6 Problem Solving Team Building Activities
A 2019 McKinsey report indicates that soft skills are becoming increasingly important, and problem-solving is the top area managers look at. However, the Payscale survey found that 60% of managers believe that new graduates lack problem solving abilities, making this the most common soft skill to be lacking. Managers’ willingness to assist employees in improving their problem-solving skills is key to effective team management strategies. Communicating and collaborating, being adaptive, and improving decision-making are some areas that can be addressed during problem solving team building activities.
Classic Problem Solving Team Building Activities
Identifying the problem is the first step in problem-solving activities. After assessing potential courses of action, the team must decide how to proceed. You must understand your team and its core strengths in order to accomplish this. Having fun together while performing problem-solving activities and strategies is the ultimate benefit of team problem solving activities.
This means having fun and learning don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In addition, you can strengthen the team as a whole.
A Shrinking Vessel
Helps with: Adaptability
As the Harvard Business Review reports, adaptability is highly correlated with cognitive diversity, which speeds up problem-solving in teams. Undoubtedly, there has never been a faster pace of innovation and disruption. Organizations, teams, and individuals that are able to adapt will be successful. That’s why the problem solving team building activities should focus on developing the aspect of adaptability.
Here are the things you’ll need:
- Ropes or strings of any kind
Steps to follow:
- You can use the rope to make a shape that can fit everyone on the floor.
- Over 10-15 minutes, shrink the space slowly.
- Let your team determine how to keep everyone within the shrinking boundaries together.
Facilitates collaboration and decision-making
Indecision leads to team paralysis, stagnant thinking, and unsolved problems. Making decisions isn’t easy, but it leads to problem-solving. Your team can practice making decisions quickly and effectively by participating in decision-making activities. Problem solving team building activities also strengthen a team’s decision-making skills.
Here are the things you’ll need:
- Egg cartons
- Supplies such as newspapers, straws, tape, plastic wrap, balloons, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, tarp, drop cloth, etc.
Make sure it’s a parking lot, or someplace else you don’t mind getting messy!
- Each team takes an egg and selects the materials
- Allow everyone 20-30 minutes to construct a carrier for the egg
- Watch which egg carrier protects the egg from breaking when it is dropped from a ledge (i.e., over a balcony).
- Continue increasing the height until only one egg remains.
Helps with: Communication, decision-making
More employees are working remotely than ever before, making communication crucial for problem solving. Even though employers use resource planning and project management tools to facilitate communication and solve problems across virtual teams, good communication skills are also vital. Unquestionably, the more communication skills your team develops together, the more effectively they will solve problems apart.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Having an office
The situation is as follows:
Your team is stranded in the office. No one can knock down the doors or break the windows because they are locked. In 30 minutes, have your team choose ten items from the office they need to survive and rank them according to importance. A 30-minute deadline must be met for everyone to agree on the ten items and their ranks.
Wild Goose Chase
This is one of the most fun problem solving team building activities. By taking photos and videos around the city, your group will complete fun challenges in this smartphone-based scavenger hunt. You can do the following challenges in this activity:
- Photo of three teammates jumping over a waist-high object while doing parkour.
- Identify the mathematical theorem being proved on a chalkboard by one of the team members.
- Take a picture of all of your team members petting a stranger’s dog simultaneously.
To be victorious at Wild Goose Chase, you have to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Blink formation is one of the most common problem solving team building activities. It helps to develop effective communication, which is a crucial component of this process.
You will need the following:
- In addition, a rope
- A large circle should be formed with blindfolds on the group members.
- Make a circle of rope in the middle of the group, close enough for each person to touch it by tying two ends together.
- To create a square, triangle, rectangle, or any other shape with the rope, instruct the group to communicate.
- Providing ropes for each team if your group is very large will make the process easier.
- Competitions can be held to see who can form a particular shape the quickest.
Domino Effect Challenge
There are a lot of moving parts involved in many complex problems. Solving this type of problem requires a systematic approach, one piece at a time. Though traditional, this is one of the most effective problem solving team building activities.
A holistic solution to a problem often involves multiple teams or departments. They all work through their respective facets of a problem before coming together in the end.
It’s easier said than done, as you can imagine. Undoubtedly, practicing this skill is crucial.
As you and your team work to create a massive, fully functional chain reaction machine with Domino Effect Challenge, that’s exactly what you will need to do.
Here’s how it works:
In this problem solving team building activity, team members will work together to complete their own sections of the massive “Rube Goldberg” machine. As soon as all teams gather, the entire machine will be assembled. To make your chain reaction machine go off without a hitch, you will need to engage in communication, collaboration, and on-the-fly problem-solving.
These problem solving team building activities provide a tried and tested method of mastering the soft skill of problem solving. Teamboard offers a full suite of tools that will help you and your team solve complicated problems using our project management software like ProScheduler. By getting a complete picture of your projects, you will be able to spot issues before they even occur. Keep track of time to ensure you are using your hours efficiently, create Gantt charts to see task dependencies, and create to-do lists to prioritize work.
When all communication consolidates into one platform, you can guarantee that no problem will stump you ever again.