Write a problem Statement with Root Cause. What is the “real” cause of the problem, not just the symptoms?

BUS101 Technology Innovation and Critical Thinking for Business Human Resource Management Module 1-4 Case and SLP

Case 1

write a 2-3 page paper reviewing your research on problem solving using the Internet.  In addition to the websites provided:

Mullen, Timothy.  2014. Trident University Writing Guide. Accessed on July 28, 2015 at https://mytlc.trident.edu/index.php

Advice on Academic Writing.  University of Toronto Library.  Accessed on July 29, 2015 at  http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice

Find and use at least two additional websites on problem solving to write your paper on:

  • How you found your references on problem solving and the key guidelines to identifying credible internet sources
  • Compare the two methods of problem solving that you found and comment on which you think is most useful to you
  • Report any issues you had conducting your research and/or formatting your document in Microsoft Word

Assignment Expectations

Format your paper using the following parameters:

  1. Center the title, your name, and date on a separate page. Use Times New Roman, 14 point)
    1. Bold the title only
  2. Set Left and Right margins at 1 inch
  3. Number the pages
  4. Insert a footer
  5. Introduction:
    1. Left justified
    2. Times New Roman, 12 point)
    3. Line spacing at 1 ½
  6. Middle Paragraphs
    1. Use bulleted list in one paragraph
    2. Insert a picture or chart
  7. Conclusion
    1. Right justified
    2. Times New Roman, 11 point
    3. Line spacing at single
  8. Complete a word count of the entire document and report it at the end of your document before the References section.
  9. Include a References section using the guidelines from the two Writing resources provided above. Include those sites as references in addition to the two sites you found on Problem Solving.


When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it?  In this SLP assignment you will apply a systematic approach to problem solving.  SLP 1 is divided into two (2) parts. In Part I, of the assignment, you will read three (3) articles that present variations on step-by-step problem solving strategies and then select one (1) of these strategies; you will engage in pre-writing to develop a solution to a problem scenario. In Part II of the assignment, you will present a synthesis of your ideas about solving the problem. As Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

Part I

Preparation and Pre-writing: Follow the steps below to explore a problem through reading and writing –

1.  Choose one (1) of the problem scenarios as a topic choice for your paper

Scenario 1: You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree; a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees. You know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.

Scenario 2: Your child comes home from school with an assignment sheet for a school project. He / she is very excited about the project and begins work immediately, doing research on the Internet and gathering materials. You read over the assignment sheet and notice that your child is not including all of the required items in the project, and you have some ideas for how to improve the quality of the presentation. You recently read an article in a parenting magazine about the importance of a child developing responsibility for his / her own learning. You recall the many ways in which your parents took over your school projects. You, on the other hand, want to encourage your child’s confidence in his / her ability to complete a project independently. The next day, you are at the grocery store when you see a parent of a student in your child’s class. That parent has spent over $30 in supplies for the science project and is taking a day off of work to put the pieces of the project together.

Scenario 3: You have two jobs—one during the week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and one on Saturday from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm. You are taking two classes—one that meets from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, and one class online. You have two kids—one who plays soccer, and one who is in band. You have two elderly parents who no longer drive. You have two siblings—one who lives two (2) miles away, and one who lives in another state. You have two (2) papers due in your classes the same week that one (1) of your children has a soccer tournament, and the other child has a band concert. You are coaching the soccer team, and you are in charge of fundraising for the band. You have a goal to complete your degree in two (2) years. Your doctor tells you that your blood pressure, your cholesterol, and your weight are too high and recommends several medications that cost you nearly $200 per month after your insurance co-pay.

Scenario 4: You are a sales representative for a company that encourages staff to log time in the field and away from the office. You are expected to begin and end your day at the office. You notice that each day when you arrive and return another co-worker is already there, and you wonder whether this person spends most of his / her time at the office. At your weekly sales meeting, you are informed of your co-workers’ outstanding sales performance. You suspect that this co-worker is spending more time flattering the boss instead of working leads in the field, and as a result is getting the best client referrals. Your own sales numbers have steadily decreased since this other sales representative was hired.

2.   Read the following articles:

3.  Select one (1) of the step-by-step problem solving strategies outlined in one (1) of the articles. Using the chosen problem solving strategy as a model, brainstorm ideas for each of the steps to develop a solution to the problem scenario you chose.

Part II Synthesizing and Writing: Now that you have developed a solution to the problem by pre-writing about your ideas –

Write a paper in which you:

  1. Analyze the problem scenario that you have chosen, and organize your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem solving strategy.
  2. Apply each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.
  3. Suggest alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.
  4. Speculate on whether or not the same problem-solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.

The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:

  • Write at least one paragraph for each of 1-4 above using complete sentences.
  • Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
  • Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.
  • After you have reread and edited your paragraphs, add an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.
  • Your introductory paragraph should begin with a broad sentence such as “There are many approaches to solving any problems…” or “When faced with a problem I find…”  Then continue with more specific information about what you will discuss in your paper.
  • Your concluding paragraph should summarize your problem solving approach and reflect on the things you have learned from the assignment.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA Style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.


Develop a short PowerPoint presentation to illustrate your understanding of the creative process. Highlight your own creativity as you develop the following slides:

Slide 1: Include images and words in a collage that illustrates your first impressions when you see or hear the word “creativity.”

Slide 2: Include images and words in a collage that illustrates your first impressions when you see or hear the word “Problem Solving.”

Slides 3 & 4: The process for developing innovative ideas is often referred to as the design process, or the engineering design process. The article, “Decisions by Design,” was written by two designers at IDEO, an influential design firm. “Decisions by Design” describes how the process of engineering design can be viewed as a process for decision-making.  After reading this article, consider how design facilitates decision making. Based on your observations, what are some steps in the design process? How are these steps helpful in decision making?  Organize your answers to these questions in at least 2 slides using bullet points.  Include images wherever you would like to illustrate your own personal creativity.

Assignment Expectations

Develop at least 4 PowerPoint slides using the instructions above. Include a title on each slide and descriptive text in the notes section of each slide. Upload as a PowerPoint file



Define these terms in a PowerPoint presentation. Use your creativity to illustrate each term.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Your PowerPoint presentation should be a minimum of 10 slides. Include a Title and References Cited slide. Your references slide should list the bibliographical information for each image you use to illustrate the required terms. Each slide must contain:

  • At least one image per term
  • Text defining the term (abbreviated definitions are allowed and recommended)
  • References cited next to each image
  • Full definition in each Notes Section
Case 3

For this Case assignment, you will apply basic Excel functions use as a tool (spreadsheet) to store, analyze and manipulate data. Use the spreadsheet and the linked Excel Tutorial Video provided to learn the steps required for each part of the Case assignment. Use the optional readings in your Background page to locate additional Excel help and tutorials.

Case Assignment

Manipulate the data in this sample order spreadsheet to answer the following questions:

  1. Sort your spreadsheet and then calculate each region’s order totals using Excel sort and “sum” functions. Which region’s order generated the highest dollar amount?  What percent of total sales does this region represent?
  2. Sort your spreadsheet and then calculate each region’s order totals using Excel sort and “sum” functions. Which rep generated the highest sales?
  3. Create a bar chart or a pie graph to illustrate both of these trends.

Save each sort and submit it as a worksheet in your Excel workbook. Label each worksheet.

Assignment Expectations

Save and submit your work on the sample spreadsheet as an Excel Workbook to show your sorting and totaling results as individual worksheets. For example, Worksheet 1 should be titled “Region;” Worksheet 2 should be titled “Rep;” and Worksheet 3, “Graphs.”



The initial phase of Creative Problem Solving is often referred to as Problem Scoping. This process establishes clear requirements for creating a viable final solution. It often is initiated by the identification of a need or issue. This part of the problem solving process focuses on the issue/need by gathering and analyzing information. In other words, you will clearly define what needs to be done prior to creating an effective solution.

This SLP will help you practice your problem scoping skills by completing a clear, focused Problem Scoping Document. This will provide a clear problem definition and target for solution development.

Problem Scoping Assignment Instructions:

As you complete problem scoping phase, your proposed document will include the following information:

  • Develop a Problem Statement.
  • Determine any potential constraints,
  • Determine the criteria
  • Identify the stakeholders
  • Develop a procedure for gathering data prior to decision making.

Be sure to thoroughly complete and submit the Problem Scoping Document.


  1. Select a problem from either: Performance Management or Compensation Case
  2. Determine what questions you would ask yourself:
    1. Scope of the problem – Part of the Problem Statement.
    2. When and where the problem occurs – Part of the Problem Statement.
    3. Impact – Part of the Problem Statement.
    4. Identify two criteria related to the problem statement that you created.
    5. Who is directly involved with the problem? Stakeholders?
  3. Determine how you would gather data.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Address each step above in the Problem Scoping word document template.


Case 4

Case studies enhance learning by engaging students in active learning to promote deeper understanding and improve retention. This method will give you the opportunity to apply theory to real world events. This assignment will build on the problem solving process, by showing you another method to make decisions.

Case Assignment

Use your Problem Scoping document from Case 3 to more fully develop your solution to the problem you chose.  This will be your Case Study.  You will address the case study and use the problem solving and decision making model provided below to solve the problem you addressed in Case 3. Here you will identify the problem, root causes, develop alternatives, evaluate alternatives and select a solution.

Problem Scoping Assignment Instructions:

Read the Case Study Approach for information on how to effectively complete a Case Study. The next step is to read the Case Study provided.

Your final case study submission should include the following steps:

  1. Define the Problem.  What is happening?
  2. Write a problem Statement with Root Cause.  What is the “real” cause of the problem, not just the symptoms?
  3. Select and define criteria.  Illustrate in a decision table.
  4. Develop three Alternative Solutions and use them to complete your decision table.  Remember to refer to page 6 to complete the Ideation process necessary to creatively develop these alternative solutions.
  5. Select the Best Alternative by applying the criteria.
  6. Create an Implementation Plan.
  7. Develop an evaluation plan.  How will you know that it worked?

Assignment Expectations

This assignment need to be completed in paragraph format using full sentences.  Insert the decision table you made into your word document. Use this linked tutorial demonstrating techniques to Insert Tables into Word Documents.



Review the Problem Solving skills you have learned in SLP assignments 1-4.  Using your creativity, develop a Powerpoint presentation that illustrates what you have learned from each Problem Solving approach.  On your final slide, include your reaction to your results from the Decision Making Style Quiz results from Page 5 of the Case Study Packet.

SLP Assignment Expectations

Your Powerpoint presentation should include a minimum of 5 slides and a reference slide.  Insert text summarizing each slide into the Notes section.  This is the text that you will record for your Discussion post.  Be sure to edit the text in your Notes sections so that you say it in 30 seconds or less.  You do not need to include text in the notes section of your reference slide.

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