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kepner & Fourie
Kepner and Fourie® Thinking Works: Problem Solving & Decision Making in Collaboration
IT Root Cause Analysis
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Target audience
All IT professionals, management and staff concerning IT.

Course objective
IT Root Cause Analysis (ITRCA) provides employees with a universal method, language and standard to help them enjoy more efficient project management and execution. It attaches special importance to the application of the method in personal work, so that instant benefits will result in the following aspects:
● consensus with stakeholders on various issues
● more efficient project meetings
● more successful analysis and introduction of stakeholders
● effective guide to and influence on stakeholders
● more efficient solution of test failures and design problems
● smoother return to "the right track"
● Reduction of rework, shutdown and rollback
● higher output, lower cost

Course Duration

In such highly specialized departments as infrastructure, database, network, security and risk control, development and design, due to centralized management and technique specialization, the professional staff often lack a holistic cross-field view to solve problems effectively. In fact, when facing problems, CIO would consider the problems from a perspective which is different from that of IT staff who usually like to solve problems on their own. The root cause of some important problems are likely to go beyond IT field itself, but IT staff would not be aware of it, only trying every mean to solve technical problems. IT root cause analysis will help IT professionals to think about and solve problems from the perspective of CIO, in order to reduce pressure of daily work to CIO, and achieve the following objectives at three levels:
1, have an important service restored to acceptable level in the shortest possible time
2, acquire accurate information from appropriate information sources, and make use of the information to determine technical (direct) reasons of an event
3, determine the root cause of an event, and take effective improvement action
Therefore, IT professionals need a set of procedures and methods for processing and solving problems. This process will well integrate with their professional and technical process, and make natural supplement to their existing investigation and problem-solving skill. This method will reduce the average time of problem solving, save time in problem solving meetings, contain correct information resources, and eliminate the sense of frustration that would arise in the course of investigating and resolving cross - domain problems.

Training methodology
Group research, case study, solving problems from realistic workplace
After the successful completion of the course, participants can take an exam to obtain GCI (Global Certification Association) priSM ® and PMI (Project Management Institute) certification.

Course outline
This is a comprehensive modular training for skill building that is practice-oriented, which will enable the participants to develop skills of solving any problems effectively. Case study, and the learning concept of personalized problem-solving and “practice on realistic problems “ are applied throughout the entire training. Participants will learn the questioning techniques with proven effect to (1) collect accurate information, and they also will have the ability to (2) organize information and (3) assess information so as to identify the right solutions.

Part I The core issues in project management
Participants will learn and apply a proven effective method, so as to reach agreement on the core issues in problematic situation. These core issues make 20% of the issues concerned with any projects, but these issues caused 80% problems of the projects.
Priority Wise TM is a thinking approach that can make accurate and comprehensive assessment on the problematic status of a project, with the effect of finding out key issues and cope with them as priorities. Managing these core issues can guarantee that the project team will always solve the right problems, and ensure that the project be completed on time, and within budget.
The project team will know how to properly determine the stakeholders involved in the problematic situation.
The team will know what questions to ask themselves so as to clarify the truth of each sub problem.
Establish the right standards to evaluate problematic situation, which will make the basis of analysis.
● Determine core problems and their influence, prioritize them, and allocate resources to each important problem.
● Select proper problem solving methods to solve each problem.
● Make positive reaction, conduct effective communication, reach consensus and collaborate with every effort.
● Learn to integrate the above skills into the daily thinking by using the method in the course of "Think on Your Feet"
Typical results
Common and aligned understanding about problematic situation will result. Before any actions take place, all stakeholders concerned will be ensured to have full awareness and give their consent. This would build up the sense of high recognition and sense of mission on the basis of full agreement among all and every stakeholders with different perspectives.

Part II Root cause analysis
Participants will learn an analytic approach that is systematic and applicable. When problems solvers encounter project deviation, test failure, design problems and operation accidents, they will have the ability to determine the technical problems and fundamental problems concerned.
Cause Wise TM will enable participants to accurately define an accident/ problem, accurately and realistically collect, process and evaluate specific information of problems. This process is designed to quickly and accurately get a holistic view of the problems, and then get possible answers from experience and SME knowledge . Then one needs to check the answers by doing a paper test, in order to avoid error actions with risk.
What you will learn
● Use the learned guidelines to treat project failure of any kind
● Develop the ability of accurately assessing problems before having them solved
● how to accurately describe an accident or problem
● how to transform data into information, and then into knowledge, so as to have the consistent answers concluded faster and more easily
● how to verify all assumptions with data , and how to best identify the real reasons
Typical results
This method will help the problem solvers avoid panic and take rational actions when crisis happens. They will know with full confidence what problems to explore, and how to use the available information to find the most possible reasons. "Hasty reasoning " approach often leads to repeated actions of reviewing problems and exploring real reasons, while this method can reduce such practices, and avoid risky wrong actions.

Part III make a decision
Learn to find the optimal solution to the challenge of the project, even when it is find very difficult to get optimal solutions, problems are not clear, and seem difficult to solve.
Solution Wise TM is a thinking technique that successful problems solvers use. It is applied to analyze all the consisting elements in project decision: reason and purpose of the decisions, acknowledgment from all stakeholders that the decision-making would need. Based on careful analysis of these elements, the project team will be able to find the most efficient solutions.
What you will learn
● how to conduct stakeholder analysis in order to determine the correct methods, the levels and positions of decision makers
● How to engage others into the process, so as to win the recognition for the best solution.
● how to use the skills of divergent thinking and convergent thinking to specify the requirements for the key solutions to all stakeholders
● evaluate all alternative solutions systematically according to the key requirements, so as to prepare for the final solution.
● create a solution to meet all the requirements.
● how to evaluate the suggestions that go beyond your professional scope.
● how the create "integrated solutions" out of contradictory alternatives
● how no create a unique solution in the case of having no alternative methods
The decision making process
Training covers the three major decision making processes that would come into use in all decision making situation, i.e.:
1 how to make a professional decision - applicable in the situation when project teams need make decisions concerning suppliers, software and hardware.
2 how to create a solution - applied when project teams have alternatives, but need find a better answer.
3 Max4TM – needed when project encountered a rare situation, when there is no alternative, but project teams need find a solution with efficiency and originality.
Typical results
Problem solvers will be able to use a variety of techniques, facilitate the different opinions, preferences and biases of the company and its employees to make a complete and unified result, thereby reduce inefficient meetings and the sense of powerlessness. Impulsive decisions and decisions that could result in costly rework will be effectively reduced.

Part IV Risk aversion
Learn to use a unique process to predict potential problems before problems arise, and give prior treatment.
Risk WiseTM is a specialized process for future planning. It answers the question "if...... What might happen?" Participants will learn how to reduce the quantity of potential problems and their severity by evaluating the status quo and using the specific SME information as springboard for prior actions.
The theoretical background is that human beings can take relaxing actions without barriers, but have no capability to recognize "blind spots" or risk.
What you will learn
● how to find potential problems and vulnerable areas of a plan, reform, project or a decision to be made. Participants will learn how to use the KEPNERandFOURIE ® risk thermodynamic diagram TM to identify potential problems.
● How to assess the future threats and determine its severity and probability.
● how to decide on and make preventive actions to ensure the future success of ongoing activities.
● how to plan and implement continuous actions to protect a certain part of the plan.
● how to maximize the role of the risk list, how to identify and give detailed attention to the primary risk on the risk list that has devastating effect once it occurs .
Typical results
This dimension of thinking will become a habitual thinking technique, which will make all behaviors of problem solvers more forward-looking, so as to increase the success ratio of their projects.