Few tips to consider when deploying problem solving

    While it looks quite easy to open a problem solving it is     much more difficult to close it. 
This post intend to share     some tips to keep problem solving team effective on the     long run

1-      “A well-defined problem is half resolved” => Never jump on solution mode.

It is also essential that everyone involved share the same problem definition, the What Who Were When Why How Many tool + an IS is NOT matrix might be helpful

2-      -....pick adequate problem solving methodology in line with the problem complexity, from a simple " to do list" or PDCA 90% of NC’s up to DMAIC or 8D.

3-      For complex issues, make sure you get support from management and then build your dream team with a proper balance of team role : leader, socializer, thinker and doer attitude must be ideally covered.

4-      Avoid common group failure by identifying as soon as possible standard group behavior such as :

a.    "risky shift" / Polarization,

b.   "groupthink" 

c.     "mindlessly following experts"

d.   "leader dependency"

e.   "Social loafing"


5-      Use brainstorm to generate potential causes then focus on addressing root causes of problem to avoid re-occurrences (Ishikawa & 5 Why’s tools) make sure then root causes have been checked and validated.

6-      Once root causes have been correctly identified, consider the participation of people who are going to implement solution when looking for technical ideas to eradicate  root causes, evaluate proposed solution using criteria’s such as cost*easy to implement*effect matrix. Keep in mind that people are motivated by actions and results, it might be much more beneficial to start launching a maximum of short cycle /easy to implement actions rather than complex long term and costly projects even thought their single result might be limited, if taken separately

     ....last but not least

7-      Problems must be analyzed where the value is added, at shopfloor level (in an industrial environment) rather than in a meeting room, adopt preferably a "Quick Response Quality Control (QRQC)" strategy among your organization.

8-      All along the resolution cycle, Differentiate Urgent & Important

9-      Priorize & distribute actions items to the team using Simple, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic and Time bonded actions items and make sure they are closed;

10-  Cycle time of resolution needs to be monitored, and proven successful experience documented and shared with other colleagues / departments / suppliers….to keep momentum


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