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The Warner Family Submitted by: Bello, Kevin Ho, Tracie Laurent, Tyler Peay, Jesse Salt Lake

Community College COMM 1010-050 April 6, 2014

Table of Contents

Executive Summary 3 Project Description 4 Methods 5 Problem Question 5 Analysis of the Problem 5 Criteria 7 Brainstorm Possible Solutions 8 Analyzing Solutions 9 Implementation of the Solution 9 Conclusion 11 Works Cited 12 Appendices Appendix 1: Team Contract 13 Appendix 2: Comparison Chart 15 Appendix 3: Participation Points 16

Executive Summary This report details our group communication project, Decision Making Report, in which we use the problem solving process to find a resolution to a common issue. During this project we implemented the reflective thinking sequence known as PAC BOY (Pack, 2014) to resolve a problem affecting a group of people. Our problem was to find the best way to the Walker familys transportation needs. While working through the reflective thinking sequence, we were able to find a solution we could begin to work on. As a group we agreed on the problem at hand, a question to ask that would help lead us to a possible solution, researched and brainstormed to set-up not only criteria for the solution, but possible solutions themselves. After brainstorming (Adler, Elmhorst, & Lucas, 2013) we found the best possible solution and began setting a plan forward that would allow us to resolve the problem with our discussed solution. Our recommendation is ultimately for the parents to purchase an additional car, and for the children to fund the needed gas and insurance costs for the car. In order for this to take place; there will be a need for family members, especially the children to produce additional income for the needs of the new car. Short term solution for their situation would be to come together as a family to create a schedule allowing shared use of the two cars they currently have.

Project Description At this time there are only two cars owned by the Warner family. Tom and Jane Warner have two kids, Savannah and Troy. Savannah is a sophomore attending Salt Lake Community College; and Troy is a senior at Taylorsville High School. Jane currently takes the kids to school in the morning. In the afternoon Savannah and Troy try to car pool with friends to get a ride home; if they are unable to carpool they stay at school until approximately 5:30 P.M. until Jane can pick them up after work. Tom and Jane have only been able to save enough to pay for college textbooks, student fees, and part of tuition. It would be a hardship for them to put Savannah and Troy on their insurance plan or buy them each a car. There are four members in our group. As a group, we have been assigned to use the reflective thinking sequence to find a possible solution that fits the needs everyone in the Warner family, and to do so within a four-week time frame. As a team we have put together possible solutions to help maintain everyones responsibilities and ensure that it does not get in the way of their individual needs.

Methods Our group met four times in order to come up with an adequate solution to our problem. The first step was developing a team contract and assigning individual roles and responsibilities. (See Appendix 1) These task roles are essential to keep our group focused on the problem at hand and the relational roles ensure positive group interaction. (Adler & Elmhorst, p. 198) Next we needed to define the problem that we were trying to solve as an open-ended question. By implementing the PAC-BOY, or reflective thinking process we were able to focus our efforts and establish a reasonable solution that effectively solves our problem. As our report came to a close, we assigned group participation points based on attendance, preparedness, ability to follow agreed upon contract, and participation at meetings.

Problem Question Our group decided that our problem question is: "What is the best solution to the Walker family's transportation needs?" This question is open-ended, is manageable for the time we have to work with, and does not suggest any solution. Analysis of the Problem The first step to solving the problem is not to suggest solutions but rather to understand the problem. The solution must take into account all angles and parties involved. In order to be effective and long lasting, there must be some mutual benefit with sacrifice and flexibility on all sides. In order to get a better understanding of the problem we needed to look at its defining characteristics, stakeholders involved, history of the problem, and the policies and politics that affect a reasonable solution. A. Characteristics Cons: one vehicle, fighting siblings, parents have priority Pros: Everyone contributing money to pay for gas/insurance could be cost effective. B. Stakeholders

1. Tom (Dad) and Jane (Mom) -- Tom and Jane are working-class parents they each own a car. Tom and Jane do not want to pay for insurance if they add the kids onto their plan. It would be

more convenient for Jane if the kids both had a car, because she will not have to drive them both to and from school. If the parents do decide to give them a car that means that they would have to pay for insurance, and it would make it harder for the parents to have to share one car. Jane and Tom only saved enough money to pay for their kids tuition and school books so it would be hard for them to try to dig up some extra change to buy each of their kids a car. 3. Savannah (Daughter) -- Savannah is sophomore at the Salt Lake Community College. She only works 10 hours a week at Albertson's. Her mom takes her to school in the morning. It is a hassle for her to have to stay at school until 5:30 or ask people for rides. She doesn't work enough to be able to buy her own car, or help her parents out with insurance. Buying her own car would also be hard because she might not have time to work a lot while she is in school. 4. Troy (Son) -- Troy is a senior at Taylorsville High School. He also has to stay at school until 5:30 unless he can find a ride home. As a high school student staying at school when there's nothing to do could be tiring sitting in the library with nothing to do. Troy also would want a car, because it would be easier. He does not have a job which means he will not be able to help his parents out. 5. This situation is very tough, because it is really hard to find a good paying job. When you are in school it could be hard for some students to be able to multitask. It would be really hard for the parents to make more money to be able to pay for their kids to get each their own car. Either way, it is important to weigh out everyone's options. Public transportation is possibly something that they can look into. C. History or Background

Car Parents buy Kids buy No new car Alternative vehicle Split

Insurance Parents pay Kids pay No new insurance coverage Split

Gas Parents pay Kids pay Split- parents give gas money for errands/driving younger siblings

Time Parent shuttle Kids drive where they need to go Split- kids sometimes drive where they need to go

Any combination of these has been tried. There are possibilities of expenses on both sides, but it is possible to make them evenly distributed and worthwhile for both parties. Time, gas, insurance, and the expense of a possible new car can be divided evenly or more one-sided. If the sacrifices are absorbed more by one side it is more likely that there will be problems or an upset party. However, there are a few combinations that will be extremely beneficial to both parties. D. Policies/Politics - Schedules: Each member of the family is responsible to adhering to their respective schedules. Both parents have an obligation to their employers. Savannah has an obligation to her employer as well as attending her classes at SLCC. Troy has an obligation to High School. - Age: All family members are of legal age to own/operate a vehicle. - Income/Finances: Currently three out of four members are employed. (Two full-time, one part-time) Is there room/time for additional employment/supplemental income? - Transportation: While there are only two vehicles, there are supplemental sources of transportation. (Public transit, coordination with friends, bicycles, etc.) - Coordination: Trying to divide and coordinate four separate schedules and two vehicles among them may prove to be difficult and always leave one or the other in a burdened state. - Distance: Knowing the distance each individual is in relation to one another (work, school, home, etc.) may be another factor that would assist in determining possible scenarios. Criteria By taking some time before we try to come up with a solution to decide what criteria a good solution would meet, we are better able to evaluate our ideas without being biased. The criteria we decided would constitute a god solution are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Apply principles of effective communication that we are learning in the class. Be achievable within our four week time frame. Cost less than is financially reasonable for the family budget. Acceptable to both parties. Accommodate the needs of both parties. Efficient in use of money and time. Will not hinder anyones responsibilities.

Brainstorm Possible Solutions Our groups next step was to brainstorm possible solutions. We came up with as many ideas as we could, not limiting the seemingly ridiculous or simple. We then choose the top six options. Weve listed below our top six solutions: 1. Parents buy a car, kids pay for the gas/insurance 2. Public transportation 3. Create a weekly schedule sharing transportation 4. Kids work/more and purchase car, gas, insurance 5. Purchase a scooter 6. Additional income source for kids that wont interrupt their current responsibilities to pay gas/insurance

Solution Analysis In this step, we will analyze our possible solutions using the previously decided upon criteria. We decided as a group what number, between 0 (does not meet criterion) and 5 (meets criterion very well) was most appropriate for each criteria for each suggested solution. Chart Solution 1 Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4 Criterion 5 Totals: 3 4 5 3 3 18 Solution 2 5 3 4 4 4 20 Solution 3 5 4 3 3 4 19 Solution 4 1 2 2 1 2 8 Solution 5 4 4 3 4 5 20 Solution 6 3 3 3 2 3 14

Final Solution Our final solution was a combination of solution 3, 1, and 6. The reasons being, while none of these received top points for meeting criteria, as a combination they would far surpass any individual idea. The main concern for solution 1 was the financial reality of being able to afford a vehicle in the next four weeks. However, if that was the long term goal, the family could have the short term goal of better coordination of vehicle use and the kids will be expected to find work or increase their current hours. This would not only be a temporary fix but it would also prepare the kids to be able to financially support their driving as well as put a condition upon them receiving a vehicle

Potential Problems 1. 2. 3. 4. Scheduling conflicts (extracurricular vs necessity) Inability to create additional income (son cant find work, daughter cant manage more hours). Responsibility of maintenance and unforeseen cost. Failure to comply with family rules/laws.

Solutions to Potential Problems 1. Have a schedule that allows each child an opportunity to use the car. Flexibility and fairness should be taken into account. Necessary activities must take priority over extracurricular. 2. If kids cant pay insurance then they need to work more hours at work, or cannot drive. Parents might consider requiring insurance money a month in advance so they will always be ahead or a saved amount for buffer to fall back on. 3. Evenly divided maintenance costs between the four. The required savings as a buffer could help cover some unforeseen costs. Accidents/ tickets are the responsibility of the driver. 4. All rules set at the family meeting are followed or driving privileges are lost/ suspended.

Implementation of Solution 1. Parent Meeting: Parents will meet to talk about their budget and a reasonable time frame so they are on the same page when they bring the solution to the kids.

2. Family Meeting: Family meets to discuss the terms of getting another car. Agreements are made and time is taken to make appropriate adjustments for remaining time with only two cars. Children must fund insurance, gas and their part of necessary repairs. Before a car is bought, children must demonstrate financial stability. 3. Implementing (Schedule, work search, etc): Children seek employment/more hours at work. Applying for scholarships to free up money. Adjust schedules accordingly to increase efficiency and accommodate everyones needs. Parents save for another car. 4. Anticipating: Prepare for the new car and discuss scheduling and usage. Prepare for potential problems and discuss how the issues will be avoided/resolved. 5. Evaluate: Is everyone making the necessary progress to financially support the solution? 6. Implement car/gas/Insurance: Get the car and have insurance payments begin. 7. Family Meeting: Review the current schedule, effectiveness of the new car, and financial stability of each child.


Conclusion Our team, during this project, was able to come to a conclusion/solution using the principles of effective problem solving and reflective thinking that we learned during this class. Our recommendation is that the Warner family should come together that they can take mutual responsibility in the solution we have laid out. In this solution, the parents will ultimately fund an additional vehicle, and both children will fund the potential costs associated with insurance and gas. Once this is obtained they will come together once more and plan how they will accordingly share the additional vehicle depending on necessity over want. As a team we feel that this solution is most beneficial to the whole family and will allow each member to take shared responsibility in the solution.


Works Cited Adler, R & J. Elmhorst. (2010). COMM 1010: SLCC Custom Edition. New York: McGraw Hill.

Adler, R., Elmhorst, J., & Lucas, K. (2013). In R. Adler, J. Elmhorst, & K. Lucas, Communicating at Work: Strategies for Success in Business and the Professions (pp. 234-235). New york: McGraw Hill.

Pack, D. F. (2014, January 01). SLCC Canvas. Retrieved April 06, 2014, from COMM 1010: https://slcc.instructure.com/courses/269042/files/35242306?module_item_id=1889365


Appendix 1: Team Contract Class: COMM 1010-050 Semester: Spring 2014 Date Created: March 6, 2014 Team Members and Contact Information Bello, Kevin Phone: 801-638-7585 Email: firewater1980@gmail.com Ho, Tracie Phone: 385-226-7887 Email: nho6@briunmail.slcc.edu Laurent, Tyler Phone: 971-678-2298 Email: tylerjlaurent@gmail.com Peay, Jesse Phone: 801-520-9818 Email: peayja@yahoo.com Team Norms Relational Norms: 1. We commit to putting group goals above personal goals, so we will each MAKE the time to participate fully in each step of this project. 2. We commit to respecting others opinions. 3. We commit to giving constructive criticism when necessary and voicing our opinions. Task Norms: 1. If we have to miss a meeting, we will email our info to all members at least one day in advance. 2. Group members need to be punctual to scheduled meetings. 3. We agree to equal division of labor. 4. If anyone needs help with their part, contact others for support at least two days before planned meeting. Team Member Roles Relational Roles: 1. Participation Encourager- Kevin Bello 2. Harmonizer- Tracie Ho 3. Tension-Reliever- Kevin Bello 4. Evaluator of emotional climate- Tyler Laurent

5. Praise Giver- Tracie Ho 6. Empathetic Listener- Jesse Peay Task Roles: 1. Information/Opinion Giver- Tyler Laurent 2. Information/ Opinion Seeker- Kevin Bello 3. Starter- Tracie Ho 4. Direction-Giver- Tyler Laurent 5. Summarizer- Kevin Bello 6. Diagnoser- Tracie Ho 7. Gatekeeper- Jesse Peay/ Kevin Bello 8. Reality-Tester- Jesse Peay


Appendix 2: Comparison Chart In this chart you will find the evaluations of each solution we came up with as a team, and our evaluation of each solution, based on the criterion we found important as a team.
Solution 1 3 4 5 3 3 18 Solution 2 5 3 4 4 4 20 Solution 3 5 4 3 3 4 19 Solution 4 1 2 2 1 2 8 Solution 5 4 4 3 4 5 20 Solution 6 3 3 3 2 3 14

Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4 Criterion 5 Totals:


Appendix 3: Group Member Participation Points At our last meeting, we completed our team member evaluation. This evaluation was based on the criterion we came up with based on the Team Contract. Shown below is our table evaluation of each team member and a brief description of each evaluation. Attended all meetings 3 4 1 2 Came prepared to all meetings 4 4 1 1 Followed agreed upon team contract 4 4 2 2 Participated in meetings 2 2 2 2 Total

Peay, Jesse Laurent, Tyler Ho, Ngoc (Tracie) Bello, Kevin

13 14 6 7

Jesse Peay: (13 Points) Attended three meetings, came prepared to every meeting he was at, he followed all agreed upon terms and participated in all meetings. Tyler Laurent: (14 Points) Attended all meetings and contacted group members to remind them of meetings, came prepared to all meetings, followed agreed upon contract, and participated in all meetings. Tracie Ho: (6 Points) Attended two meetings, came without having reviewed the meeting schedule beforehand and was tardy to meetings, Tracie did not submit assignments early when she missed the meeting and did not make the time to be involved with every part of the project. She was however, respectful and contributed to discussions and decisions when present. Kevin Bello: (7 Points) Attended three meetings, although he was often late and forgot about most of the meetings until reminded. He came to meetings without having pre read the meeting schedule. Kevin had internet problems that prevented him from submitting his assignments early when he wasnt able to attend. He was great to have at the meetings because he shared his ideas and was always positive.