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Tao Zhang

Analysis & Problem Solving Assignment


*NOTE: This assignment may be submitted either in hard copy form in person in our Week 7 class
session, or in file copy online in the Assignments section on Blackboard.
Please do not submit this assignment in email.
1. Review the Mindtools.com section on Ishikawa (aka: fishbone/cause-and-effect) diagrams as a
problem-solving tool at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_03.htm. Also review the
sample at http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_99.htm.
2. Choose an actual problem/issue you have experienced at work. On paper or in Microsoft Word:
a. Describe the problem (effect) clearly.
b. Construct an Ishikawa diagram exploring possible causes and contributing factors for your issue.
If you want to do this in Word:
i. Open a new blank document, and change the page layout to Landscape to give yourself
more space for the diagram.
ii. Use the shape drawing tools to drawl lines for your fishbone structure (in the Insert tab,
under Shapes). Remember you can move these lines around the page at will by
selecting the line and moving it. You can move multiple lines by clicking/selecting one
line, then control-clicking others to add them to the selection.
iii. Also on the Insert tab, you can insert text boxes to put labels on your diagram. Like the
lines, you can move and resize the text boxes by selecting them.
iv. You can also copy any shape and Control-C (copy), then Control-V (paste) it to re-create
the exact shape and then select and move it to wherever you want. This is a fast way of
adding text boxes or more lines.
v. A sample partial Ishikawa diagram is on page 3 of this document. Feel free to open a new
Word document, select and copy all the parts off of page 2 and paste them into a new
document for your diagram.
3. Identify 3 or 4 dimensions upon which to weight the causes in order to prioritize them to address or
investigate. A good example is in the Santa Rosa Health Center case find it here. The factors used
by the Santa Rosa team are commonly used.
a. Construct a prioritization matrix that includes all the identified or hypothesized causal factors
from your Ishikawa diagram.
b. Rate each causal factor from 1-5 on each one of the dimensions. Remember that the higher the
rating in each area, the more the factor rises to the top to be investigated or addressed. Therefore,
if the factor is feasibility, 5 is most feasible, 1 least. If the factor is cost, 5 is the least costly, 1 is
the most costly.
c. Decide if you want to sum the scores or multiply the scores. Using the sum generally works better
if you dont have a lot of factors, using the product works better if there are many factors. Sort the
factors from highest to lowest sum or product. This is the order in which you would go after the
causal factors.
d. A sample Excel spreadsheet is on page 2 of this document.

Tao Zhang
Problem:
When I worked in BestBuy China as a salesman, we face such problem: some popular products out of
stock, such as iPad and accessory.

Causal/Contributory Factor
Factor 1
Factor 2
Factor 3
Factor 4
Factor 5
Factor 6
Factor 7
Factor 8

Frequency
2
3
1
1
4
3
4
2

Importance
3
4
5
5
5
4
3
3

Feasibility
5
3
3
5
2
1
3
2

Sum
10
10
9
11
11
8
10
7

Conclusion: Factor 4, 5 need first to solve.


For factor 4, two men double check after product leave inventory.
For factor 5, sales could recommend other similar product to customers. Company could purchase from
other suppliers.

Tao Zhang

People factors

1, Sales do not realize they need to report.


2, Sales do not report in time
3, Headquarter manager receive
the report but forget to response.
4, Warehouse keeper
send wrong products.

Out of stock

5, Supplier has
the limit capacity.

6, Suppliers want to
introduce their new product

Supplier factors

Process factors

7, Product accumulate
in other store.

8, Sap inventory system


arithmetic too old that can
not adapt current situation.