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For example, in the problem: “I have been offered a job that I want, but I don't have the transport to get there and I don't have enough money to buy a car.” Useful ways of describing more complex problems are shown in the section, 'Structuring the Problem', below.During this first stage of problem solving, it is important to get an initial working definition of the problem.
In practice, flow charts can be quite complicated and there are many conventions as to how they are drawn but, generally, simple diagrams are easier to understand and aid in 'seeing' the problem more readily.
Tree diagrams and their close relative, the Decision Tree, are ways of representing situations where there are a number of choices or different possible events to be considered.
Some of the main elements of the problem can be outlined, and a first attempt at defining the problem should be made.
This definition should be clear enough for you to be able to easily explain the nature of the problem to others.
The barriers could be listed in the order in which they need to be solved, or elements of the problem classified in a number of different ways.
There are many possibilities, but the aim is to provide a clearer picture of the problem.
Chain Diagrams are the simplest type, where all the elements are presented in an ordered list, each element being connected only with the elements immediately before and after it.
Chain diagrams usually represent a Flow charts allow for inclusion of branches, folds, loops, decision points and many other relationships between the elements.
This page continues from Problem Solving an Introduction that introduces problem solving as a concept and outlines the stages used to successfully solve problems.
This page covers the first two stages in the problem solving process: Identifying the Problem and Structuring the Problem.