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Deciding the Course of Action Deciding the Course of Action

] Problem solvers must juggle priorities all ] Once the real problem is defined and you have
generated a number of possible solutions, it time
the time
to make some decisions:
Evaluate the Solution ] Decide which problem to work
on first
Implement the Solution ] Choose the best alternative
Decide the Course solution
of Action ] Decide how to successfully
implement the solution
Generate Solutions

Define the Problem

Deciding the Course of Action KT Situation Analysis

• An Organizational Approach for Decision Making ] KT Situation Analysis can be helpful in deciding which
problem receives the highest priority
KT Approach (Kepner–Tregoe Approach)
] Measure each problem using the following criteria:
Situation Analysis ] Timing
(Where are we?)
] Trend
] Impact
Problem Decision Potential ] Each of the criteria are evaluated
Analysis Analysis Problem Analysis for there degree of concern
Past Present Future – High (H)
What is How to correct How to prevent – Medium (M)
the faults? the fault? future faults? – Low (L)

Evaluation Criteria

] Timing
] How urgent is the Problem?
] Is a deadline involved?
] What will happen if nothing is done?

] Trend
] Will the problem get worst? Timing Trend Impact Process
] Problem’s potential for growth? Get dog off leg
Repair car L L M PA
] Impact Put out fire H H H DA
] How serous is the problem? Ensure papers in briefcase will
not be destroyed M M H PPA
] What are the effects on people,
products, organization, etc.? Prepare for tornado M H H DA

Pareto Analysis and Diagram Pareto Analysis and Diagram

] When there is more than one problem to deal A Toasty O’s plant is having some problems with their
with, a Pareto Analysis can be helpful for product:
deciding which problem to attack first
Number of boxes
] The Pareto Principle: Problem
80% of the trouble comes from 20% of the A. Inferior printing on boxes 10,000
B. Overfilling of boxes 30,000
C. Boxes damages during shipping 2,000
D. Inner wrapper not sealed 25,000
E. No prize in box 50,000

Pareto Analysis and Diagram Pareto Analysis and Diagram

The original data sorted by the frequency of the number of

Let’s look at the Toasty O’s data when lost revenue is
boxes affected considered

40000 Problem Number of boxes

Number of Boxes


20000 A. Inferior printing on boxes 10,000/$100

10000 B. Overfilling of boxes 30,000/$6,000
0 C. Boxes damages during shipping 2,000/$7,000
Problems D. Inner wrapper not sealed 25,000/$87,000
E. No prize in box 50,000/$17,500
On first look the Toasty O’s plant would attack the problem
in E-B-D-A-C order

Pareto Analysis and Diagram Group Problem

Data sorted by lost revenue

Situation Analysis Group Problem
Lost Revenue


“The Exxon Valdez”
page 110


Toasty O’s plant would attack the problem in D-E-C-B-A


Group Problem Group Problem
It is 12:45 AM in the morning, March 24, 1989; you have just been alerted that the Exxon Valdez tanker
has run aground on the Bligh Reef and is spilling oil at an enormous rate. By the time you arrive at the Major Sub-Concerns Timing Trend Impact Process
spill, 6 million gallons of oil have been lost and the oil slick extends well over a square mile. Concerns
A meeting with the emergency response team is called. At the meeting it is suggested that a second
Prevent more oil from Number of damaged
tanker be dispatched to remove the remaining oil from the Exxon Valdez. However, the number of
damaged compartments from which oil is leaking is not known at this time and there is concern that if
spilling (remove
remaining oil)
the tanker slips off the reef, it could capsize if the oil is only removed from the compartments on the
Tanker slipping off reef
damaged side.
and capsizing
The use of chemical dispersants (i.e., soap-like substances) which would break up the oil into drops and
cause it to sink is suggested. However, it is not known if there is sufficient chemical available for a spill
of this magnitude. The marine biologist at the meeting objected to the use of dispersants, stating that
Dispersing spilled oil Environmental concerns
once these chemicals are in the water, they would be taken up by the fish and thus be extremely
detrimental to the fish industry.
The use of floatable booms to surround and contain the oil also brought about a heated discussion.
Availability of chemicals
Because of the spill size, there is not enough boom material even to begin to surround the slick. The
Containing oil spill Availability of floating
Alaskan governor's office says the available material should be used to surround the shore of a small booms
village on a nearby island. The Coast Guard argues that the slick is not moving in that direction and
Channel slick in fjord
should be used to contain or channel the slick movement in the fjord. The Department of Wildlife says
the first priority is the four fisheries that must be protected by the boom or the fishing industry will

be depressed for years, perhaps generations to come. A related issue is that millions of fish were Protecting island shore
scheduled to be released from the fisheries into the oil contaminated fjord two weeks from now. Other
suggestions as to where to place the boom material were also put forth at the meeting. Protecting fisheries

KT Problem Analysis KT Problem Analysis

Situation Analysis Situation Analysis

(Where are we?) (Where are we?)

Problem Decision Potential Problem Decision Potential

Analysis Analysis Problem Analysis Analysis Analysis Problem Analysis

] Experienced problem solvers: ] What is the problem and what is not the problem?

] Ask the “right” questions ] Where did the problem occur? Where is everything
] Interview as many people as necessary
] When did the problem first occur? When was
everything OK?
] A technique used in KT Problem Analysis is: ] What is the magnitude of the problem?
] Distinctions

KT Problem Analysis KT Problem Analysis

] This analysis is useful in troubleshooting operations What Identify What is the What is not the What is the distinc- What is a
Problem? Problem? tion between the is and possible
] A good problem statement includes: the is not ? cause?
Where Locate Where is the Where is the What is distinctive What is a
] What is known problem found? problem not found? about the different possible
locations? cause?
] What is unknown When Timing When does When does What is distinctive What is a
] What is sought the problem the problem not about the different possible
occur? occur? in timing? cause?
When was it When was it What is the distinction What is a

] What is the problem and what is not first observed? last observed? between these
Extent Magnitude How far does How localized What is the What is a
] Think in terms of dissimilarities the problem is the problem? distinction? possible
extent? cause?
] Ask who, why, and how How many
units are
How many
units are not
What is the
What is a
] Reexamine assumptions affected affected cause?
How much of How much of What is the What is a
any one unit is any one unit is distinction? possible
affected? not affected? cause?

KT Problem Analysis KT Problem Analysis

] A new model of airplane was delivered to Eastern ] A new model of airplane was delivered to Eastern
Airlines in 1980. Soon the flight attendants developed Airlines in 1980. Soon the flight attendants developed
a red rash on their arms, hands, and faces. It occurred a red rash on their arms, hands, and faces. It occurred
only on flights that were over water. only on flights that were over water.

Fortunately, it usually The same number of attendants

disappeared in 24 hours and contacted the rash on each
caused no additional problems. flight.

When the attendants flew other In addition, a few of those who

planes over the same routes, no contracted the rash felt ill, and
ill effects occurred. the union threatened action.

KT Problem Analysis Group Problem

What Rash Other illness External contact
When New planes Old planes Different materials Problem Analysis Group Problem
Where Flights over water Flight over land Different crew
Extent Only some attendants All attendants Crew duties
“Chocolate Covered Bacteria”
] Look at all the distinctions: page 112
a) something contacting the arms and face
b) the rash occurs only on flights over water
c) the lifevests on the new plane are made of new materials
or of a different brand of materials

Group Problem KT Decision Analysis

IS IS NOT Distinction Probable Cause Situation Analysis

(Where are we?)
WHAT Unacceptable level of Level of bacteria Time Bacteria grows
bacteria in shipments of before transport during transport
chocolate butter pastes to from plant is OK form plant
one customer Problem Decision Potential
WHERE Only at Hoyne’s Level of bacteria in Location The butter paste Analysis Analysis Problem Analysis
other customers’ is handled in a
paste deliveries and different way at
at plant are OK Hoyne’s
WHEN Since the increase of orders, Before Christmas Time, seasonal Increase in ] How to choose the “best” solution from a number of
due to the Christmas season increase in orders causes
orders changes in alternatives
After processing Before the Higher Bacteria grows
temperature was increase by
20 degrees
temperature was
temperatures faster at higher
] Write a concise decision statement
After Bell and Clissold Before Bell and Delivery reaches Bacteria has
bakeries became customers Clissold were Hoyne’s later more time to ] Collect and analysis information and data
customers than before grow
] Talk with people familiar with the problem
EXTENT Some drums All drums A large truck The drums were
carries more not able to cool ] If possible, view the problem first hand
drums off as quickly
] Confirm all findings

KT Decision Analysis KT Decision Analysis

Situation Analysis
(Where are we?) ] Musts are mandatory to a successful solution
Problem Decision Potential
Analysis Analysis Problem Analysis ] If a solution satisfies all musts
then the solution is a “go”
] Specify the objectives of the decision

] Divide these objectives into two categories: ] If a solution does not satisfy any
one of the musts then the solution
musts is a “no go”

and wants
] Wants are desirable but nor mandatory

KT Decision Analysis KT Decision Analysis

] Assigning weights is a ] Compare wants two at a time

] Assign a weight (1 - 10) to each
subjective thing to help arrive at consistent
want on how important it is to assignment of weights

] Assign a rating (0 - 10) as to

how well it satisfies the wants

] A score for the solution can be determined by ] Assessment of weight must be consistent is the
decision is to be valid
multiplying the rating by the weight

KT Decision Analysis Example KT Decision Analysis Example

Choosing a Paint Gun . . . Musts:

1) Control over paint flow rate
A auto manufacturing plant needs 2) Acceptable paint appearance
to choose an electrostatic paint
spray gun.
1) Easy service
Decision Statement: Choose a paint spray gun.
2) Low cost
The available guns are:
3) Long–term durability
Paint Right 4) Personnel with experience
New Spray
Gun Ho

KT Decision Analysis Example KT Decision Analysis Example

MUSTS Paint Right New Spray Gun Ho Risk Assessment

Adequate flow control Go Go No Go ] Explore the risk associated with each
Acceptable appearance Go Go Go alternative

WANTS Weight Rating Score Rating Score

Easy service 7 2 14 9 63 No Go ] Evaluate the probability (0 - 10) of
Low cost 4 3 12 7 28
adverse consequences of each
Durability 6 8 48 6 36
Experience 4 9 36 2 8 alternative solution

Total 110 135 ] Evaluate the seriousness (0 -10) of the

consequence if it occurs

KT Decision Analysis Example Group Problem

Problems with Subjective Measurements

] Giving higher weights/scores to
predetermined favored projects
Decision Analysis Group Problem
] Loaded Wants
] Unimportant details
] Faulty perception of objectives “Choosing an Elective”
page 114
] Missing Information - “What if... ?”

] Is the decision ethical?

KT Decision Analysis Example KT Potential Problem Analysis

Situation Analysis
MUSTS Music 101 Art 101 HISH 101 Art 203 GEOL 101 Music 205 (Where are we?)

3 Credits No Go Go Go Go Go No Go
Inexpensive Go Go Go No Go Go Go Problem Decision Potential
Analysis Analysis Problem Analysis

WANTS Wt Rating Rating Rating

Good grade 9 9 2 6
Interesting 6 2
] This analysis can help decrease the possibility
Low time 7
commitment of a disastrous outcome
Total 128 92 118
] A PPA table delineates the potential problems
and suggests possible causes, preventive
actions, and contingent actions

KT Potential Problem Analysis KT Potential Problem Analysis

Situation Analysis
(Where are we?) ] Identify how serious each problem is

Problem Decision Potential ] How probable is it that the problem will occur?
Analysis Analysis Problem Analysis

KT Potential Problem Analysis

Potential Possible Preventive Contingent
] Once Problems are identified
Problem Causes Actions Actions
A. 1.
2. ] List all possible causes
B. 1. ] Develop preventive actions for each cause

End of Chapter 5