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What Are Your Go-To Problem-Solving Tools?

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Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #239593

    Joe Wojniak
    Participant

    What are your go to problem solving tools?

    0
    #239598

    Robert Butler
    Participant

    As Kaplan put it in his book The Conduct of Inquiry, ” When attacking a problem the good scientist will utilize anything that suggests itself as a weapon.” :-)

    1
    #239608

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    Watch, listen, and ask open ended questions are always a first place to start while at the process. This may sound “trite” but often forgotten.

    2
    #239609

    Strayer
    Participant

    There are so many. But my first step if the problem hasn’t been narrowly defined is “is / is not” analysis, often attributed to Kepner-Tregoe but hard to call original. Just write down what you know to be true about the problem and what you know to be untrue. No assumptions here. Just what you know for sure at present. Try to cover everything you can think of that’s relevant. Take a good look at these two lists. It’ll lead to more questions and eventually to the most appropriate tool.

    2
    #239726

    GPS1111
    Participant

    Before anything else – the three actuals:
    1) Go to the actual place where the problem is.
    2) See what is actually happening.
    3) Talk to the actual people involved.

    Those will tell me what specific tools or experiments and resources I need to use and I can plan from there.

    4
    #239749

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @joewojniak MSA I want to know if I can trust the data. This is particularly important if the people who believe there is a problem have not done some sort of MSA. This has always been important but I we become more in love, as a society, with drama it is always good to know the data is real.

    1
    #239751

    Joe Wojniak
    Participant

    Thanks! These are great suggestions.

    0
    #239781

    Dave100
    Participant

    I use an A3 as it has defined steps, it’s relatively quick and conclusive.

    1
    #240631

    steve02099
    Participant

    In manufacturing, the most frequent tools used are 5-Why’s, A3 and Ishikawa diagram.

    1
    #241041

    AlonzoMosley
    Participant

    “Is Nots” are also true.

    It is 100 percent true that black specks occur when we run ATC329. It is also 100 percent true that we do not have black specks when we run ATC390 or BHG350.It is also 100 percent true that we do not have brown specks, gray specks, or red specks when we run ATC 329.

    So your Is/Is Not:

    ATC329                                      ATC390, BHG350

    Black Specks                             Brown specks, Gray specks, Red specks

    ll true.

    1
    #241046

    Joe Wojniak
    Participant

    Hi @AlonzoMosley- I’m not sure what ATC329, ATC390, and BHG350 are.  I like using Is/Is Nots because it is a great method for determining what information is meaningful to the problem and what is not.  Thanks for adding to this post!

    0
    #241048

    AlonzoMosley
    Participant

    Its not a thing – it’s just a made up example to show that Is Nots have power BECAUSE they’re true. You can destroy (false)potential causes when you say, “How can it be true that this is happening, and also that this other thing is NOT happening?”

    Like in my (again, made up) example, if a Pernicious Engineer insists that carbon is leaking through the intake vent, you’d have to say “Why is carbon causing black spots only on the 329 and not the 390 or the 350?”

    Subtle difference, but powerful.

    1
    #241052

    Andrew Parr
    Participant

    Usually start with a sledgehammer and when that fails go back to the data and start from there.

    At the moment I am working on a problem where the data may not be consistent with the truth which gets me straight into asking “Why?”.  Root cause analysis is very powerful here and I also tend to go back to the SIPOC and see where the value is and whether I have all the inputs that transform into that set of Outputs.

    Most processes come down to very few steps that actually add value so understanding this is key to knowing what the problem is before thinking about solving it.

    “Just my opinion”

    2
    #241061

    Alberto Brito
    Participant

    The seven basic quality tools:

    • Check Sheets
    • Flow Charts
    • Run Charts
    • Histograms
    • Ishikawa Diagrams
    • Pareto Diagrams
    • Scatter Plots

    I really like using Box Plots also.

    1
    #241063

    AlonzoMosley
    Participant

    I would argue that none of those are problem SOLVING tools, but either problem CLARIFICATION tools are hypothesis-creation tools. That’s all super importan, and just shy of 75 percent of problems are solved by clarifying them, but for that last 25 percent you need something that will help you test destructively…thats one reason why I like KTs Is/Is Not as a framework.

    1
    #242710

    SixSigmaPro
    Participant

    I think a lot of the question of what to do with problems has to do with training and the capacity for applying new knowledge. For Six Sigma this means staying up to date and pushing yourself further which for me was finally getting my Green Belt. I recommend upping your training.

    2
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