Managers make many decisions every day. Thankfully there are many tools available to a manager as they make these decisions. Tiffany is a General Manager of a franchise in the quick service restaurant industry. She is faced with decisions dozens of times in one day. A large portion of the decisions that she is faced with are made to solve structured problems, however, sometimes an unstructured problem does arise that she needs to address. As well as solving problems Tiffany must also make plans to in order to have structure and organization to achieve the goals set forth by herself and the company that she works for. Looking at some of the decisions that Tiffany has had to make recently it can been seen how she goes about solving structured problems as well as unstructured problems using the eight step decision making process, while using rationality, intuition, evidence based information to not only make decision but also plan. All of the decisions that Tiffany makes and how she goes about making is critical in determining whether she has a linear or non-linear thinking style.
The problems that Tiffany has to solve can be broken down into two categories structured and unstructured problems. Most of the problems that she solves day in and day out usually fall into the structured problem category, these problems usually have programmed decisions that go along with them. They can be rules or processes that the company has set forth in order to solve problems that are usually reoccurring and can be easily defined. The structured problem that she encounters most often is a guest receiving the wrong food. The company has a procedure in place to solve this problem they call the procedure LAST (listen, apologize, solve and thank). It involves listening to what the customer’s problem is, apologizing to the costumer for the inconvenience, solving the problem usually by giving the costumer what they had ordered and comping the meal, and lastly thanking the customer for their understanding and patronage to the restaurant. For the less common unstructured problems that arise that do not have programmed solutions Tiffany can use the eight step decision making process to help her solve this type of problem.
Recently Tiffany was faced with an unstructured problem. They kitchen was not getting sandwiches out fast enough to meet service time goals of the company. After doing some research Tiffany discovered that it was not the fact that the staff was not moving quickly enough, but the problem was that the bun toaster was getting hung up and not toasting buns to the right crispness forcing the staff to drop the bun in the toaster numerous times in order to toast. They called out a repair man as was the normal procedure, however after having the repair man out numerous times in a month’s period the same problem kept reoccurring. It was determined then that a new toaster needed to be purchased. Tiffany would now use the eight step process to determine which option was the best solution:
Step One- Identifying a problem:
Tiffany has already determined that the problem that needs to be addressed is that they need a new bun toaster Step Two- Identifying Decision Criteria:
Decision criteria are the things that are deemed important to resolving the problem. Tiffany decided to call a meeting of the kitchen stall to gather input from them as they will be the ones using the toaster every day. After considering what her staff had said and doing research on her own Tiffany decided that the most important criteria are size, ease of operation, time to toast, heating surface, maintenance, and warranty. Step Three- Allocating Weight to the Criteria:
The easiest way to this is to give the most important criteria a 10 and assign descending weights to each of the others in order of importance this is what Tiffany’s weights looked like: * Time to toast
* Ease of operation
* Heating Surface
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