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Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems: A Structured Process for Managers and Consultants

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6765-9
208 pages
August 2003, Jossey-Bass
Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems: A Structured Process for Managers and Consultants (0787967653) cover image


Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems is an essential resource for managers and consultants who help organizations resolve ambiguous problems and develop new opportunities. Taking a hands-on, practical approach, Betty Vandenbosch—a leading management consultant and educator—outlines the details on how to conduct a proven process for designing solutions.

Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems will teach you how to curtail investigation and generate and justify ideas without sacrificing thoroughness, creativity, persuasiveness, and fit. You will be able to capitalize on more opportunities, and your problem-solving skills will become more efficient and your solutions more compelling. This book will help you design better solutions and design them faster.

Betty Vandenbosch offers a variety of useful techniques such as the "scooping diagram," which provides a framework for action, and the "logic diagram," which tests the validity of a potential solution. In addition, the book contains illustrative real-life examples of the Designing Solutions approach from a variety of organizations.

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Table of Contents

Tables & Figures.


The Author.


Part One: Getting Started.

1. All Problems are Local: Understanding the Situation.

2. What's the Point? Agreeing on the Objective.

3. People Have to be Interested: Building Relationships.

Using the Tools.

Part Two: Planning the Project.

4. Size Matters: Determining The Scope.

5. Less is More: Constructing Hypotheses.

6. How, When, and Who? Planning the Effort.

7. People Have to be a Part of It: Nurturing Commitment.

Using the Tools.

Part Three; Designing the Solution.

8. Not Just the Facts: Building the Logic.

9. If You Can't Choose, You Lose: Designing the Solution.

10. Who's Going to Do It? Driving Execution.

Using the Tools.


Appendix A: Mapping Processes.

Appendix B: Interviewing to Collect Data.



How to Use the CD-ROM.

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Author Information

Betty Vandenbosch is associate professor of information systems at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She is also a director of PDN Limited, a professional services development firm specializing in consultancy skills training.
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The Wiley Advantage

Designing Solutions for Your Business Problems and the companion CD-ROM contain the tools and techniques you need to
  • Reach consensus about the areas that you will investigate
  • Make your logic transparent and open to legitimate debate
  • Maintain the discipline to design the solution that meets the objective and best fits the organization’s will and skill
  • Nurture commitment and develop support during the problem-solving process
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"It elegantly, concisely, and persuasively shows consultants how to more effectively structure their problem solving." (Consulting to Management, Vol 15. No. 4, 6/1/2004)
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Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
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