Campanile accompanies global teams and leaders to their next level of intercultural leadership excellence.
Many organizations have invested time, energy and money in corporate learning, and now they are looking for the next step. Supervisors are too busy to keep the team accountable for using news skills. Specialists struggle to see the connection between training and daily problem-solving. HR or Corporate Learning departments are often caught in the middle.
Problem Solving Teams
Problem Solving Teams is a programme that brings key line managers together to solve real-time project problems with the help of a facilitator. It is the missing link between learning and doing.
What does a typical programme look like?
This programme brings teams together to find and implement solutions to real project-related problems. We start by listening to the client's description of their business, the objectives and performance requirements facing the teams in question, their achievements and challenges. Before we set the specific goals for the programme, we conduct individual assessment using personality or behavioural tools, chosen either by the client or by Campanile. Finally, we choose the team(s) participating in the programme and set clear goals for the subsequent problem solving sessions.
Problem Solving Teams consists of a workshop, or a series of workshops, where an existing team, such as management team or project team, finds solutions to specific work-related problems and creates an implementation plan. Problems can range from the technical to HR or leadership-related ones. A 4-step problem-solving process guides teams through defining and brainstorming the problem, agreeing on a solution and an implementation plan. Each activity builds on the results of the previous one, and can be adjusted accordingly.
Without proper follow-up, the implementation plan that resulted from workshops becomes a distant memory after six months. We know how busy people are, and therefore we design our projects realistically. From simple reminders to refresher workshops, we offer a dozen ways to turn a single programme into effective and sustainable problem solving. We also work together with our clients to ensure that levels, units and teams within the company support each other's improvement.
The Problem Solving Teams Method
Learn how to:
A detailed analysis of strategy and specific goals
A comprehensive problem-solving methodology of 4 phases
The selection and analysis of problems at current projects
Guidance and feedback from the facilitator to apply PST to the problem
Action points for strategy, processes, client relations and teamwork
Following up on decisions at real project work
Evaluating progress and making improvements at following sessions
Participants share the process with their teams afterwards
What makes Problem Solving Teams effective?
Participants are selected from different teams, levels or even companies.
All d ecisions are made in teams , improving teamwork.
Participants receive feedback on their methods from a skilled facilitator.
The programme solves existing problems using new methods .
We work together with the client to define the outcome of the programme
We customise the content of the programme to industry and culture
Participants solve current problems related to sales, production, HR , etc.
We share the experience of previous programmes with participants
The programme follows the reality of company strategy and resources
Our philosophy at Campanile is never to deliver the same programme twice. For customized solutions tailored to your industry and specific needs, contact us .
Previous problem solving workshops
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Top 15 Problem-Solving Activities for Your Team to Master
By Brianna Hansen , May 27, 2022 - 10 min read
Some people see problems as roadblocks, others see them as opportunities! Problem-solving activities are a great way to get to know how members of your team work, both individually and together. It’s important to teach your team strategies to help them quickly overcome obstacles in the way of achieving project goals.
In this article, you’ll explore 15 problem-solving activities designed to enhance collaboration and creativity. Additionally, if you want to discuss the insights and outcomes with your team after the activities, you can use Wrike’s actionable meeting notes template. This template allows you to record meeting discussions, assign action items, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The importance of problem-solving skills in today’s workplace
According to a 2019 report by McKinsey , soft skills are increasingly important in today's world — and problem-solving is the top area in which skills are lacking. A company or team’s success weighs heavily on the willingness of managers to help employees improve their problem-solving abilities. Team building activities targeting focus areas like communication and collaboration, adaptability, or strengthening decision-making techniques help.
All problem-solving processes start with identifying the problem. Next, the team must assess potential courses of action and choose the best way to tackle the problem. This requires a deep understanding of your team and its core strengths. A problem-solving exercise or game helps identify those strengths and builds problem-solving skills and strategies while having fun with your team.
Problem-solving games aren't for just any team. Participants must have an open mind and accept all ideas and solutions . They must also have an Agile mindset and embrace different structures, planning, and processes. Problems usually arise when we least expect them, so there's no better way to prepare than to encourage agility and flexibility.
Another aspect to keep in mind when engaging in problem-solving games and activities: There are no winners or losers. Sure, some games might end with a single winner, but the true goal of these exercises is to learn how to work together as a team to develop an Agile mindset. The winning team of each game should share their strategies and thought processes at the end of the exercise to help everyone learn.
Here’s a list of fun problem-solving activity examples to try with your team. From blindfolds to raw eggs, these problem-solving, team-building activities will have your team solving problems faster than Scooby and the gang.
Classic team-building, problem-solving activities
1. a shrinking vessel.
Helps with: Adaptability
Why adaptability is important for problem-solving: Adaptability is highly associated with cognitive diversity, which helps teams solve problems faster , according to the Harvard Business Review. Innovation and disruption are happening faster than ever before . People, teams, and organizations that can adapt will come out on top.
What you’ll need:
- A rope or string
1. Using the rope, make a shape on the floor everyone can fit into.
2. Slowly shrink the space over 10-15 minutes.
3. Work together to figure out how to keep everyone within the shrinking boundaries.
2. Marshmallow Spaghetti Tower
Helps with: Collaboration
Why collaboration is important for problem-solving: “Collectively, we can be more insightful, more intelligent than we can possibly be individually,” writes Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline . We can solve problems better as a team than we can alone, which means developing your team’s collaboration skills will lead to better problem-solving outcomes.
What you’ll need (per team):
- 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti
- 1 roll of masking tape
- 1 yard of string
- 1 marshmallow
1. The goal of this exercise is to see which team can use the materials provided to build the tallest tower within an allotted time period. The tower must be able to stand on its own.
2. To make this exercise more challenging, try adding a marshmallow to the top of the tower. This team problem-solving exercise helps people think on their toes while building camaraderie and leadership.
3. Egg Drop
Helps with: Collaboration, decision-making
Why decision-making is important for problem-solving: Making decisions isn’t easy , but indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Decision-making activities help your team practice making quick, effective choices. Train your team’s decision-making muscles and they will become more adept at problem-solving.
- A carton of eggs
- Basic construction materials such as newspapers, straws, tape, plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, etc., tarp, or drop cloth
- A parking lot, or some other place you don’t mind getting messy!
1. Each team gets an egg and must select from the construction materials.
2. Give everyone 20-30 minutes to construct a carrier for the egg and protect it from breaking.
3. Drop each egg carrier off a ledge (i.e. over a balcony) and see whose carrier protects the egg from breaking.
4. If multiple eggs survive, keep increasing the height until only one egg is left.
Helps with: Communication, decision-making
Why communication is important for problem-solving: More employees work remotely than ever before. Good communication skills are vital to solving problems across virtual teams . Working on communication skills while your team is together will help them solve problems more effectively when they’re apart.
Here's the setting: Your team has been stranded in the office. The doors are locked, and knocking down the doors or breaking the windows is not an option. Give your team 30 minutes to decide on ten items in the office they need for survival and rank them in order of importance. The goal of the game is to have everyone agree on the ten items and their rankings in 30 minutes.
Creative problem-solving activities
Helps with: Communication
What you'll need:
1. Divide everyone into small teams of two or more.
2. Select an overseer who isn't on a team to build a random structure using Lego building blocks within ten minutes.
3. The other teams must replicate the structure exactly (including size and color) within 15 minutes. However, only one member from each group may look at the original structure. They must figure out how to communicate the size, color, and shape of the original structure to their team.
4. If this is too easy, add a rule that the member who can see the original structure can't touch the new structure.
- A lockable room
- 5-10 puzzles or clues (depending on how much time you want to spend on the game)
1. The goal of this exercise is to solve the clues, find the key, and escape a locked room within the time allotted.
2. Hide the key and a list of clues around the room.
3. Gather the team into the empty room and "lock" the door.
4. Give them 30 minutes to an hour to find the key using the clues hidden around the room.
Helps with: Decision-making, adaptability
- A blindfold
- 1 packet of construction materials (such as card stock, toothpicks, rubber bands, and sticky notes) for each team
- An electric fan
Instructions: Your employees are Arctic explorers adventuring across an icy tundra! Separate them into teams of four or five and have them select a leader to guide their exploration. Each team must build a shelter from the materials provided before the storm hits in 30 minutes. However, both the team leader’s hands have frostbite, so they can’t physically help construct the shelter, and the rest of the team has snow blindness and is unable to see. When the 30 minutes is up, turn on the fan and see which shelter can withstand the high winds of the storm.
- An empty room or hallway
- A collection of common office items
1. Place the items (boxes, chairs, water bottles, bags, etc.) around the room so there's no clear path from one end of the room to the other.
2. Divide your team into pairs and blindfold one person on the team.
3. The other must verbally guide that person from one end of the room to the other, avoiding the "mines."
4. The partner who is not blindfolded can't touch the other.
5. If you want to make the activity more challenging, have all the pairs go simultaneously so teams must find ways to strategically communicate with each other.
9. Blind Formations
1. Have the group put on blindfolds and form a large circle.
2. Tie two ends of a rope together and lay it in a circle in the middle of the group, close enough so each person can reach down and touch it.
3. Instruct the group to communicate to create a shape with the rope — a square, triangle, rectangle, etc.
4. If you have a very large group, divide them into teams and provide a rope for each team. Let them compete to see who forms a particular shape quickest.
Quick and easy problem-solving activities
10. line up blind.
1. Blindfold everyone and whisper a number to each person, beginning with one.
2. Tell them to line up in numerical order without talking.
3. Instead of giving them a number, you could also have them line up numerically by height, age, birthday, etc.
11. Reverse Pyramid
Helps with: Adaptability, collaboration
1. Have everyone stand in a pyramid shape, horizontally.
2. Ask them to flip the base and the apex of the pyramid moving only three people.
3. This quick exercise works best when smaller groups compete to see who can reverse the pyramid the fastest.
12. Move It!
- Chalk, rope, tape, or paper (something to mark a space)
1. Divide your group into two teams and line them up front to back, facing each other.
2. Using the chalk, tape, rope, or paper (depending on the playing surface), mark a square space for each person to stand on. Leave one extra empty space between the two facing rows.
3. The goal is for the two facing lines of players to switch places.
4. Place these restrictions on movement:
- Only one person may move at a time.
- A person may not move around anyone facing the same direction.
- No one may not move backward.
- A person may not move around more than one person on the other team at a time.
13. Human Knot
1. Have everyone stand in a circle, and ask each person to hold hands with two people who aren’t directly next to them.
2. When everyone is tangled together, ask them to untangle the knot and form a perfect circle — without letting go of anyone's hand.
Our last two problem-solving activities work best when dealing with an actual problem:
14. Dumbest Idea First
Helps with: Instant problem-solving
1. "Dumb" ideas are sometimes the best ideas. Ask everyone to think of the absolute dumbest possible solution to the problem at hand.
2. After you have a long list, look through it and see which ones might not be as dumb as you think.
3. Brainstorm your solutions in Wrike. It's free and everyone can start collaborating instantly!
15. What Would X Do
1. Have everyone pretend they're someone famous.
2. Each person must approach the problem as if they were their chosen famous person. What options would they consider? How would they handle it?
3. This allows everyone to consider solutions they might not have thought of originally.
Looking for more team-building and virtual meeting games? Check out these virtual icebreaker games or our Ultimate Guide to Team Building Activities that Don't Suck.
Additional resources on problem-solving activities
- Problem-Solving Model : Looking for a model to provide a problem-solving structure? This detailed guide gives you the tools to quickly solve any problem.
- The Simplex Process: Popularized by Min Basadur's book, The Power of Innovation , the Simplex Process provides training and techniques for each problem-solving stage. It helps frame problem-solving as a continuous cycle, rather than a “one and done” process.
- Fun Problem-Solving Activities and Games : Looking for more ideas? Check out this list of interesting and creative problem-solving activities for adults and kids!
- The Secret to Better Problem-Solving: This article provides tips, use cases, and fresh examples to help you become a whiz at solving the toughest problems.
How to organize problem-solving activities with Wrike
If you want to make problem-solving activities more effective, consider using team collaboration software such as Wrike.
Wrike’s pre-built actionable meeting notes template helps you keep track of meeting discussions, assign action items, and keep everyone in the loop. It’s an effective tool to streamline your problem-solving sessions and turn insights into real projects.
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15 Problem-Solving Strategies for Projects and Teams
In project management and team collaboration, problem-solving is the process of identifying and resolving issues that arise during a project. It is a crucial skill that helps fix broken processes, improve performance, and identify opportunities. Problem-solving enables project managers and team leaders to overcome challenges and achieve success.
In this blog article, we will explore 15 problem-solving strategies that can revolutionize your approach and help you achieve success. From effective communication techniques to fostering collaboration, these strategies are designed to tackle the most common obstacles encountered in project management. Get ready to unlock the potential of your projects and teams with these tried-and-tested problem-solving strategies!
The 5 Whys Analysis
This problem-solving technique aims to uncover a problem's underlying cause by repeatedly asking the question, "Why?". The goal is to dig deep and identify the root cause rather than addressing surface-level symptoms. By asking "Why?" five times or more, depending on the complexity of the problem, you and your team members can gain valuable insights into the chain of events or processes that led to the issue. This method helps expose weaknesses, improve processes, and achieve project goals.
SWOT Analysis in Project Management
A SWOT analysis is a valuable tool in project management that helps identify and evaluate the internal pros and cons, weaknesses and strengths, and the external impacts that can threaten your project. By examining these factors, project managers can better understand the project's current state and potential risks.
SWOT analysis provides insights that help decision-making, resource allocation, and risk mitigation strategies. It allows project teams to counter threats, address weaknesses, and capitalize on strengths, ultimately enhancing project success.
Bring in a Facilitator
A skilled facilitator can provide objective guidance, ensure everyone's participation, and create a safe space for open discussions. They can help the project team effectively identify and evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Additionally, a facilitator can assist in summarizing and documenting the analysis, ensuring clarity and alignment among team members. Bringing in a facilitator enhances quality and efficiency, leading to better project outcomes.
Root Cause Analysis
Root Cause Analysis is a systematic approach used to identify the underlying causes of problems or incidents. It involves investigating the factors contributing to an issue rather than just addressing the symptoms.
By understanding the root causes, organizations can develop effective solutions to prevent similar problems from recurring in the future. This analysis helps improve processes, enhance quality, and reduce risks, ultimately leading to better outcomes and customer satisfaction.
Also known as the 6 W's, this technique is used to gather information and comprehensively understand a situation. It involves asking and answering six key questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Addressing these questions helps team members and leaders analyze and evaluate a problem or decision from various angles, ensuring a thorough examination of the topic at hand. This method is widely used in journalism, problem-solving, and decision-making processes.
Working backward is a problem-solving approach where you start with the desired outcome and then identify the steps needed to achieve it. This method allows you to break down complex problems into smaller, manageable tasks.
By starting with the end goal in mind, you can create a clear roadmap and prioritize actions accordingly. Working backward helps ensure that your efforts are focused and aligned with the desired outcome, leading to more efficient and effective problem-solving.
Trial and Error
Trial and Error is a problem-solving approach that involves trying different solutions and learning from the outcomes. It is a standard method used to discover what works and what doesn't in various situations. By systematically testing different options, you can identify the most effective solution through a process of elimination.
Trial and Error allow team members flexibility and adaptability, as it encourages learning from mistakes and refining strategies based on feedback. This approach can be beneficial when dealing with complex or ambiguous problems that require experimentation.
Risk Analysis and Mitigation within Teams
Risk analysis and mitigation play a crucial role in project management. By identifying and planning for potential risks, teams can prevent problems. One effective way to facilitate this process is by utilizing project management software.
Project management software such as ActiveCollab provides a centralized platform where teams can document and track risks throughout the project lifecycle. This software often includes features such as risk registers , where risks can be identified, categorized, and assigned to team members for mitigation. Additionally, the software may offer risk assessment tools that help teams evaluate the impact and likelihood of each risk.
With ActiveCollab, teams can collaborate in real time, ensuring all members can access the latest risk information. This promotes transparency and allows immediate communication and decision-making regarding risk mitigation strategies.
Using project management software for risk analysis and mitigation, your team members can proactively address potential challenges, minimize project disruptions, and improve project success rates.
Implementing Conflict Resolution Techniques
Conflict resolution techniques are essential for maintaining healthy relationships and fostering a positive work environment. Some effective methods include active listening, communication skills training, mediation, negotiation, and compromise. Conflicts can be understood and resolved more effectively by actively listening to all parties involved and encouraging open and honest communication.
Mediation allows a neutral third party to facilitate discussions, while negotiation and compromise help find mutually agreeable solutions. These techniques promote understanding, empathy, and collaboration, improving relationships and increasing productivity.
Scenario Planning and Forecasting
Scenario planning and forecasting are essential tools used by organizations to anticipate and prepare for future uncertainties. Scenario planning involves creating multiple plausible narratives or scenarios to explore possible futures, allowing decision-makers to identify risks and opportunities. Forecasting, on the other hand, uses historical data and statistical models to project future outcomes.
Combining these approaches allows businesses to develop robust strategies and make informed decisions in an ever-changing and unpredictable environment. This proactive approach helps organizations adapt, minimize risks, and seize opportunities, ensuring long-term success and resilience in an uncertain world.
Brainstorming and Ideation Sessions
Brainstorming and ideation sessions are great for generating creative ideas and solutions. You can bring together a diverse group of individuals while these sessions help them with collaboration and free thinking. Participants in brainstorming sessions are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas without judgment, allowing for a wide range of possibilities to be explored.
The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible, with the understanding that quantity leads to quality. Through active listening and open-mindedness, participants can build upon each other's ideas and spark new insights. This collaborative process fosters innovation and can lead to breakthrough solutions to complex problems.
Design Thinking is a problem-solving approach that emphasizes empathy, creativity, and collaboration. It involves understanding the needs and experiences of users, generating a wide range of ideas, prototyping, testing solutions, and iterating based on feedback.
It encourages a human-centered and iterative mindset, which leads to exploring multiple possibilities before arriving at a final solution. Design Thinking enables teams to approach challenges with an open mind, fostering innovation and driving meaningful change. By putting people at the heart of the process, Design Thinking helps create solutions that meet their needs and aspirations.
Creating a Feedback Loop with Team Members
Creating a feedback loop with team members leads to a culture of continuous improvement. Regularly soliciting positive and constructive feedback allows open communication, builds trust, and enhances teamwork. Encourage team members to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
Actively listen to their feedback, acknowledge their contributions, and provide actionable insights to help them grow professionally. Remember, a well-functioning feedback loop promotes collaboration, boosts morale, and ultimately leads to better outcomes for the entire team.
Agile Principles for Efficient Problem-Solving (Enhance Flexibility and Responsiveness)
Agile principles are values and practices that enhance flexibility and responsiveness in problem-solving. These principles prioritize individuals and interactions, working solutions, customer collaboration, and responding to change.
Agile principles promote a more efficient problem-solving process by encouraging frequent communication and collaboration. Iterative development, continuous feedback, and adaptive planning are key components of agile problem-solving, allowing teams to adapt and respond to changing requirements quickly. Focusing on delivering value to the customer and embracing change enables organizations to address problems efficiently and effectively.
Importance of Effective Problem-Solving
Effective problem-solving is crucial in project management as it ensures that issues are identified, analyzed, and resolved promptly and efficiently. By integrating problem-solving strategies with project management software like ActiveCollab, teams can enhance collaboration and streamline workflow.
Integrating problem-solving strategies with project management software allows for better communication and coordination among team members. It enables teams to track the progress of problem-solving activities, assign tasks, and monitor deadlines, ensuring everyone is on the same page. This integration also facilitates the sharing of information and knowledge, enabling teams to leverage their collective expertise and experience.
Moreover, project management software such as ActiveCollab provides a centralized platform where team members can document and access relevant information, making it easier to analyze problems and make informed decisions. It also allows the implementation of feedback loops, enabling continuous improvement and learning from past experiences.
In conclusion, integrating problem-solving strategies with ActiveCollab enhances teamwork, improves communication, and facilitates the efficient resolution of issues. This integration ultimately contributes to the successful execution of projects and achieving desired outcomes.
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7 Advantages of Team Problem-Solving
--> Team Performance ,--> Teaming ,--> Problem Solving -->