Problem Analysis

Brain-storming, fish-boning, information-seeking and analytical thinking track down a production problem. Great value!

  • 3-24 (up to four teams of 3-6 per team)
  • 1 hour + debrief


In stock

  • to develop problem-solving strategies
  • to organise themselves and brainstorm ideas
  • to think logically and analytically (risk analysis)
  • to identify problems and critical information

The Activity

Rainbow Textiles has suspended production and losses are mounting. Can you trace the cause of the mysterious mark on many of the clothes - and save the business?

You have a full brief and details of the factory. A Databank managed by the facilitator holds all the relevant data about the factory, the staff, possible causes. Teams can only access it via written request. What should you ask for? As the data builds, you gain a clearer picture, but there are plenty of red herrings along the way! You’ll develop a problem-solving strategy; a step-by-step logic or brainstorming or both. Can you use your problem analysis skills to pinpoint the problem?

The exercise looks at the pros and cons of different strategies as well as examining the way groups organise themselves, resolve conflict, communicate and retrieve data. It highlights the need to obtain full details, think logically and to ask the right questions.

Trainer's Role

  • Introduce the activity.
  • Divide participants into teams and issue copies of the Briefing Sheet.
  • Set times when the Databank is open and accept up to 10 questions from each syndicate. Hand groups the appropriate Datacards that answer the questions asked.
  • Allow time for analysis and then take another round of questions, up to a maximum of three rounds.
  • Call upon each group to make a presentation – of the problem and how best it can be rectified.
  • Lead a discussion on how the teams worked and how they might have improved performance.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • Team Briefing Sheets
  • Sets of Datacards
  • Record Sheets
  • Data Index

An introduction to the whole subject of problem-solving

An excellent exercise. We use Problem Analysis on our supervisory development programme as an introduction to the whole subject of problem-solving and decision-making.

K. O'Connor, Hotel chain (name withheld)

It’s extremely useful in giving participants something practical rather than theoretical

We PA in the problem-solving session on a basic management programme for managers from different areas of the company.

D. Hutchinson, Kay & Co Ltd

A superb package

Problem Analysis is a superb package to promote and stimulate analytical thinking and risk analysis.

S. Thompson, The Stock Exchange

An excellent exercise

We used it with managers from Africa and the Middle East. It was extremely beneficial and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

S. O’Linn, Mile Laboratory UK Ltd