Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

University of California, Irvine

Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

University of California, Irvine via Coursera


Problem-solving and effective decision-making are essential skills in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing workplace. Both require a systematic yet creative approach to address today’s business concerns. This course will teach an overarching process of how to identify problems to generate potential solutions and how to apply decision-making styles in order to implement and assess those solutions. Through this process, you will gain confidence in assessing problems accurately, selecting the appropriate decision-making approaches for the situation at hand, making team decisions, and measuring the success of the solution’s implementation. Using case studies and situations encountered by class members, you will explore proven, successful problem-solving and decision-making models and methods that can be readily transferred to workplace projects. Upon completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Identify key terms, styles, and approaches to effective problem-solving and decision-making 2. Explain both the affordances and limitations associated with problem-solving and decision-making 3. Reflect on how mindset and personal bias influence your ability to solve problems and make decisions 4. Explain and discuss how organizational decisions or non-decisions impact personal development, team dynamics, and company-wide performance 5. Articulate how both good and bad team decisions can benefit your professional growth


  • Identify the Problem
    • Problem-solving is an essential skill in today's fast-paced and ever-changing workplace. It requires a systematic approach that incorporates effective decision-making. Throughout this course, we will learn an overarching process of identifying problems to generate potential solutions, then apply decision-making styles in order to implement and assess those solutions. In this module, we will learn to identify problems by using a root cause approach as a foundational tool. Additionally, we will address problem parameters that often occur in business situations. Throughout this course, we will utilize a case scenario that will provide specific examples to illustrate the steps in the problem-solving and decision-making process.
  • Generate Solutions
    • In the previous module, we learned how to identify the root cause of a problem. Now we will discuss how mindset and personal bias can potentially limit creativity in solving workplace challenges. We’ll review problem-solving styles and creativity enhancement approaches to generate a variety of unique solutions while addressing constraints and limited resources.
  • Make the Decision
    • In the previous module, we learned how to generate a variety of creative solutions. Now we need to decide which solution is the best option. We will explore which decision-making styles lend themselves to best solve the problem given its affordances and limitations. Tips for making better decisions are outlined as well as hazards to avoid.
  • Implement and Assess the Solution
    • In the previous module, we learned how to make the decision given the best information at hand. Once the decision is made, it’s time to implement and assess the chosen solution. As we get ready to implement, we are well-served to review situational variables as elements in the environment may have shifted during the decision-making process. We will also need to define the solution’s performance metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in order to later measure or assess the solution’s impact on the organization. Anecdotal data is equally valuable as it can share the emotional impact on employees.

Taught by

Diane Spiegel


3.7 rating, based on 11 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 6669 ratings

Start your review of Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

  • It is a course about the methods for taking a decision and about the change management. It introduces analytical and quantitative ways of taking a decision.
  • Anonymous
    In a study of 260 cases of a disease and 260 controls, it is determined that the difference

    found with respect to a possible etiologic factor is not statistically significant. What will

    be your conclusion about this finding?

  • Asd
  • Profile image for Tam Obbes
    Tam Obbes
  • Sarah Pierce
  • Anonymous
  • Profile image for Franco Cevallos
    Franco Cevallos
  • Profile image for Ais Sparkle Ling
    Ais Sparkle Ling
  • Janusah

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.