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….. . . . . . Practical Problem Solving (PPS Presentation-Click Here.ppt)
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Practical Problem Solving Overview – By: http://www.genbaaccademy.com
By the end of this module, you’ll know what a problem is and see how a company’s like Toyota today use a form of this problem solving in order to improve their way of work. Next, you’ll also be introduced to other problem solving processes such as the six-sigma-DMAIC problem soling and finally by the end of the module you’ll understand the 8 steps to practical problem solving as we prepare to take a deep dive into each step throughout the rest of our course.
Ok…let’s get started by answering the very first fundamental question.
“What is a problem?”
A problem can be defined as:
1) Any diversion from the standard
2) A Gap between Actual and Desired Conditions
3) An unfulfilled customer need
Now taking it a bit further, we are also able to classify problems as one of three types. The first type is when:
1) A standard is not achieved
(in other words, if our target is 100% on time delivery and we express an actual 82% on-time delivery, our actual performance does not meet the standard.)
Now the second type of problem occurs when:
2) The standard is achieved but a higher standard is now required.
(Let’s say while staying with the current 100% on-time delivery example, if we are currently performing at 100% on-time delivery @ the quoted delivery time of 2 weeks, our customers could very well ask us to reduce our lead times to one week, while still maintaining 100% on-time delivery.)
And finally, the third type of problem occurs when:
3) Performance standard varies (…meaning it is not consistently achieved)
9Now this is really a form of MIRROR-UP our UNEVENESS which we first learned about in the transforming your value-stream course.
Alright…now that we have been introduced to “what a problem really is”, let’s focus our attention to “WHY practical problem solving approach is such a powerful technique in tackling issues burdening you and your organization.
“WHY practical problem solving approach is such a powerful technique”
1) First, problem solving enables organizations a common understanding and definition of what a problem actually is which in turn creates a fast, urgent initial response.
2) Next, a standard problem solving approach removes time lost in debate and discussions. (In other words, organizations are able to focus their valuable time and energy on things hat actually matter such as solving problems.
3) Finally, through planning, root cause analysis and the implementation of mistake proofing ensures that the problems do not reoccur since there is nothing more disheartening to see a problem reappear a few months after it was thought to have been solved.
TAKE the TME for thorough PLAN phase
Now then, throughout this problem solving course, we will be referring to this PDCA cycle which stands for PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT. And, in particular, we’ll be spending a lot of time on the first step which is Plan since the failure to plan properly as shown on the top side of this diagram, almost always results in longer times to resolve the problem. In other words, this organization rushed through the planning phase only to pay for its hastiness in the CHECK and ACT phases.
On the other hand, when an organization takes the time to do slow, thorough planning as prescribed in the practical problem solving approach, they are far more likely to solve their problems faster and far more efficient as you see here.
Other Common Problem Solving Techniques
Now, I’d like to turn our focus to some other problem solving approaches used by some companies before we take a deep dive into the 8-steps of the practical problem solving roadmap.
- Well first of all, depending on the problem at hand, many companies utilize one of the simplest problem solving methodologies available today known as “Just-Do-It” (In other words, to solve problems which may not require much time or resources, it is sometimes possible to quickly fix them and then move on. Now, these might be so called “low-hanging fruit initiatives”
- Next, Ford Motor Company adopted a problem solving process known as the 8-Discipline which takes 8 disciplines and uses them to tackle engineering problems.
i. Define the Problem
ii. Build a Team
iii. Containment Action
iv. Determine the Root Cause
v. Verify the Root Cause
vi. Corrective Action
viii. Congratulate the Team
No some actually confuse 8D with the 8-Steps of practical problem solving and while they do share some similarities, they are different.
- Another extremely powerful practical problem solving approach finds its roots in the six-sigma methodology. Specifically, six-sigma practitioners around the world have used the DMAIC or the DEFINE, MEASURE, ANAYZE, IMPROVE, CONTROL process to attack problems associated with variation in defects for many years.
NOW INTRODUCING THE TBP-8-step Practical Problem Solving Method
Now to be sure, there are other problem solving tools available today but these are the most popular. Well, to wrap up this overview module, I’d like to introduce to you the 8-Steps to practical problem solving process. Now, throughout the rest of the course, we are going to actually follow a case study. We’ll be actually taking a deep dive into each of the 8-steps, but for now we just want you to become familiar with their names.
Now, I’d like to point out that these 8-steps is actually what Toyota calls “The Toyota Business Practice” which is essentially a detailed explanation of how the PDCA cycle actually works.
Ok, now let’s get started. Now, the first step in the TBP process is:
- Clarifying the problem.
– In other words, we must clearly define the current situation by going to
see with our own eyes to get the facts.
– Now we also want to ensure the question whether we have contained the
problem in order to protect the customer, even though it means a
- The next step in the process has us breaking down the big problem down into smaller more specific problems. (scope he problem)
– Again, we want to go down to see the problem situation with our own
– Now during this step we’ll also take time to study the various inputs and
outputs of the process hoping that this will help us scope and prioritize our
- Next, once we have scoped the problem, it is time we set a target we will achieve which is step-3
– Now this is an important step because it forces us to make a
commitment. Now this target should definitely be a challenge but also
something that helps limit the scope. In other words, it becomes a MUST-
-And finally, important to remember that this target should take us one
step towards the ideal. Meaning, it doesn’t have to be a “gargantuous”
leap towards perfection instead its focus is to taking one solid step at a
- Next, step-4 has us analyzing the root cause.
– To do this, we must practice Genchi Cenbuchi without prejudice, which
means we must go and see the problems for ourselves instead of relying
on what our report says.
– Now during this step, we’ll work towards identifying the (POC) Points-of-
Cause, which is the start point of root cause analysis.
– Now as it turns out, there are usually multiple points of casue so we must
drill down using such things such as the 5WHY’s. For the record, 5 is not
a magic number, It is just a typical suggested number of WHYS to get to
the root cause.
– Now then, a proper root cause analysis will point to the action needed,
namely the removal of the root cause. To do this, you and your team will
need to make a plan and that includes WHO, WHAT and WHEN enabling
you to pursue multiple countermeasures which is step5 of the practical
problem solving process.
- Develop and pursue countermeasures
- Now step-6 has a ‘see the countermeasures through as we implement our countermeasures quickly as a team.
– To accomplish this, it is important to seek the help and most importantly
the ideas of many people.
– You’ll also want to communicate the status regularly while turning the
PDCA cycle again and again.
– And perhaps the best advice we can offer with this step is, “NEVER
GIVE UP”. You’ll no doubt hit obstacles and challenges but your
willingness to persevere and battle through these situations may very well
mean the difference between success and failure.
- Now step-7 is often called the follow-up stage as we “evaluate both results and process”
– Now, during this step, you’ll want to ask the question, “Was this an
effective countermeasure or just luck?” Since, if you look closely at this
picture of this square peg in a round hole idea, for sometimes a great idea
is such as ensuring that only round pegs get inserted have room for
improvement since a person with a square peg and a hammer, just might
find ways around this error proofing device.
- Finally, step-8 of this practical problem solving method, challenges us to standardize our success (& learn from failure) by using something the Japanese call Yoketan
– Loosely translated means to copy and expand good kaizen ideas to other
areas while also identifying unresolved issues.
– And, in addition to building on our successes we must also face and learn
from unresolved issues. In fact, we should never shy away since failure to
address them can lead to problems reoccurring in the near future.
– And finally during this 8th and final step, we must set the next target for
improvement since he phrase: “No problem is a problem” is so very true.
And that covers the overview of the 8-steps of the practical process to problem solving.
Thanks to www.gembaaccademy.com for the video of this document. This is a transcript of that same video used to better highlight all the detailed bullet points associated to each of the 8-steps.
Problem solving can take many forms but, if you try problem solving without any structure, you may end up with a bigger problem.
// Definition of Problem :
Something that needs a solution.l
Can be either positive or negative.l
• Chronic – Ongoing and Accepted problems
• Spasmodic – Sudden change to normal process.
Level 0 – Abnormality only affecting those directly related to the processl and contained.
Level 1 – Abnormality that affects the processes ability to achieve Q,C andl D.
Level 2 – Abnormality that affects the next process and may have an impactl on the final customer.
Level 3 – Abnormality that has affected the final customer.l
Analysis of Problems
• Tools which are used to obtain and structure ideas during the problem solving cycle
Cause & effect diagram (Ishikawa, fishbone)
• Tools that are used to gather and analysis numerical data during the problem solving cycle.
The 5 Principles of problem solving :-l
• Problem Definition
• Identify Root Cause
• Customer Protection and Countermeasure(s)
• Confirm Effectiveness of Countermeasure
• Feedback / Feed forward
// The different types of problem solving
• This looks at putting in place solutions prior to abnormalities occurring. Best identified during the design stage prior to transfer to manufacturing using Advanced Quality Tools.
• This looks at the current standards and by analysing data using the 7 quality control tools seeks to make kaizen improvements.
• This looks at the abnormalities that have occurred and by gathering and analysing data using some of the (7-QC’s) 7 quality control tools aims to provide a customer protection and countermeasure .