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Problem Solving Tools – Which to use when

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Caco 9 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #53453

    Jurena
    Participant

    Hi All,

    I am our company’s LSS lead, and have been requested to give a high level presentation on some “problem solving tools” (ie 5 whys, CEDs, FEMA, and the six sigma DMAIC process). I’ve got the presentation complete and it shows the inter-relationship between the different tools.
    A question was asked when you would use one over the other.
    I’ve got a couple responses in mind, but I’d like to hear from some of the “experts” out there.
    Appreciate the help!

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    #190166

    HopeOverExperience
    Participant

    That’s a hard question to answer quicklly as a major part of the training in becoming a GB, BB and MBB is about learning when to use which tool so you don’t use all of them for every project which gets DMAIC it’s reputation for taking too long.

    Savings this all problems should go through the DMAIC steps e.g. define your problem if you can’t do this how do you know what your fixing, measure it even it’s just getting peoples views around the room e.g. CED, FMEA’s etc, analyse it 5 Whys, Improve it how are you going to fix it maybe another FMEA to see if you can break your solution, Contol what you’ve done.

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    #190167

    Mikel
    Member

    Tool – Choose the right person to lead the effort

    Interrelationship = choose someone with no knowledge and failure

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    #190172

    Unimatrix1
    Member

    Having had a similar scenario of the causal options out there, the one thing that sticks out for me is the outcome. That is to say, the 5 x Why’s are fine but don’t really have a tailored outcome as with many other of the processes.

    Lots of opportunities to ask the right questions, but you’ll always only get as good an answer back as to the question you ask in the first place, whatever route you take.

    You can add the Kepner-Tregoe methodology to this, particularly where you compare like for like i.e. why should 2 servers be performing wonderfully, when the other two are not? A great methodology to break it all down in more complex matters. What the KT process offers is an end to end replicable process with replicable end points, not something that generates further questions – or doesn’t have visibility of an end point from an auditable perspective.

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    #190173

    Matthew7
    Participant

    [iIn the grand scheme of things It depends ,” what is the output I am looking for?” If lead time is a consideration, questioning to remove or combine steps in an operation,then we look at a value stream map, if we are mining for X’s, then we should take the process map, Cause and Effect, PFMEA direction. Kepner-Fourie, 5 whys are other methods to mine for dataeach with its place in the problem solving arena.[/i]

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    #190175

    Afsar Choudhury
    Participant

    all the lean & six sigma tools has their own strengths, weakness & applicability.

    Try to prepare a matrix to show which tool is best at what conditions.

    Hope this helps

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    #190176

    Long
    Member

    Selecting the “right” problem tools comes from basic knowledge of each tools and your personal experience. Being comfortable with using a particular tool is sometimes more effective than using an alternative tool that you have little knowledge/experience. I suggest you apply what you know and as a process-improvement approach, continue to build an effective tool box by practicing with tools that you less familar with.

    Selecting the “right” problem solving tools requires (first) to clearly define the problem. Secondly, I have a list of primary (and secondary) tools that are grouped by each phase of the DMAIC process. This is a quick reference list. And finally, as you go through the DMAIC process phased and identify what data and/or information you have (or need to get) and what outcome is desired, you can select the most appropriate tool for the function. Try not to use more tools than necessary and ensure there is a logical flow of analysis based on the prior tool, current tool, and subsequent tool that is used. Generally, certain types of problems use the same tools — so keep it simple. It will make the process go faster which is a win-win situation for everyone.

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    #190284

    Jurena
    Participant

    Thanks, Roger.
    I do have a DMAIC matrix which list tools to be used at each stage, but I believe you and others are correct in recognizing first and foremost the need to not only identify but also to understand the problem you are trying to solve and the desired output for your problem solving effort. Is it simple or complex? Do we have an idea for the solution and just need to verify against a methodical approach or don’t we have any idea what the solution is? Is this a preventative or reactive activity? Do we want to identify controls to put in place to insure improvements are sustainable?
    Pick the right tool and minimize the effort to drive toward a solution which prevents the problem from occuring again.
    Thank you all for your responses..

    Dave

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    #190299

    Caco
    Participant

    Is it possible to list several typical cases for these tools in your presentation?
    I figure cases would enhance the understanding of attendees.
    Additionally,you may prepare to tell the background of applying tools in limited time.
    Expect it will help.

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