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PUAD725 Management Decision Making Methods


This assignment is due at the end of Week 3.

problem solving process

Miller (2002) states that “problem solving is the grandfather of performance improvement” (p. 145). When you work through the process of problem solving you will find that you are prevented from coming up with conclusions or decisions that are erroneous or poorly defined.

Before you can define the problem at the organization you must analyze it using information drawn from the case. According to Miller (2002) data gathering consists of three parts:

  • Collecting
  • Displaying
  • Analyzing

In this assignment you must analyze the performance problem(s) of the organization in the case and its causes. As part of the this analysis you will have to apply tools for analyzing quantitative data and techniques for assessing root causes of a systemic organizational performance problem. This analysis should enable you to define the fundamental performance problem(s) at the organization, identify their root causes and develop potential strategies for improvement.

Figure 5.1 Problem-solving process Miller, 2002, p. 147


  1. Complete your required reading. Review the case. Watch the video Problem Solving Techniques #3: Cause and Effect Diagrams.
  1. Read the rubric.
  1. Collect data from the DMV Case Study.definition of analysis and synthesis
  1. Display the data. Use the organization’s data provided in the case and these instructions to create the following displays:
  1. Pareto chart of customer complaint types
  2. Run chart of weekly processing times
  3. Histogram of processing times
  4. Scatter plot of Processing Time and Time of Day
  1. Analyze the data in your displays. Write a paragraph explaining any key insights you gained from creating and analyzing the displays and diagrams.
  1. Use the information from the case and your data to identify the performance problem you consider to be the most important and the cause(s) of that problem.
  1. Create a cause-and-effect diagram (fishbone) showing what you consider to be the most important performance problem and the cause(s) that create that problem.
  1. Write a 2-3 page narrative of your analysis that includes:
  1. A description of the systemic performance problem(s) facing the organization
  2. An explanation of the root cause(s) of the most important performance problem and how each one contributes to the problem


  • You may want to include one of your diagrams/displays in your narrative. If you do, it can be no larger than ½ of one page.
  • Write your narrative from this perspective: Your boss has asked for a concise explanation of the problem and the causes in 3 pages or less.
  1. Attach a 4-5 page Appendix to your narrative that includes your four data displays and explanations, and the cause-and-effect diagram you created for the most important performance problem. Follow APA formatting and style guidelines for Appendices and figures.

Note: This narrative and analysis will become the third section of your report. (See the Begin Performance Improvement Report object for a full description of the report).

  1. Submit your paper to Turnitin and review the originality report. If your report states that more than 24% of your document is not original thought, rework your paper so that it is written in your own words. Make any other revisions necessary based on the originality report (e.g., include citations).
  1. Review the rubric to confirm that you have met or exceeded the requirements for this assignment. Copy and paste the rubric at the end of your document.

Please this are the require readings

  • Miller, K. (2010). We don’t make widgets: Overcoming the myths that keep government from radically improving. Government Management Series. Washington, D.C.: Governing Books.
    • Chapters 5, 6, and the Appendix

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