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AMOUNT OF TIME

START TIME

PLACE

WITH WHOM

FREQUENCY

30 minutes

11:00

Office

Co-workers

Weekly

90 minutes

11:30

Conference room

Boss

Twice a week

45 minutes

12:30

Restaurant

Management team

Alternate days

Step 4. Combining attributes:

  • 1.

    A 30-minute lunch beginning at 12:30 in the conference room with the boss once a week.

  • 2.

    A 90-minute lunch beginning at 11:30 in the conference room with co-workers twice a week.

  • 3.

    A 45-minute lunch beginning at 11:00 in the cafeteria with the management team every other day.

  • 4.

    A 30-minute lunch beginning at 12:00 alone in the office on alternate days.

Step 3. Alternative attributes:

Table 7

Morphological Synthesis

Step 1. Problem statement: The operator takes extended lunch breaks every day with friends in the cafeteria.

Step 2. Major attributes of the problem:

AMOUNT OF TIME

START TIME

PLACE

WITH WHOM

FREQUENCY

More than 1 hour

12 noon

Cafeteria

Friends

Daily

about

across

after

against

opposite

or

out

among

and

as

at

over

round

still

because

before

between

but

so

then

though

by

down

for

from

through

till

to

if

in

near

not

under

up

when

now

of

off

on

where

while

with

example, the following is a list of some relational

words:

To illustrate the use of this technique, suppose you are faced with the following problem: Our cus- tomers are dissatisfied with our service. The two major elements in this problem are customers and service. They are connected by the phrase are dissatisfied with. With the relational algorithm technique, the rela- tional words in the problem statement are removed and replaced with other relational words to see if new ideas for alternative solutions can be identified. Consider the following connections in which new rela- tional words are used:

Customers among service (e.g., customers interact with service personnel)

Customers as service (e.g., customers deliver service to other customers)

Customers and service (e.g., customers and ser- vice personnel work collaboratively together)

Customers for service (e.g., customer focus groups can help improve service)

Service near customers (e.g., change the loca- tion of the service to be nearer customers)

Service before customers (e.g., prepare person- alized service before the customer arrives)

Service through customers (e.g., use customers to provide additional service)

Service when customers (e.g., provide timely service when customers want it)

By connecting the two elements of the problem in different ways, new possibilities for problem solution can be formulated.

International Caveats

The perspective taken in this chapter has a clear bias toward Western culture. It focuses on analytical and creative problem solving as methods for addressing specific issues. Enhancing creativity has a specific

SOLVING PROBLEMS ANALYTICALLY AND CREATIVELY

CHAPTER 3

185

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