Course Content
A critical thinking approach
We all make decisions and solve problems each day – in both our personal lives and workplaces. Some decisions are quick and easy to make. Perhaps the problem or issue you encounter is a familiar one that has a tried and tested solution. However, often times the solution to your issue is not straight forward and its resolution requires more than your intuition. Some decisions you make are critical, whereas others are non-critical.
Making and reviewing decisions
Making and reviewing critical decisions is vital because it directly impacts outcomes in personal and professional life. Thoroughly assessing options, risks, and potential consequences helps avoid costly mistakes and achieve goals effectively. Regularly reviewing decisions ensures ongoing relevance and adaptability, particularly in dynamic environments. It promotes learning from past experiences and allows for necessary adjustments, enhancing decision-making skills and the ability to navigate complex situations successfully.
Assessment assistance
BSBCRT611 Apply critical thinking for complex problem solving
About Lesson

Let’s now look at the first step in critical decision making: identifying the problem. It’s not as obvious as it might seem, as the first indications of a problem may only be symptoms of the larger issue. 

Reflect on the six methods in the student guide that you can use to formally identify problems in your organisation – starting with the use of interviews and surveys. 

Additional reading:

Here are some steps you can take to identify and define a problem before applying critical analysis:

Gather Information:


  • Active Listening: Talk to stakeholders directly impacted by the issue. Pay close attention to their concerns and frustrations.
  • Observation: Look for inconsistencies, inefficiencies, or areas where things deviate from standard procedure.
  • Data Analysis: Review reports, statistics, and performance metrics to identify potential red flags.


Clarify the Scope:


  • Define Boundaries: Is this a specific issue within your team, or a broader organisational concern?
  • Identify Root Cause: Look beyond immediate symptoms to uncover the underlying issue causing the problem.


Define Objectives:

  • Desired Outcome: What do you want to achieve by solving this problem?
  • Success Criteria: How will you measure the effectiveness of your solution?


Consider Context:

  • Stakeholder Impact: Who is affected by this issue and how?
  • External Factors: Are there any external factors influencing the problem?


By following these steps, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the problem, its scope, and its desired outcome. This well-defined foundation allows you to apply critical analysis techniques effectively, evaluating potential solutions and reaching the most viable option.