Thursday, May 21, 2020

SMU: Problem Solving Skills

Problem Solving Skills

Analysis pyramid

[Analysis ]
Do you think you are analytic
How do you define analysis
Breaking a problem down into its part to understand the whole

other tools -  decision trees, cause and effect etc 
(use every tool to its max combination and know its limitations)
timelines and chronologies
Tool 1 - group and sorting 
Find relationships (similarities and differences) to each data  
1. breaking a problem down 
most useful to your purpose
e.g shopping list - how do you group your list - 
consider all ways to group and sort - do not be bias on one method
the sequence you group and sort makes a difference
e.g. someone shred a lot of paper, how will you put the pages back together to understand its contents
text tables graphics papertype font handwriting different marks etc
2. group and sort from as many angles as possible
3.give thought on the sequence

[Structuring]  - give form and arrangement 
Tool 2 - timelines
case interview 
be conscious why and how you are coming up with conclusions
Am I looking for patterns
what else can I overlay the visual with so I can get more from this data -  eg timelines and stockprice
is it cause of effect
is it conclusive or suggestive
Look at the distance between points
Are the gaps telling me something 
Probe all assumptions 

[Synthesize] - to form by combining parts or elements to synthesize a statement
Opposite of Analysis
Synthesize - Final process where you bring it together and add value and prepare it for presentation
tool 3 : matrices and tables
how do you come up with that solutions?
taking data and visually representing them in a different way and make it easier to understand
corporate strategy - resource allocation x,y and size
tell people how to read the chart
job is to move resources around 
can I make the bubble bigger or make it smaller
can i remove or add the bubbles
we have look at the data 
essential here is all our business units risk and returns framework
grey shadow is the risk return relationship
more risk more returns
first we see D is under performing we are taking too much risk 
is it independent from others
or is it driving the effectiveness
but if its independent, i will suggest to move it to grey zone or to exit it altogether
C is moving quickly and low risk, i want to see how much funds we have that we can invest to move it faster
A provide us resources to fund our other units - to maintain it i suspect its a low growth business
* See the patterns *

Took 4 : Decision Trees
Are all branches independent to one another
piece out all the wants and desires then consider the options and work through the decisions
and then the outcomes
Attribute tree - weighted average, expected outcome - which decision is the expected outcome

brainstorming, consider all the options - divide up time*,hit a pause when you feel there is enough thought, switch gears, and go into converging with a set of criteria

Tool 5: Distributions
Take note of the events in the world
taking data from one form to another form to make it easier to understand
find out what else can you derive from it
can we draw a diagonal line, can i color code it etc

Combining problem solving tools
[ Time series info and events]
spot trends using historical data - link qualitative and quantitative data
identify cause and effect - identify gaps in information
[ Decision Analysis]
using different tools have different analysis
know its limitations
group and sort as many angles as possible
use 2 to 3 tools for 1 problem independently and see if you arrive at the same answer
Insurance - overpricing is riskier? nope. : insurance might not sell? area under curve is the area of loss 5%x potential loss.
underpricing is risker - people will buy alot but you will also not be able to cover. increase in exposure.

Examine how you apply it
Look for hidden insights through different tools
combining of tools is to give you a framework to show you the missing gaps
limitations for every tools - don't blindly apply
Find the alternatives

Visual Thinking - taking data and presenting it in a different way 
Can you improve how this info is presented
- Absorb information faster and more efficiently
- Retain and understand better
- Communicate information clearly

Chrome - google used comics to make technical subject easier to understand

Mapping the approach
Start top down then go bottom up

top down (objective driven)
Get the answer quick
Lay the frame work
Yes or No
How do you define Asia
How do you divide the work

bottom up (exploration driven)
Very comprehensive
What is the project and get the insights
Explore and highlight the points
Extract all the points and start organizing it

Situation complication question and answer ***
Do not assume the person knows about the case
Must set the context Ask the right leading questions *
(We are here to answer one key question)
Put it on the top of every slide deck to remind.

A relevant statement which you know the audience will agree with something he knows or accepts as
to set the stage and plant seed of a question later on
E.g  we love music a part of everyone life and will always be around and knows no boundaries

Focus on to tell what happen next in the story
E.g  However we haven't found the right recipe for portable digital music
E.g more competitors from coffee and non-coffee makers, growth market limited

How can we create the perfect solution
e.g. how can Starbucks continue to grow without endangering

We have a product that takes us there
e.g. so now our answer to this is ...

You need to know all its complications

How do you explain what a data base is to 5 year old
before you simplify it, think what it is to you

How many cups of coffee are sold in Singapore per year?
1. i am going to assume....
2. Ask first principle -  Define and structure the question first - ask the right questions
Coffeebean coffee characteristics and price point
Kopitiam coffee characteristics and price point
Which year are we talking about
3. take questions and give questions - what where should how
4. articulate objectives * can you restore the profitability of the company?
Are you going to be profitable?
they keep saying yes we can do this to double sales, but the key question is quantify it
what do you mean by profitability? Is there a specific number?
5. Operationalize - feasbility, timelines, milestones etc
which of these 5 , if you had to pick 2 , which will you focus on?
Cut cost, 2 phases, will need 6 months, will need consultant embeded.
Next one is to expand overseas, have 4 phases, will need 2 years, but will start seeing results in 1 year, need to lend me 4 managers
Go down to the details, be practical
6. Manage your real estate
I think the best way is to get the number of people in Singapore
break the population into 2 groups coffee and non-coffee
i will eliminate those who do not do either
separate them into behavior
low medium high
coffee drinking frequency
estimate number of coffee in one period of time
** Use paper for people to visualize what you want to verbalize**
Articulate what you want to say
Pause where its to be - when you shift gears
7. Strategy

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