Defining a Problem Practice Exercises (page 2)

Updated on Sep 19, 2011

Practice Exercise

What problems might result from the following scenario?

The citizens of Colchester voted against three school budgets in elections held in April, May, and June. As a result, all school hiring and purchasing was put on hold. The school board then recommended cutting two teaching positions, which would save the town $92,000 in salary and benefits. At the election in July, the townspeople approved the new budget.


Initially it may look like the town solved the problem, but in reality they've created some new problems. With the loss of two teachers, fewer classes will have to accommodate the same number of students. And since the budget was approved just weeks before school was to start, the remaining teachers might find it difficult to get needed supplies.

Practice Exercise

Alexis's club chose her to head a committee to raise money for a local charity. The group hopes its fundraiser will help children in need. Which is the most important discussion topic at the first committee meeting?

  1. Who will provide snacks for the next committee meeting?
  2. Do we need to have weekly or bi-weekly committee meetings?
  3. Who will write the thank-you notes to donors?
  4. What kinds of fundraising activities can we do to raise the most money?


The best answer is choice d. It's up to Alexis, as head of the group, to steer attention to the real problem: how the group can raise money for the charity. By stating the problem, she opens the floor for brainstorming of ideas. The other topics may seem important, but are things that can be dealt with after the major discussion.



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