Critical Thinking: Business Analysis and Decision-Making Strategies

Be more effective in analysis, communication and leadership.

Sharpen your skills by being more aware of your own thought process and the thought processes of others. Learn techniques for critical thinking through probing and reflecting. Become skilled in structuring an argument, judging the credibility of a source and making better decisions.


Barbara Farmerie, MBA, PMP

Barbara Farmerie, MBA, PMP

Barb Farmerie was born in Pittsburgh, PA, but has been a resident of Milwaukee for more than 20 years. Much of that time was spent working for MillerCoors, where she was an IT development manager delivering business application projects throughout ... read more

Who Should Attend

Those who want to improve their problem-solving and decision-making abilities, as well as individuals who want to challenge their current approach to analysis.

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Develop critical thinking and analysis skills
  • Learn techniques for critical thinking and improved focus
  • Enhance customer service through better problem-solving and decision-making
  • Increase situational awareness
  • Become more effective in analysis, communication and leadership

Course Outline/Topics

Seminar Outline

Overview of Critical Thinking

  1. Definitions of Critical Thinking
  2. Components of Critical Thinking
  3. Critical vs. Non-Critical Thinking
  4. Ways to become a Critical Thinker
    • Activity: Self analysis
  5. Critical Thinking model
  6. How to stimulate Critical Thinking in a team
  7. Preventing groupthink
  8. Baloney detection: Skeptical thinking
    • Activity: Baloney detection quiz

Asking Questions and Problem Definition

  1. Asking probing questions
    • Activity: Asking smart questions
  2. Structuring problem statements
  3. Goal statements
    • Activity: Develop a problem and goal statement
  4. Identifying the cause of the problem
  5. Divergent/convergent thinking
  6. Mind mapping
  7. Fishbone diagram
  8. Consensus thinking
    • Activity: Consensus thinking

 Business Problem Analysis and Decision Making

  1. Business problem analysis model
  2. SWOT analysis
  3. Examples for using SWOT analysis
    • Activity: Problem solving and decision making
  4. Decision/event trees
  5. Expected monetary value
    • Activity: Decision/event tree
  6. Six Thinking Hats: Approach to decision making
  7. Parallel thinking
    • Activity: Applying Six Thinking Hats
  8. Making decisions
  9. Decision-making strategies
    • Activity: Selecting the best decision-making strategy
  10. Who makes the decision?
  11. Decision-making strategies
  12. Decision methods
    • Decision by consensus
    • Grid analysis
    • Weighted grid analysis
    • Pareto analysis
    • Qualitative decision making methods
    • Activity: Picking the best decision method
    • Activity: Balancing the budget


"I enjoyed the group activities that allowed us to use the tools that were presented."  —  Sarah Myszewski, 2017 participant

"Barbara is very knowledgeable in PM practices and well versed in teaching this course!"  —  2017 participant

Meet Instructor Barbara Farmerie, MBA, PMP

All sessions are Face-to-Face unless otherwise noted.

Date: Thu.-Fri., May 10-11

Time: 8:30am-4:30pm

Location: UWM School of Continuing Education

Instructor: Barbara Farmerie MBA, PMP

Fee: $845

CEUs: 1.4, PDUs: 14, PD Hours: 14, CDUs: 14

Enrollment Limit: 24

Program Number: 5025-10537

Registration Deadline: Thu., May 10

Register Now