In the past year this book has been a go to. It’s not just a great collection of tools and techniques to unlock problem solving, but, puts them together in a holistic system with a mindset to help overcome those barriers… and to reach new levels of performance. Coming from Chris’ background in Higher Education this book is not only great for staff like me working in complex organisations Universities, but, for anyone looking to move their organisation on, starting from where they are.
This book is an excellent resource for introducing the problem-solving model and tools to employees at all levels of an organization. It helps readers address frequent barriers and risks that arise when attempting to solve workplace problems by providing clear but brief explanations on how to move through each phase of the problem-solving model. Each chapter provides tools, with examples, that can be utilized to solve problems of varying size and complexity. The books focus of “Do what you can from where you are” helps readers to feel empowered to initiate and tackle problems no matter their position in an organization.
I purchased Chris J. Shannon’s book, “Collaborative Problem Solving” for general knowledge and to help with development of a problem solving exercise for undergraduate engineering technology students. I was looking for a novel approach and Chris’s book surely offered aspects of problem solving that other books on the subject do not. Before jumping into the problem solving process, Chris introduces an overall problem solving module that can be used in any setting. He does a great job outlining the problem solving model and associated tools. A comprehensive list of tools appears at the end of the chapter.
Subsequent chapters outline problem solving behavior and perception of the problem. It is these chapters that I found most informative and useful for engineering technology students. “Problem Solving Behavior” sets the stage for initiating the proper, holistic approach to problem solving while the “Perceiving the Problem” chapter outlines the approach to truly identify and define a problem – these are often a failure points in any problems solving process. I found these chapters and entire book to be universally applicable to any setting: problems in manufacturing and/or problems in an office/service organization setting. The book content is supported with clear, realistic examples that any reader can understand and apply. I highly recommend Chris J. Shannon’s book for anyone seeking to adapt a comprehensive and robust approach to problem solving.
Bowling Green, USA
There are many problem-solving books and tools available. Packaging the tools in a way that a novice can identify when to use them and how to apply them in a collaborative environment is what makes a problem-solving book valuable. Chris Shannon shares a wide range of tools, provides examples to illustrate how they can be effectively used, and demonstrates a structure for process improvement efforts that explains the changes to leadership. He created a chart of the tools and how they relate to the phases of problem solving that I refer to when working an issue. A mix of tools pulled from Lean/Six Sigma methodology, illustrations of evidence-based data, and encouragement to be curious about opportunities makes this book a great hands-on reference for anybody who just learning or have been working on solutions to process issues. I now use this book as the primary reference in non-credit classes that I teach at the University.