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Applying Complex Problem-Solving Models in Organizational Change

   

Added on  2019-09-20

50 Pages11909 Words264 Views
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Subject: Applied problem solving in engineering workplaceTopic: Applied Problem solving in the workplaceNameDateSubmitted to1
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Applied Problem solving in the workplace2Table of ContentsIntroduction......................................................................................................................................3Description- AMEY Plc..................................................................................................................4Discussions......................................................................................................................................4Theme A- Approaches to problem solving..................................................................................4Activity 1a: Identifying complex problems.............................................................................4Activity 1b: Identifying complex problems in organization....................................................6Activity 2: Summarise your understanding of systems thinking.............................................7Activity 3: Summarise your ideas on the Model of problem solving......................................8Activity 4: Innovative and unusual models...........................................................................10Theme B.....................................................................................................................................12Activity 5: Choosing your problem.......................................................................................12Activity 6: Identifying the boundaries to the Problem..........................................................16Activity 7: Identification of a range of potential solutions....................................................18Activity 8: Identify the likely constraints..............................................................................20Activity 9: Evaluation of potential solutions.........................................................................22Theme C.....................................................................................................................................25Activity 10: Implementation process.....................................................................................25Activity 11: Risk Analysis and Management........................................................................27Activity 12: An Evaluation of the External Environment.....................................................36Activity 13: Producing a critical evaluation..........................................................................39Theme D....................................................................................................................................42Activity 14: Identifying values and their impact...................................................................42Activity 15: Ethical Issues.....................................................................................................44Activity 16: Applying ethical approaches.............................................................................46Theme E.....................................................................................................................................47Activity 17: Reviewing your thinking and decision-making strategies.................................47Activity 18: Reviewing the complex problem solving models and their application............49References......................................................................................................................................502
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Applied Problem solving in the workplace3IntroductionFor decades, various reports have been beneficial in validating the need for problem solving in the workplace. The problem solving have been defined as a critical thinking skills for the employees as per the SCANS Report “What Work Requires of Schools”. Managers, engineers and physicians are hired, rewarded and retained for their problem solving skills in the workplace.Especially in the case of engineering workplace where the employees are presented with a challenge of integrating their workplace real-world problems and issues with their curriculum studies. The engineers must stay abreast with the upcoming and new challenges along with their changing roles in the workplace. The understanding of problem solving in workplace along with educational and instructional strategies for utilizing problems is required. With the emergence of competitive market in the industry and various businesses, the necessity of creative problem-solving models has emerged with a requirement for creative processes in the workplace (Van Gundy, 1987; Rickards, 1990). Various firms and businesses are experiencing intense pressure for enhancing their products and systems so as to remain in the marketplace along with the competition. With the emergence of competition, strategic planning, building larger markets, team working etc., a need for new problem solving and related strategies has emerged. Another reason for adoption of problem-solving methods especially for complex problems is to discover efficient methods for solving the issues and problems. There are only limited number of tested manners for approaching the issues so as to reach the estimated outcome and employees and workplace must deal creatively with the problems by using various proposed problem-solving models. Various structured, formal and highly efficient approaches are used for ensuring that the employees serving in the organization are equipped with an aptitude towards problem-solving and implementation in an optimal manner while maintaining the ethical aspect of the organization. 3
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Applied Problem solving in the workplace4Description- AMEY PlcAmey Plc was found in 1921 and is considered to be the leading public services providers, supporting and managing vital public services and infrastructure across the United Kingdom. The company employs over 11,000 employees and works with private and public sector clients in defence, aviation, education, central government, rail, local government, strategic highway and helps these sectors to deliver services in an efficient and effective manner. Amey works withlocal authorities and aims to deliver highway infrastructure services to their clients which includes the Highways Agency, local authorities, Transport Scotland and Transport for London. Whole country is kept in track by Amey through whole-life asset and custom engineering management of the underground and over ground rail networks. Also a plethora of facilities management services to the private sector, agencies, government departments and estate and non-departmental bodies.DiscussionsTheme A- Approaches to problem solving Activity 1a: Identifying complex problemsThe value of a structurally controlled and efficient problem-solving is beneficial in organization for promoting discipline and increasing the success percentage for the organization. The complexproblems can easily be characterized when a single team or expert does not have the expertise and knowledge regarding its solution. The individuals have limited access to the information andrequire different area of expertise (Andreas Fischer, Samuel Greiff, and Joachim Funke, 2011). The various problems being faced by most of the organizations are listed below along with their characteristics: 1.Surviving in a changing economy and marketplace: This issue leads to continuous change in organization with repeated changing of tasks and missions so as to exist in the4
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Applied Problem solving in the workplace5competitive environment. The information takes time to be shared widely and for formulating the decisional alternatives. On deciding upon the change, implementation is seen to proceed at high speed.2.Emerging demands of the customers: With globalisation at its peak, the high demands of customers are emerging. Therefore, the companies are in a pressure of designing new services and products. There is a need to analyse the international cultures and markets along with better gathering and analysis of the information. 3.Change in organizational culture: With the change in organizational structure or culture the internal and external environment are impacted as it influences the effort level, working hours, uniform, religious observance, and discipline acceptance. The problem is seen to be at its highest level when the organization is located to other countryas it changes the concept of on group loyalty, employment security, intergroup competition, emphasis on seniority, and group decision making. The listed problems are complex in nature and can easily be characterised from the simple problems due to existence of multiple perspective from the employees and stakeholders, multipleactors for analysing the situation, accompanied by important intangibles and key uncertainties and also include people with conflicting interests as opposed to simple problems which do not require technical or expert support (Rosenhead and Mingers, 2001).5
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Applied Problem solving in the workplace6Activity 1b: Identifying complex problems in organization1.Implementation of new technology for increasing potential efficiency: The organization shifted to the paperless technology due to issues of various inefficiencies in the paper-based approaches like duplicative site visits, reporting inaccuracies, inflexibility in the allocation of the job etc. Therefore, Amey deployed a mobile working system for automating job allocation, standardising the process, safety checks, pre-work assessments and reporting to the government based highway contracts which led to confusion among the employees. Even in a simple technical issues, a familiarity with the technical difficulties was seen to yield dividends. 2.Lack of staff morale in a large organisation: Amey has, in past, conducted variousengagement initiatives for their employees which included self-nomination talent process,efforts towards retaining their people which led to reduction in loss of productivity hours,low training costs. However, the company has been facing these issues lately and agreesto the scope of improvement in employee engagement.3.Lack of communication among management: Communication has been posing an intense threat to Amey as more than 13,000 employees do not have any access to Amey email address or internet limiting the communication process of the company. This mightlead to ignoring of a large number of employees while decision-making process and discouragement amongst employee.These problems are highly complex as they require multiple frame of reference and an abstract reasoning. These are recurrent in nature and are well-structures with their resolutions being subjected to the stable rules (McWhinney). 6
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Applied Problem solving in the workplace7Activity 2: Summarise your understanding of systems thinking.System thinking has been defined as “a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns rather than static snapshots. It is a set of general principles spanning fields as diverse as physical and social sciences, engineering and management“. (Fifth Principles, 68-69). With the emergence of system thinking, various industries have adopted system engineering methods but the construction industry precisely has been facing difficulties to deal with various complex infrastructure projects involving system of systems and innovative technologies. In the construction industry, the engineers are considered as a functional expert andare provided with greater leadership responsibility for considering all the implications of the designs and are recognizing the need for system thinking. It has been seen that when the functional design is produced without any consideration, it leads to inferior results. Therefore, the construction industry and its engineer leaders need to build shared vision with personal mastery and mental models for realising the potential. In order to develop the company and to sustain the increasing competitiveness among the complex world, there is a need for Amey to leverage the engineering capabilities of their engineers and adopt to the following principles as an application towards system thinking:1.Revising, debating and defining the purpose;2.Thinking in a holistic manner;3.Following a systematic procedure;4.Being highly creative;5.Taking people into account6.Managing relationships and construction projects7
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Applied Problem solving in the workplace8A shared vision in construction projects will help in fostering commitment for long-term purpose. And system thinking will help in integrating all the factors for the success of the projectand make the subtle aspects to be understandable by the learning organization. This will help the employees and the companies to perceive themselves along with the competitive world. The problems being present in the company will be identified with the integration of shared vision, mind model, personal mastery and separate the industry from others.The conventional style of construction projects are complemented by the systems thinking in various manner. Initially it helps in analysis and synthesising for various issues being encountered in the while handling the construction projects. It will complement the reductionism by reducing the amount of work into individual sections, effect thinking, analysing and breaking down complex construction projects into simpler part, circular casual effects by explaining the environmental factors and their influence on the construction project and indeterminism where probabilistic thinking for the work is required. Finally systems thinking will be beneficial in setting up a framework for utilisation of various construction theories, techniques and tools in order to employ contingent perspectives and holistic construction practices.Activity 3: Summarise your ideas on the Model of problem solvingThis problem solving process, looks into account the McWhinney model of problem solving which refers to the identification and solving of problem by taking into account different views and perspective and how to react on various techniques, problem solving and practices. The model takes into account four phases namely, unitary, mythic, sensory and social. Unitary phase in any organisation mainly defines the framework, policies, principles, theories, design, assumptions, clarification etc. Mythic means the organisation vision, ideas, opportunities, dreams, metaphors etc. Sensory refers to action, behaviours, resource, experience etc of the employees and employers and social phase refers to values, feelings, purpose etc.Figure 1 Model of McWhinney8
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