A problem is simply a gap between reality and expectations. And in a world where customer expectations are continually rising, new gaps are constantly being created. Having a robust problem solving methodology and an ample toolkit is critical to becoming a good problem solver.
Furthermore, problem solving is at the core of nearly all the Lean principles. Most of the tools are simply problem solving shortcuts. Having a strong knowledge of how to solve problems helps overcome the inevitable obstacles to using the tools effectively.
This group combines a variety of modules that can help you identify problems, create a plan, and implement a lasting solution.
Data collection is a fundamental Lean skill that lays the foundation for successful improvement efforts. Poor data collection sets managers and their teams up for failure. Good data collection makes improvement faster and easier.
This overview covers the basics of data collection and provides a solid foundation for more advanced training on the subject. There is also a pair of optional hands-on data collection training exercise.
Pareto charts are one of the simplest problem solving tools. Because they are easily understandable and can be quickly created in Excel, they are a widely used. Pareto charts simply rank order ‘buckets’ of data points by the selected criteria, and let people see visually how the minority of problem types cause the majority of incidents. This understanding helps people focus their resources where they will get the biggest impact.
This short module addresses how to create a Pareto chart, how to use it to solve problems, and how to avoid common problems. It also includes tips on how to make outstanding Pareto charts.
The 5 Whys is a simple, effective problem solving tool that can help teams identify and deal with the root cause of a problem.
This short module takes a close look at the 5 Whys tool, addresses some of its potential pitfalls, and covers the topic of root cause analysis. There is also an optional hands-on 5 Whys training exercise.
Run charts show the change in a metric over a period of time. The horizontal axis shows time. The vertical axis shows the metric under observation.
This short module explains what a run chart is, why it is useful, when to use it, and how to make one.
Planned Modules for this Group
Problem Solving, Basic
Problem solving is a critical skill that few people ever truly master. Learn a basic system for approaching problems to get quick, effective resolutions. This method is based on the DMAIC method used in Six Sigma.
Learn how to use a variety of tools and methods to get teams to contribute to problem solving. Tap the power of collective intelligence.
Decision making is the art of selecting from among several options. Learn to use a variety of tools to come up with the best solution for the given situation. Includes training on the decision tree and the decision matrix.