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Published by: pafinou on Jun 14, 2012
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Problem Solving

What is Problem Solving?

“higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills” (Goldstein & Levin, 1987)

Why is it hard?

Intransparency (lack of clarity of the situation)
 

commencement opacity continuation opacity inexpressiveness opposition transience enumerability connectivity (hierarchy relation, communication relation, allocation relation) heterogeneity temporal constraints temporal sensitivity phase effects dynamic unpredictability

Polytely (multiple goals)
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Complexity (large numbers of items, interrelations, and decisions)
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Dynamics (time considerations)
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Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Problem Cycle

     

Problem Recognition – Define the problem Problem Observation – Clarify the current situation Problem Analysis – Thoroughly analyse all data Develop Solution – Design a plan of action Validation Solution – Analyze the results Sustain Solution – Maintenance Problem Evaluation – Evaluation and Follow up

Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Problem Recognition

Define the problem clearly Ask the following questions
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What is our objective? Why are we here? What is the impact?

Problem Recognition

 

It is vital to assess the impact that the problem is having on your environment Assess the sense of urgency this problem justifies What skills are needed to solve this problem? Has this problem been solved before? LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP

Problem Recognition


Describe or define the problem Identify the specific symptoms associated with the problem You may need to conduct an investigation You may have to study and learn about the system or process that is at fault, and know how it should be working

Problem Recognition

You may need to draw a picture

Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Problem Observation

Consider all the available information
     

Event logs Historical Timeline System Failure timeline Eye-witness accounts Visual Inspection Smells ? Sounds ?

Problem Observation

What is the frequency of failure?

Constant Failure: easy to identify problem, probably a major component Intermittent Failure: Harder to categorise, difficult to predict and hard to solve Conditional Failure: It is possible to predict when problems will occur (e.g. range, temperature)

Problem Observation

Annotate you findings
 


 

Writing things down, it can be very helpful It can allow other people to help List what your theories are List tests that you have undertaken List tests to take Avoids shot-gunning, easter-egging, and swaptronics - replacing unrelated components more or less at random in hopes that a malfunction will go away

Problem Observation

Modify the problem statement on the basis of your findings.

Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Problem Analysis

 

THIS IS THE HARD BIT Change location to think about the problem in detail Get some sleep if necessary Never assume, leave no rock unturned

Problem Analysis

Analyse all the data collected Do we want a temporary or permanent solution to the problem?
 

Temporary: Containment strategy Permanent: Root-cause analysis

Problem Analysis

Root Cause Analysis

What are the possible causes?


   

CAF, OPV, APC, C&S Random Word Creativity Quotes Mindmaps Six Thinking Hats Leonardo – 100 questions, stream of consciousness,

Problem Analysis

Root Cause Analysis
     

Kepner-Tregoe Problem Analysis 5 Whys Ishikawa diagram Pareto analysis Fault tree analysis Failure mode and effects analysis

Problem Analysis

Apply the KISS principle
Try to avoid

Knee-jerk analysis: hasty analysis without considering all the issues Analysis paralysis: too much data, too many options, information overload

Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Problem Analysis

Create a list of potential solutions Do not deviate from the data


 


CAF, OPV, APC, C&S Random Word Creativity Quotes Mindmaps Six Thinking Hats Leonardo – 100 questions, stream of consciousness,

Develop Solution

Evaluate the solutions
   

Which is easiest to implement? Who will be impacted by each? Are all solutions safe? What is the action plan for each?

Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Validate Solution

Did the selected solution actually solve the problem? Have the desired goals been achieved? Have the results been properly documented? What side-effects has occurred?

Validate Solution

If the problem hasn’t been solved
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What is the contingency plan? Is further investigation required? Make sure the real problem is being solved

Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Sustain Solution

This is an important phase that is often overlooked What changes in your procedures (or maintenance schedule) should you undertake on the basis of the problem solved and the data collected?

Problem Cycle
Problem Evaluation

Problem Recognition

Sustain Solution

Problem Observation

Validate Solution
Develop Solution

Problem Analysis

Problem Evaluation

A good problem-solving process should have uncovered other issues


 

With your environment With your approaches to problem solving Take time to review all documentation What lessons were learned?

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