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Key skills: making a difference
Key skills: making a difference

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8.3 Developing a strategy

In developing a strategy for improving your problem-solving skills you are aiming to:

  • identify the opportunities you can use to develop and practise your problem-solving skills;

  • establish the outcomes you hope to achieve and targets for achieving them;

  • identify the resources you might use for developing your skills, including people who might be able to help you as well as sources of data, books, study guides, tutorials, specialist training, libraries, the Internet, online support and computer conferencing;

  • establish a timetable for developing and practising your skills, including deadlines for any assignments you must submit as part of your course or targets you must meet at work;

  • consider how you intend to the outcomes you want, and when you intend to complete your work.

In this stage you are laying down the foundations for your work over the next 3–4 months. Planning takes time and thought, so don't rush it. Make sure you allow yourself enough time – perhaps over a period of a week or two – to think about your strategy for improvement. Use the ‘Improving own learning and performance’ key skill to identify your strengths and weaknesses in problem solving, and what you hope to achieve as you work on this skill.

The notes that follow guide you through the process of developing a strategy to improve your problem-solving skills. Use the Time outs to help you plan, implement and evaluate your strategy. Finally, at the end of the stage, you should use the records in your Skills File to complete the activity ‘Developing your problem-solving skills strategy’ and pull together this first stage in your problem-solving skills development.