Industrial Short Courses

Strategies for Creative Problem Solving

by H. Scott Fogler and Steven E. LeBlanc



This course is for new professionals, practicing engineers, businesspersons, managers, and anyone wishing to increase his or her problem solving skills. In a course offered for employees of Dow Corning in Midland, Michigan, technicians as well as scientists and engineers with expertise ranging from a Bachelor of Science to PhD were in attendance. A similar course conducted in Bangkok, Thailand included geologists, bankers, social workers, chemical and petroleum engineers, and administrators from the Thailand Research Fund. A few comments regarding the short course from past participants include:
"Very good mix of theory and practical application ... was pertinent to everyday problem solving on and off the job"
"... Course was stimulating."
"... It is a start for us who know we have problems but don't know where to begin."

"Gets your thinking out of a rut!"

 

STRATEGIES FOR CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

 

 

It is known that every individual possesses creative skills of one type or another and that these skills can be much more productive if they are drawn upon and exercised regularly. A way of improving street smarts for problem solvers is to present strategies that will enhance problem-solving skills.

Course Objective

The objective of this course is to enable one to identify the real problems in an ill-defined situation, effectively explore that constraint space, plan a robust approach, carry it through to a viable solution and then evaluate what has been accomplished.

The skills to achieve these goals will be imparted by examining the components of a problem solving algorithm and by studying a series of graduated exercises to familiarize, reinforce, challenge and stretch the participant in the problem solving process.

The problem solving techniques that will be presented will provide an organized, logical approach to generating more creative solutions.

Who Should Attend

This course is for new professionals, practicing engineers, businessmen, and managers as well as anyone wishing to increase their problem solving skills.

Course Outline*

Day 1

8:30

–

9:15

Ill-Defined Problems

Characteristics of Good and Poor Problem Solvers

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

9:15

–

9:45

Worksheet 1 Individual Improvement from Pages 11 and 12

9:45

–

10:00

Risk Taking, Failure and Establishing a Creative Environment

10:00

–

10:15

Break

10:15

–

11:00

Video Tape 1 – Discovering the Future

11:00

–

11:15

Class Discussion on Risk Taking and Failure

11:15

–

11:45

The First 4 Steps in Problem Solving

11:45

–

12:15

Worksheet 2 – What Things Can You Do To Improve Risk Taking. Describe what you learned from a failure. Describe how you could establish a more creative environment.

12:15

–

13:00

Lunch

13:00

–

13:30

Defining the Problem

13:30

–

14:30

Exercise 1 – Defining the Problem

14:30

–

15:00

Presentations

15:00

–

15:15

Break

15:15

–

15:45

Conceptual Blocks

Goman’s Blockbusters

Improving Your Creative Abilities

Analogy

15:45

–

16:00

Worksheet 3 – Improving Your Creative Abilities

16:00

–

17:00

Brainstorming

Day 2

8:00

–

9:00

Exercise 2 – Brainstorming

9:00

–

9:30

Presentations of Brainstorming Exercise

9:30

–

9:45

Discussion of What to Do First

9:45

–

10:30

Exercise 3 –The Exxon Valdez

10:30

–

10:45

Presentations

10:45

–

11:15

Problem Identification

11:15

–

12:00

Exercise 4

12:00

–

12:45

Lunch

12:45

–

13:00

Presentations

13:00

–

13:30

Choosing Among Alternatives

13:30

–

14:30

Exercise 5

14:30

–

14:45

Presentations

14:45

–

15:00

Break

15:00

–

15:15

Planning

15:15

–

16:00

Exercise 6

16:00

–

16:30

Presentations

16:30

–

16:45

Closing Ceremony/Certificate Presentation

*The course can be taught in lengths of 1, 2, or 2 1/2 days to fit your needs.

 

For More Information Contact:

Professor H. Scott Fogler

Department of Chemical Engineering

The University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2136 USA

Phone: (734) 763-1361   FAX (734) 763-0459

E-mail: sfogler@umich.edu

 

Problem Solving Heuristic

The techniques of problem solving presented in this course are a compendium of a large selection of popular problem solving techniques. The need for an organized method of solving problems, the importance of approaching the problem with a positive attitude, the need for risk taking in the problem-solving process, an overview of the heuristic (i.e. systematic approach).

The Five Building Blocks of the Heuristic

 

Lecturer

H. Scott Fogler is the Vennema Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is the author of over 160 research publications and six books, one of the most recent, being "Strategies for Creative Problem Solving."

Professor Fogler, an experienced practitioner in problem solving, has been a consultant to the Chevron Oil Field Research Co. for over twenty five years.

Previous Course Offerings

May 7, 1993 Dow Corning, Midland, Michigan, USA
May 11, 1994 Dow Corning, Midland, Michigan, USA

November 8-9, 1994 AIChE,

San Francisco, California, USA
December 6-13, 1994 Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
June 12-15, 1995 UNOCAL, Bangkok, Thailand
June 18-21, 1995 UNOCAL, Bangkok, Thailand

August 10-11, 1995 University of Durban-Westville,

Durban, South Africa
November 7, 1995 Dow Corning, Midland, Michigan, USA
December 6-12, 1995 Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
December 14-15, 1995 Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
April 25, 1996 Dow Corning, Midland, Michigan, USA
May 20-24, 1996 UNOCAL, Bangkok, Thailand
October 7-9, 1996 UNOCAL, Balikpapan, Indonesia
October 9-11, 1996 UNOCAL, Balikpapan, Indonesia
June 17-18, 1997 Univ. of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa
June 23-24, 1997 University of Cape town Rondebosch, South Africa
October 27, 1997 Devry Institute of Technology Phoenix, Arizonia, USA
December 9-10, 1998 Nortel Networks, Santa Clara, California, USA
August 2-3, 2000 Pen Tech, Belville, South Africa

 

A Short Course on Problem Solving

Presented by H. Scott Fogler, Vennema Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

 

Techniques from the book Strategies for Creative Problem Solving by Fogler & LeBlanc