1. State the Problem - A problem can't be solved if it isn't understood.
2. Form a Hypothesis - This is a possible solution to the problem formed after gathering information about the problem. The term "research" is properly applied here.
3. Test the Hypothesis - An experiment is performed to determine if the hypothesis solves the problem or not. Experiments are done to gather data. It is very important that good observations and records are made during an experiment.
4. Collect the Data - This is where you record your observations, measurements, or information from experiment.
5. Analyze the Data - Just what does all that data indicate about answering the problem you are solving?
6. Draw Conclusions - After examining the data from the experiment, conclusions can be drawn. In it's simplest form, the conclusion will be "yes" the hypothesis was correct, or "no" the hypothesis was not correct
The five major steps in the scientific method include Observe, Research, Hypothesize, Test and Conclude. In the first step the problem is stated and the factors causing the problems are observed. In the second step, research is conducted to collect the data through observations or to determine the reasons of certain conditions. After that the hypothesis is developed which is the statement that needs to be investigated. Once the hypothesis is developed, the researcher conducts the experiments or tests to verify the hypothesis, which can be right or wrong. After analyzing the hypothesis, conclusions are made regarding the problem and major findings are explained.
The analytical approach of problem solving consists of the following steps:
1. Identification of problem: in many instances, issues arise that are greatly exaggerated and out of proportion to the actual situation. Therefore, the first step should be to identify the problem, state the situation and determine objectives.
2. Data collection: the manager should tabulate all facts related to the problem. He has to observe the data as well as inspect the materials involved or explore the elements of the problem which have to be reconstructed.
3. Analysis of the problem: the problem is analysed in the light of the facts determined. The analysis of a problem entails three goals: to determine why the problem exists, to analyse the ability of the group to accomplish the goal and to specify an appropriate leadership style that is required in order to meet the needs of the group as it accomplishes the goal.
4. Review of different alternatives: all the possible solutions to the problem are generated. Considering various alternatives will usually show positive results in helping to identify an appropriate, workable solution for the manager.
5. Choosing a solution: after considering and comparing the advantages and disadvantages of all the solutions, the most appropriate one is chosen.
6. Considering consequences: the manager should check his conclusions by asking himself various questions: will this solution satisfy the needs? , is it workable? , will it prove effective in the long run?
7. Implementation of the solution: the manager should now put his plan into action. It is better to introduce it to one unit as a pilot programme for a designated period of time.
8. Evaluation: the manager should check the result of his action. If the problem is solved, no further action is necessary. If it is not solved, then he has to return to the first step and repeat the whole exercise.
Main tools in scientific method?