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University of Leeds

Decision Making - How to Choose the Right Problem to Solve

University of Leeds via Coursera


Life is full of problems. The question is, which problems do you try to solve first and how? Learn powerful decision-making methods and how to cultivate problem-solving skills for a range of issues we all face in the workplace and beyond. In this course, you’ll evaluate your current problem-solving approach and learn techniques that will sharpen your analytical and critical skills required to help you quickly resolve issues. Defining a problem is the first step to developing a solution and so you will explore methods that will help you define the real issues. You will then experiment with decision-making techniques such as a SWOT analysis to help you quickly evaluate your options clearly and set priorities when everything seems urgent. Once you can identify a problem and understand it, you’ll learn how to explore the benefits and drawbacks of various solutions and methods to minimise risks. This course is one of many, offered by Click Start, a UK training programme designed to help young people develop digital skills. Click Start offers a limited number of scholarships giving free access to young people in the UK. Check the FAQs to see more detail and follow the link to check if you are eligible for free access today. You will then apply all the skills you learnt and discover how to create a detailed plan to persuade others that your ideas will work. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to tackle real-world problems and have the confidence to pitch your ideas and get your colleagues on board.


  • Week 1 - Finding and defining problems
    • During the first week of this course, you will be introduced to the experts who will be guiding you through the course and begin to unpick what problem-solving actually means. You will start by reflecting on the last problem you encountered. During the activities this week, you will identify the kinds of skills that help people to solve problems, and reflect on your own problem-solving strengths and talents. You will explore a five-step method to help you approach a problem you might have and reflect on how this relates to your current experience. Defining your problem is crucial to developing a solution. This week looks at ways to define the real problem and analyse the context in which you're developing solutions. At the end of the week, you’ll reflect on what you’ve covered, and assess what you can learn from the SWOT analysis you've completed.
  • Week 2 - Assessing your solutions
    • This week you will look at how to assess the solutions you come up with. You'll follow Shona as she analyses which idea would be best to help solve her problem. During the activities you will look at how you can develop more ideas for solving the problems you’ve identified, and how you can evaluate the best ideas. You will explore how evaluating risk can help your solutions be successful. At the end of the week, you’ll reflect on what you’ve covered, and identify what you can learn from your SWOT analysis.
  • Week 3 - Understanding and selling your solution
    • This week you’ll investigate how to think about the wider impact of your ideas, and produce a strong plan to show how your idea will work in the real world. You’ll consider how you can make a persuasive case for your solution. During the activities, you’ll explore how to estimate resources and measure success and make your own plan to solve a problem, and take part in a peer review exercise to get and give feedback on your work. You’ve nearly reached the end of the course, so the final steps will help you reflect on what you’ve learned.

Taught by

Kim Plowright


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