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Identify issues


Identification of issues and problems

There are three steps involved in the identification and analysis of issues and problems.

Understanding the background issues helps to understand the context of the case study. Read the case study to gain an overview and ask and answer the following questions as you read.

  • What background facts influence the current problems?
  • What are the constraints or obstacles of the situation?

Identifying the major problems and their causes at this stage is vital to proposing appropriate solutions later. Re-read the case study and summarise or list the issues and/or problems in your own words. Make sure you:

  • sort the major problems from the minor problems
  • identify evidence from the case study which relates to each of the problems
  • identify underlying causes of the problems.

A useful strategy is to represent the problems and their relationships as a mind map.

Mind map shows key topics and sub topics (use circles and colour) and the relationships between them (use arrows and lines). Use circles. See link below for accessible version

Major problems:

  • staff perceptions
    • no consultation for proposed changes
    • jobs at risk
  • management perceptions
    • staff failed to take responsibility for their jobs
    • staff lazy
  • tensions/bad feelings
    • low morale affects productivity
  • changes introduced by management
    • new menu
    • espresso machine installed
    • new uniforms
  • new owners/managers
    • leadership and communication
      • leadership style
        • autocratic
        • lacking consultation in proposed changes
      • communication
        • poor communication with all areas
        • lack of time spent with existing staff therefore didn't invest in good communication practices

Look at the mind map above which identifies management issues in a hotel.