What is the relationship and role between KM and problem solving or decision making?
Always ponder the nature of this connection. For some KM is all about smarter problem solving, faster or better decisions. For me I'm not so sure. KM somehow goes deeper, it is about agility, awareness, continual learning, improving understanding, discovery, inquiry, emergence. I like to think KM is more about asking quality questions than finding elegant solutions, about OODA loops rather than prescriptive decision models, about connecting and reciprocating rather than mandating.
There are many approaches to problem solving. The key IMO is understanding the context, appreciating the 'politics' around problem ownership and finding the resolution sweet spots. Here are some leads:
RCA (root cause analysis)
FMEA (failure mode & effect analysis)
Poka-Yoke (failure proofing)
Multi-criteria decision making
There are some visual tools that can help:
After you have listed alternatives, solicited engagement, obtained agreement on key criteria, found adjudication rules the group can live with, allocated the weights and done the analysis - do you not often wonder if you have really increased your understanding?