Monday, March 2, 2009

Practical Problem Solving (4) Step 2 = Breakdown the problem

Break down the process in manageable pieces to solve one at a time as each may contribute to your overall GAP

In this step you have to use the 4W: What, where, when and who. These constitute the contributing factors to your GAP

Something very important to keep in mind in this step is not to ask WHY or to jump towards causes that might be causing your problem.

Use Genchi Gembutso so that you can look at what should be happening. This will also allow you to confirm the facts and determine the Point of Cause.

The point of cause is where the problem is happening withing the process. So remember that if the process it is not defined, you should try to visualize it, Where there is an output there is a process.

Some tools that help you visualize the What, Where , When and Who are Pareto Diagrams, Tree Diagrams, Pies and Scatter plot diagrams.

Now that you know where the Point of Cause is, you have to prioritize your problem.

These are some questions that will help you set a priority for your problem:

•Level of Importance

–Does this effect my group/department KPI’s?
–Does this affect a department hoshin item?
–How long has this problem existed?
–What impact does this have on team members?
–What impact does this have on the company?

•Level of Urgency

–Who does this problem affect?
–Does it affect the groups KPI’s?

•Potential for Expansion

–What will happen if I ignore this problem?
–Will it stay the same?
–Could it get worse?

(Next: Target Setting)

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