What is a problem ?

What is a problem? How do you know if is a problem, decision or just a task that needs to be done?

It is quite important that you identify if you have a problem or not. You don't what to waste resources on treating a decision or task as a problem.

You only have a problem if you can answer YES to following 3 questions:

  1. Do we have a deviation?
  2. Is cause unknown?
  3. Do we need to know cause to take meaningful action?

Yes to all three = a problem

Problem solving tools

5 Why's Analysis - very simple but effective

You simple ask Why 5 times and that should give you the root cause.

Fishbone Diagram

The fishbone diagram is a simple tool that allows quick and effective root causes to be understood. It is often used for brainstorming issues and can be used in conjunction with the 5 Why's tool.

DMAIC (A3) Problem Solving

A3 is a structured problem solving and continuous improvement approach, first employed at Toyota and typically used by lean manufacturing practitioners. It provides a simple and strict approach systematically leading towards problem solving over structured approaches.