to leverage proven frameworks and tools to solve challenges. Not sure which course is right for you? Download our free flowchart .

problem solving management course

About the Author

Developing Structured Problem-Solving and Leadership Skills using A3 Thinking: Managing to Learn Remotely

Join us for a seven-week learning experience and learn how to use the A3 methodology to solve important business problems. Optional one-on-one coaching package also available.

Today's unprecedented challenges require superior problem-solving skills not only from you as a leader but everyone you manage. 

Learning objectives.

What makes the A3 problem-solving approach so powerful is that it is a complete process -- a way of thinking, leading, communicating, learning, getting things done, and developing an entire organization of problem solvers.

Select, define, clarify and investigate a real problem from work.

Clarify problem situations and define problems as gaps in performance.

Visualize work processes and focus on the problems in work methods that are affecting performance.

Investigate and confirm underlying causes and analyze barriers to improvement.

Identify, evaluate and lead in the selection of countermeasures.

Lead planning for implementation of countermeasures and follow-up to resolve problems in execution and reflect for organizational learning

The A3 format puts the problem, analysis, corrective actions, and an action plan on a single sheet of large (A3) paper, often with the use of graphics.

What's Included?

A3 Plan for Errors Delivering to a bakery

Cohort beginning September 17

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET

Optional One-on-One Coaching Sessions

Achieve an even deeper level of learning by taking personal coaching sessions with instructor David Verble, who has 30 years of experience teaching and coaching the A3 management process to leaders and managers.

Personal coaching gives you individual "just-in-time" assistance on your challenges in a private, completely safe online space to share and ask questions.

Schedule Overview

The seven sessions are hosted over 14 weeks, with one to two hours of assignments in between and optional individual coaching sessions available for an additional $499.

Who Should Attend

Group Discounts

Engage your whole team with our group discounts.

Technology Used

Please  click here  to run through our technology check before registering for this course.  

Cancelation Policy

You can cancel your registration for online/live-streaming workshops 2 weeks prior to the start date of the course for a full refund. A cancellation occurring within 2 weeks of the workshop dates will be subject to a $350 cancellation fee. Once you have attended a workshop session, you cannot cancel your registration. To cancel please call LEI at (617) 871-2900 or email  [email protected]


problem solving management course

LEI Faculty

David Verble

problem solving management course

Karen Gaudet

Interested in bringing this workshop to your company?

LEI will teach any of our workshops or develop a customized program to build capability in your team.

Whether you need coaching to develop organizational leadership effectiveness, frontline management proficiency, work team or business-unit process improvement capability, or to achieve an organization-wide transformation, LEI can customize a learning plan to meet your needs. Talk with a Coach to learn more »

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How to Solve Problems

problem solving management course

To bring the best ideas forward, teams must build psychological safety.

Teams today aren’t just asked to execute tasks: They’re called upon to solve problems. You’d think that many brains working together would mean better solutions, but the reality is that too often problem-solving teams fall victim to inefficiency, conflict, and cautious conclusions. The two charts below will help your team think about how to collaborate better and come up with the best solutions for the thorniest challenges.

First, think of the last time you had to solve a problem. Maybe it was a big one: A major trade route is blocked and your product is time sensitive and must make it to market on time. Maybe it was a small one: A traffic jam on your way to work means you’re going to be late for your first meeting of the day. Whatever the size of the impact, in solving your problem you moved through five stages, according to “ Why Groups Struggle to Solve Problems Together ,” by Al Pittampalli.

problem solving management course

Pittampalli finds that most of us, when working individually, move through these stages intuitively. It’s different when you’re working in a team, however. You need to stop and identify these different stages to make sure the group is aligned. For example, while one colleague might join a problem-solving discussion ready to evaluate assumptions (Stage 3), another might still be defining the problem (Stage 1). By defining each stage of your problem-solving explicitly, you increase the odds of your team coming to better solutions more smoothly.

This problem-solving technique gains extra power when applied to Alison Reynold’s and David Lewis’ research on problem-solving teams. In their article, “ The Two Traits of the Best Problem-Solving Teams ,” they find that highly effective teams typically have a pair of common features: They are cognitively diverse and they are psychologically safe. They also exhibit an array of characteristics associated with learning and confidence; these teammates tend to be curious, experimental, and nurturing, for example.

problem solving management course

As you and your colleagues consider these ideas, think about the last problem you had to solve as a team. First, map out what you remember from each step of your problem-solving. Were all of you on the same page at each stage? What aspects of the problem did you consider — or might you have missed — as a result? What can you do differently the next time you have a problem to solve? Second, ask where your team sees themselves on the chart. What kinds of behaviors could your team adopt to help you move into that top-right quadrant?

problem solving management course

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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. This course may earn a Credly Badge.

Learning 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

Framework Connections

2023 KT Excellence Award Nominees

Recipients of formal selection committee nominations.

problem solving management course

For the 12 KT Excellence Awards of 2023, the following persons, teams, and organizations have been bestowed with formal nominations by the KTEA Selection Committee:

Individual Award Nominations

Program Leader of the Year Nominations

Noor Saleha Binti Selamat – Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Manuel Uribe Figueroa – Adient

Anthony Corrente – IBM Australia Ltd

Karine I Hinton – ExxonMobil – Imperial Oil

Toru Mori – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Chris O’Connor – Nissan North America

Sohaib Abid – Cisco Systems Inc.

Ahmad Maaz Khan – Cisco Systems Belgium

Rob K Barker – HCL Technologies

Jin Amanokura – Resonac Corporation

Daisuke Yasukawa – Hitachi Academy Co., Ltd.

Yasutoshi Kojima – Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Wang Qing, Guo – Lam Research China

Takeshi Terasaki – Hitachi High-Tech Corporation

Jeanette Tamraz – Fujifilm Irvine Scientific

Facilitator of the Year Nominations

Juan Ortega Mendoza – Adient

Jon Dowell – Suncor Energy Services Inc.

Coach of the Year Nominations

David Gillespie – Bravura Solutions Limited

Seema Patil – HCL Technologies

Rational Management Executive of the Year Nominations

Jim Ball – Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Kris Lockburner – Johnson & Johnson

Tony Cusato – IBM USA

Saiki Wakana – Canon Marketing Japan Inc.

Shuhei Okazaki – Astellas Pharma Inc.

Torrance Ford – Shaw Industries, Inc.

Team Award Nominations

Problem Solving Excellence Nominations

Adient Aguascalientes Plant

Adient Ramos W&A Plant

Adient Puebla Plant (2)

Adient Lexington

Adient Derramadero

Adient Matamoros Plant

Bristol Myers Squibb

Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Siemens Healthineers Ottawa

ExxonMobil Product Solutions Company

NS BlueScope Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Hamburger Rieger GmbH

Decision Making Excellence Nominations

Adient Lerma Plant (2)

Adient Ramos W&A

Adient Technotrim Saltillo

Bridgewater Interiors Detroit

Situation Appraisal Excellence Nominations

Flextronics Plastics S.a. De C.v.

Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Nissan North America

IBM Australia

Combined KT Technologies Excellence Nominations

TNB Integrated Learning Solution – ILSAS

Adient Tlaxcala

Adient Puebla Plant

Adient Lerma Plant

Leipa Georg Leinfelder GmbH

Organization Award Nominations

Excellence in the Utilization of KT Process in Manufacturing Operations Nominations

Flextronics Plastics S.A. DE C.V

Excellence in the Utilization of KT Process in Service Operations Nominations

Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions S.p.A

Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen

Space Telescope Science Institute

Lam Research Services (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

Human Resource Capability Development Program Excellence Nominations

Cisco Systems

Organon Asia Pacific Services Pte Ltd

Shaw Industries, Inc.

Critical Thinking Cultural Excellence Nominations

ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil

Tek Experts Global

Fieldpiece Corporation

Hitachi Astemo, Ltd.

Teijin Limited

Winners and nominees from previous years:

2022 Award Winners and Nominees

Subscribe to the KT Newsletter

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Minnesota Law

Cooperative Lawyering and Problem Solving Courts: Lawyers as Peacemakers – 6928

This is a non-traditional seminar for students who are interested in exploring a manner of practicing law broader than the win/lose paradigm of the adversary system. The instructor is a retired Hennepin County judge with extensive experience in problem solving courts and with the benefits of collaborative law and restorative justice. 

This seminar will explore peacemaking opportunities for lawyers at several levels:

-- Practicing lawyers engaged in different varieties of cooperative lawyering will make guest presentations.

-- Effective peacemaking requires personal awareness and self-control, and so the course will introduce students to mindfulness, a fundamental tool for peace of mind, as well as basic skills in peaceful communication.

-- We will examine the recent developments in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology that help explain the dynamics of human conflict.

-- Finally, we will look at how the lessons about peacemaking apply to political and religious conflict. As a case study in political conflict, we will choose a hotly contested current event. For example, case study in 2019 was the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

In addition to background reading to prepare for class sessions, students should be prepared to spend 10-15 minutes each day in mindfulness exercises, to observe two out-of-class peacemaking activities, and to participate in experiential exercises in class. Short written assignments are designed to promote growth of the student’s peacemaking skills. The class requires an open mind and a willingness to share personal thoughts and experiences.

Other Sections

problem solving management course

Credits 2 Course Cooperative Lawyering and Problem Solving Courts: Lawyers as Peacemakers Subject Area Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution & Advocacy Student Year Upper Division LL.M. Grade base H/P/LP/F Course type SEM


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  11. Free Online Problem Solving Courses

    Free Online Problem Solving Courses | Alison Related Subjects Minitab Mathematics Creative Thinking Fractions Precalculus Top 20 Online Problem Solving Courses Diploma education Diploma in Six Sigma Yellow Belt 10-15 hrs 1,823 enrolled What you will learn Identify how business problems can be solved with the Si...

  12. Decision Making, Problem-Solving and Time Management

    We become agitated, apprehensive, and disappointed when we have difficulty managing time and making decisions. This free online time management course will teach you the correct tools and methods and how to apply them so you can rid yourself of the anxiety that comes with decision-making and problem solving. COURSE PUBLISHER Sanja Stojanovic.

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    Problem Solving course covers the following key topics: Problem Identification Eight Essentials to Defining a Problem Problem Solving in Action What it Means, Types of Decisions Facts vs. Information Decision-Making Traps HOW IT WORKS 1 Enhance your skills with our highly informative courses. 2 Pass the assignments by getting the required marks. 3

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    View Creative Problem Solving.docx from MANAGEMENT CREATION at EDHEC Business School, Roubaix. Creative Problem Solving Notation System : Homework: Are you creative? Expert Help. Study Resources. ... Course Hero uses AI to attempt to automatically extract content from documents to surface to you and others so you can study better, e.g., in ...

  22. Awards Excellence

    Rational Management Executive of the Year Nominations. Jim Ball - Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Kris Lockburner - Johnson & Johnson. Tony Cusato - IBM USA. Saiki Wakana - Canon Marketing Japan Inc. Shuhei Okazaki - Astellas Pharma Inc. Torrance Ford - Shaw Industries, Inc. Team Award Nominations. Problem Solving Excellence Nominations

  23. Cooperative Lawyering and Problem Solving Courts: Lawyers as

    This is a non-traditional seminar for students who are interested in exploring a manner of practicing law broader than the win/lose paradigm of the adversary system. The instructor is a retired Hennepin County judge with extensive experience in problem solving courts and with the benefits of collaborative law and restorative justice.