Problems that lack a clear definition or structure necessitate non-programmed decision-making; techniques that fulfil this criterion include brainstorming, nominal groups, quality circles, heuristic choices, and the Delphi method. Failure to respond appropriately to new challenges is one of the telltale signs of a severely troubled company.
Brainstorming works by having a group of people consider a common topic while seated together. When the group leader recognises a problem, the group generates a list of potential solutions, with the condition that no suggestion is to be disregarded. Each concept is discussed and evaluated until the group chooses the best option.
Essentially, the Delphi method is a blend of brainstorming and a conference call. The group leader identifies an issue, and technical methods such as video conferencing or group instant messaging, coupled with questionnaires, are used to collect the input of each group member regarding the problem’s resolution.
The nominal group technique permits each group member to independently consider the problem and provide a list of suggestions without interaction.
Quality circles are small groups of employees from a single department who gather regularly to identify, discuss, and resolve workplace issues.
Heuristic decisions are those made based on a rule of thumb, common sense, or experience. This relies on the knowledge and drive of the organization’s senior members.