Strategies for Creative Problem Solving

Strategies for Creative Problem Solving

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A Systematic, Proven Approach to Problem Solving-Now Fully Updated with New Examples and Interactive Resources



Strategies for Creative Problem Solving, Second Edition, will help you sharpen your "street smarts" and leverage your creative skills to find better solutions for virtually any technical problem. Drawing on advanced, National Science Foundation-funded research, it introduces a start-to-finish problem-solving framework that integrates proven strategies from today's most effective technical organizations. Using its hands-on techniques and exercises, you'll learn how to gather data, systematically identify problems, generate superior alternatives, choose and implement the best solution, evaluate what you learn, and use that knowledge to create even better outcomes.



The first edition of Strategies for Creative Problem Solving won the prestigious American Society for Engineering Education Meriam/Wiley Distinguished Author Award. This new edition has been systematically updated and revised, offering even greater value to every engineer, technical practitioner, and student. Among its many improvements:



Dozens of new examples, plus two detailed real-world case studies
Better, more coherent organization, reflecting feedback from thousands of students and professionals
New coverage of team-based problem solving, including conflict resolution
More coverage of critical thinking, including the use of the Socratic method
An introduction to the powerful TRIZ technique for resolving contradictions
Proven troubleshooting algorithms for identifying root causes of equipment and process problems

All-New CD-ROM and Web Site



The CD-ROM and Web site contain numerous enrichment opportunities for both students and instructors including



Interactive Computer Modules: Seven simulations, which are linked to the book's content and are designed to deepen your expertise with every stage of the problem-solving process.
Summary Notes: Chapter-specific material that highlights important points in each chapter-excellent for classroom presentations and concept review.
Learning Resources: Thoughts on problem solving; closed-ended and open-ended problem-solving heuristics.
Professional Reference Shelf: Additional examples and problem-solving material.
Additional Study Materials: Course syllabi and Web links to related material.
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Product details

  • Mixed media product | 320 pages
  • 177.8 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 476.27g
  • Prentice Hall
  • Upper Saddle River, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • Illustrations, map
  • 0130082791
  • 9780130082794
  • 1,263,869

Back cover copy

A Systematic, Proven Approach to Problem Solving-Now Fully Updated with New Examples and Interactive Resources "Strategies for Creative Problem Solving, Second Edition, " will help you sharpen your "street smarts" and leverage your creative skills to find better solutions for virtually any technical problem. Drawing on advanced, National Science Foundation-funded research, it introduces a start-to-finish problem-solving framework that integrates proven strategies from today's most effective technical organizations. Using its hands-on techniques and exercises, you'll learn how to gather data, systematically identify problems, generate superior alternatives, choose and implement the best solution, evaluate what you learn, and use that knowledge to create even better outcomes. The first edition of "Strategies for Creative Problem Solving "won the prestigious American Society for Engineering Education Meriam/Wiley Distinguished Author Award. This new edition has been systematically updated and revised, offering even greater value to every engineer, technical practitioner, and student. Among its many improvements: Dozens of new examples, plus two detailed real-world case studies Better, more coherent organization, reflecting feedback from thousands of students and professionals New coverage of team-based problem solving, including conflict resolution More coverage of critical thinking, including the use of the Socratic method An introduction to the powerful TRIZ technique for resolving contradictions Proven troubleshooting algorithms for identifying root causes of equipment and process problems All-New CD-ROM and Web Site The CD-ROM and Web site contain numerous enrichment opportunities for both students and instructors including Interactive Computer Modules: Seven simulations, which are linked to the book's content and are designed to deepen your expertise with every stage of the problem-solving process. Summary Notes: Chapter-specific material that highlights important points in each chapter-excellent for classroom presentations and concept review. Learning Resources: Thoughts on problem solving; closed-ended and open-ended problem-solving heuristics. Professional Reference Shelf: Additional examples and problem-solving material. Additional Study Materials: Course syllabi and Web links to related material.
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Table of contents

Preface xi



Chapter 1: Problem-Solving Strategies: Why Bother? 1



What's the Real Problem? 1

Correct Problem Definition/Wrong Solution 6

A Heuristic for Successful Problem Solving 9

Summary 11

CD-ROM Material 11

References 13

Exercises 14

Further Reading 14



Chapter 2: The Characteristics, Attitudes, and Environment Necessary for Effective Problem Solving 15



Getting in the Right Frame of Mind 15

Having a Vision 23

Working Together in Teams 25

Conflict Resolution 31

Team Decisions 33

Summary 34

CD-ROM Material 35

References 35

Exercises 36

Further Reading 39



Chapter 3: Gathering Information on the Problem 41



The First Four Steps 41

Summary 49

CD-ROM Material 49

References 49

Exercises 49



Chapter 4: Problem Definition 51



Defining the Real Problem: Four Techniques 51

Technique 1: Finding Out Where the Problem Came From 52

Technique 2: Using the Present State/Desired State and the Duncker Diagram to Define the Real Problem 58

Technique 3: Using the Statement-Restatement Technique 63

Technique 4: Kepner-Tregoe Problem Analysis 68

Which Technique to Choose? 72

Determine Whether the Problem Should Be Solved 74

Brainstorm Potential Causes and Solution Alternatives 75

Summary 76

CD-ROM Material 76

References 78

Exercises 78

Further Reading 88

Appendix: Questions for a Socratic Dialog 89



Chapter 5: Breaking Down the Barriers to Generating Ideas 93



Recognizing Mental Blocks 94

Blockbusting 99

Improving Your Creative Abilities 100

Risk Taking 104

Summary 110

CD-ROM Material 110

References 111

Exercises 111

Further Reading 114



Chapter 6: Generating Solutions 115



Brainstorming 115

Free Association 116

Vertical Thinking 118

Lateral Thinking 120

Futuring 122

Organizing Brainstorming Ideas: The Fishbone Diagram 124

Brainwriting 126

Analogy and Cross-Fertilization 127

Incubating Ideas 130

TRIZ 131

Summary 138

CD-ROM Material 138

References 140

Exercises 140

Further Reading 143



Chapter 7: Deciding the Course of Action 145



K.T. Situation Appraisal 146

K.T. Problem Analysis 151

K.T. Decision Analysis 151

Adverse Consequences of the Alternative Solutions 155

K.T. Potential Problem Analysis 163

Summary 168

CD-ROM Material 169

References 170

Exercises 170

Further Reading 178



Chapter 8: Implementing the Solution 179



Approval 179

Planning 180

Carry Through 185

Follow Up 187

Experimental Projects 187

Summary 194

CD-ROM Material 195

References 195

Exercises 196

Further Reading 198



Chapter 9: Evaluation 199



General Guidelines 199

Ethical Considerations 203

Safety Considerations 209

Summary 210

CD-ROM Material 210

References 211

Exercises 211

Further Reading 219



Chapter 10: Troubleshooting 221



Some General Guidelines 221

Early Morning Shivers: An Example of Troubleshooting 226

Technical Troubleshooting Exercise 230

Interactive Computing Module on Troubleshooting 237

Troubleshooting Laboratory Equipment 239

Summary 240

CD-ROM Material 240

References 240

Exercises 241



Chapter 11: Putting It All Together 245



Case Study 1: Generating Sustainable Power for an

Case Study 2: Problems at the Bakery Cafe 256

Summary 270

CD-ROM Material 271

Instructor's Manual 271

References 271

Exercises 271



Appendix 1: McMaster's Five-Point Strategy 273



Appendix 2: Plotting Data 275



Index 293

About the Authors 301
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About Steven E Leblanc

H. Scott Fogler is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Vennema Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research interests include flow and reaction in porous media, fused chemical relations, gellation kinetics, and chemical reaction engineering problems in the petroleum industry. He has graduated 37 Ph.D. students and has more than 200 refereed publications in these areas. Fogler is the AIChE 2008 President-elect. He has chaired ASEE's Chemical Engineering Division, served as director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, earned the Warren K. Lewis Award from AIChE for contributions to chemical engineering education, and received the Chemical Manufacturers Association's National Catalyst Award. He is the author of the classic Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering, Fourth Edition (Prentice Hall, 2006).



Steven E. LeBlanc is Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Toledo. He chaired the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department for ten years, chaired the ASEE Chemical Engineering Education Division, and co-chaired the 2007 ASEE Chemical Engineering Summer School for Faculty.
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