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There are a couple of well-known continuous improvement road maps that should be used, like PDCA or DMAIC, but in essence, problem solving is all about the following:1. Simply put, if you have a problem somewhere and it is causing a big impact, measure it!Understand the process: What is the actual problem?
Remember, the key is to eliminate problems as soon as you can, therefore creating a continuous improvement culture, which embeds Jidoka principles.
A number of problem solving strategies are currently popular and can be seen below, so give them a go and see how you get on.
An agreement must be reached by the team as to what the root cause(s) are, and so, from the ideas generated in the previous step, the team must agree as to what the top three possible root causes are.
Once agreed, it’s on to the next stage to work out possible solutions to remove the root causes.
This process can be over one session or a number of detailed sessions.
The time span will very much depend on the size of the problem.
The Pareto chart is an effective tool for just this.
It enables the organisation to visually identify the biggest issue and then allows the team to focus on rectifying it.
Root causes and countermeasures highlighted and agreed?
The next step is to implement the solutions, checking the impact of them, and measuring to ensure that the root cause(s) has gone, thus the problem has been eliminated.