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This content is taken from the Deakin University's online course, Career Credentials: Evidence Your Expertise in Problem Solving. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds DOMINIQUE BAKER: Problem solving is something that I do every day in my role. It’s a really integral part of a technical role, which is what I’m working on currently. And I wanted to show that I was performing to a really high level with problem solving at this point in my career.

Skip to 0 minutes and 21 seconds WARREN LIU: It really tests your reflection. It is somewhat of a journey because the supporting evidence can be contemporary or basically past. So it really, actually, tests this little database up here in terms of actually looking for what are some of the best examples that showcase your problem solving.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 seconds KATE CALDER: I, in fact, ended up choosing a complex problem that involved multiple stakeholders and some technology issues, having a look at resolving technology issues. So there was a lot of correspondence. There were lots of workflows. There were some UX documentation.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 seconds DOMINIQUE BAKER: I supplied a brief, a tender brief that we received for a technical project. And then I showed our response to that tender. And then I showed what the outcome of that was when we subsequently won the tender and actually produced the technical project. So it was showing end-to-end, a brief, a solution, and an outcome.

Skip to 1 minute and 24 seconds WARREN LIU: It’s always looking through those criteria. And you supress the self doubt. If you basically access your, I guess, your archive, the work that you’ve previously done as well, or even the work that you might do in the futures, then you’ll be able to actually prove yourself, demonstrate at those high levels.

Skip to 1 minute and 40 seconds DOMINIQUE BAKER: Problem solving I think is something that we do really autonomously. Like everyday we’re problem solving. And we often start thinking about how we’re actually executing that or the thought process that we go through or the process of elimination. So it’s again, looking at what projects you have worked on or something that would actually show you that you’ve solved a problem. Even though initially you might not think you’ve solved a problem, you probably have. So it’s again, about it sitting on the criteria for a few days and thinking about what you’ve done And? Then going back with maybe some possible documentation that really shows how you’ve met that criteria.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds KATE CALDER: Pulling together the information you use to understand the problem, anything that documents the approach you’ve taken to put forward options for problem solving and considering different options to that problem, different solutions, I think is important.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 seconds WARREN LIU: You’re generally, actually, thinking that it come naturally because you’ve been doing the work and you’ve basically been applying these sort of skills. But it also basically giving you an opportunity to sit back and think about it. Can I actually do this better knowing what I know now in comparison with my past work? Or what can I do better in the futures as well?

Gather your evidence

In order to prove your level of problem solving, you’ll need to source appropriate evidence. In this video, Deakin problem-solving credential-holders tell their stories and share some tips.

The process of gathering evidence to demonstrate your problem-solving skills will not only help prove your level of problem-solving capability, it will also assist you to articulate your problem-solving skills to others – including employers.

It’s also a key part of the credentialing process should you seek to obtain formal recognition of your problem-solving capabilities.

Building your professional practice portfolio

In some professions, it’s standard practice to keep a portfolio of work, but this isn’t the case for everyone – but it’s never too late to start.

You can start building your problem-solving capability portfolio by reflecting on:

  • What tasks or projects am I currently working on that I could use to evidence my problem-solving skills?
  • What have I created or contributed to in the past – such as presentations, project plans or reports – that is publicly available and which I could use?
  • Do I have access to – or could I obtain – any third-party testimonies to support my claims?

Examples of evidence

Jess, our Customer Service Team Leader, is considering what evidence they’ll use to illustrate their examples of problem solving.

Example 1: Management of refunds and exchanges process

  • Customer feedback report
  • Photos and notes from discovery workshop
  • Options paper for refunds and exchanges process improvements

Example 2: Self-service

  • Customer service analysis (removing sensitive information, eg customer names)
  • Problem statement

Example 3: Customer Management System (CMS)

  • CMS business requirements document
  • Post-implementation review

Jess would like another piece of evidence to demonstrate how they have effectively monitored and evaluated the solution. They decided to use a third-party reference about their presentation to stakeholders on the success of the new CMS.

Your task

Watch the video to hear more from problem-solving credential-holders about how they went about collecting evidence of their problem-solving skills.

Next, reflect on what evidence Jess is planning to collect.

  • Based on what you learned in the video, do you think this evidence supports Jess’s examples?
  • Or can you think of better examples?
  • If so, what are they, why would they be better and how could Jess collect them?

Discuss your thoughts in the comments.

What evidence could you use to prove your own problem solving examples?

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This video is from the free online course:

Career Credentials: Evidence Your Expertise in Problem Solving

Deakin University