that do not point toward your goal. Tinsel is pretty but
Have you gone through all the planning steps? Does
your plan cover all vital actions without going into
minute, restrictive detail? You must leave room for
subordinates to maneuver. Is your plan consistent with
command procedures and goals? Your plan should
make coordination with other elements of the command
Cost-effectiveness applies to more than just dollars.
If your plan will provide enough return to justify the
time, energy, and personal involvement you (and others)
will invest, use it; otherwise, cancel it. One of the hardest
things for a manager to do is scrap a lovely, simple plan.
If you must cancel a plan, do it yourself; this is easier
than having it scrapped by someone else.
SCIENTIFIC METHOD OF PROBLEM
How many times during the past months have you
found obstacles standing between you and some goal
you wanted to reach? Most supervisors could quote a
fairly large figure if they could make an accurate tally
of the number of problems they have faced. Whenever
difficulties block your path to some goal, you have a
Since you do not lead a charmed existence,
problems confront you everyday. As a mature person,
you probably accept the inevitability of problems, face
them realistically, and seek workable solutions. But,
unless you have studied the nature of problems and ways
to tackle them, you may still be resorting to
trial-and-error methods. This often results in your
overlooking the best solutions.
Problems can be solved to the advantage of all
concerned. The art of problem solving may seem
extremely tedious and demanding at first. However,
once you master it you will enjoy the benefits of finding
the best solution for the problem at hand.
Your duties are demanding. Demands create
problems that you must solve, sometimes by yourself
but more often with others equally concerned. What
better reason could you have to master problem solving?
You should remember two principles about problem
Figure 4-2.-Decision making.
1. Any system is better than no system at all.
2. The ultimate goal of any system is the ability to
withhold judgment until all aspects of the
problem have been logically considered.
The system we describe here is a way you can
remove obstacles and reach the goal in problem solving.
The method closely related to the process of scientific
investigation is often referred to as the scientific
method of problem solving. The method is not
foolproof, but it will help you withhold judgment until
you have considered all possible facets of the problem
and all possible solutions. This is a value of any
problem-solving system. It enables you to consider
possible solutions without prejudice or bias. Any
systematic approach to problem solving will help you to
withhold judgment and remain open-minded.
The seven phases of problem salving (or decision
making) follow a logical sequence (fig. 4-2). In actual