This paper talks about the problem solving process along with examples, as well as one of more commonly used modeling and analytical techniques, i.e. spreadsheet modeling. It also talks about its dependency, its uses, disadvantages and well as explores ways to better this very new, but powerful technique. |
Modeling is the process of creating a simpliﬁed representation of real life problems and representing them in an organized fashion in order to understand a particular problem. These models can take many forms such as mental, visual, mathematical or electronic spreadsheets to name a few. Their uses can be seen in almost every field of our daily lives such as businesses, governments, human resources, science and engineering, and medicine etc. Their primary function is to gain insight into a specific problem and after getting a clear understanding of the topic, one can easily approach it from different directions with possible solutions. This paper discusses this process in detail, starting with gaining insight into a specific problem by using a problem solving model, and then moves on to how it applies to spreadsheet modeling. It also discusses different aspects of electronic spreadsheet engineering, its uses and caveats, as well as its dependency in the business world these days.
Before creating any models, visual, mathematical or spreadsheets, one has to start with the problem solving process. The problem solving process consists of six stages that can be followed to solve almost any problem. These stages or steps are employed and are repeated multiple times, not necessarily in the same order, to obtain an efficient and refined solution to a particular problem.
The first of these stages is exploration of a “mess”. “A mess is a morass of unsettling symptoms, causes, data, pressures, shortfalls, and opportunities” (Baker & Powell, p.18). One of the key
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