Sunday, March 8, 2009

Practical Problem Solving (5) Step 3 = Target Setting

This step seems to be easy, but you should not fall on the trap. This step is very important, because you do not want to set up unrealistic goals, or set the expectations too high. Remember that Problem Solving is helping us improve continuously and at a steady pace.

Start with the prioritized problem at the point of occurrence.

Make the commitment about solving the problem

Set a measurable, quantitative, concrete and challenging target.

Be specific with the target, clearly identify how much and by when

Remember that with this process you are taking care of specific issues one step at a time, this will contribute to reduce your GAP to your ideal situation.

The following are some common mistake in Target Setting:
  • Confusing "What to do" with the target
  • Confusing the "Method" with the target
  • Confusing the "Ideal Situation" with the target
These are some examples of good target setting:

Why do we set the target in step 3 and not in step 1 or 2?

Setting the target at step 3 can establish how much of the problem (GAP) we can address in step 1 by solving the problem to tackle. If we solve only one portion of the overall problem by solving the problem to tackle it the require us to decide how many other problems we have to tackle to reach the ideal situation.

It also narrows the focus for Root Cause Analysis therefore recognizing the impact of the countermeasures.

Next: Root Cause Analysis

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