Approaches to Problem Solving

Techniques for Problem Identification & Analysis

Root Cause Analysis  Root Cause Analysis is an effective method of probing Root cause analysis helps identify what. how and why something happened thus preventing recurrence. Key Considerations:       Specific underlying causes Cost beneficial Within management control Effective recommendations .

you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem Problem Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? .Root Cause Analysis Technique – Five Why By repeatedly asking the question "Why" (five is a good rule of thumb).

      Helps determine root causes Encourages group participation Uses an orderly.Root Cause Analysis Technique – Fish Bone Systematic way of looking at effects and the causes that create or contribute to those effects. easy-to-read format Indicates possible causes of variation Increases process knowledge Identifies areas for collecting data .


you can use the 5 Whys technique to drill down to the root causes . The fishbone diagram helps you explore all potential or real causes that result in a single defect or failure. Once all inputs are established on the fishbone.5 Whys And The Fishbone Diagram The 5 Whys can be used individually or as a part of the fishbone diagram.

e.Formulating the Hypotheses Hypothesis is a tentative explanation for an observation that can be tested (i. proved or disproved) by further investigation Issue Diagram is an effective method for breaking down problems and formulating hypotheses Hypothesis #1A Hypothesis #1B Issue #1 Hypothesis #1C Key Questions #1C-c Hypothesis #1D Key Questions #1C-d Problem Issue #2 Key Questions #1C-a Key Questions #1C-b Issue #3 .

It works by focusing on a problem.Brainstorming & Its Techniques  Method for developing creative solutions to problems. and then deliberately coming up with as many deliberately unusual solutions as possible and by pushing the ideas as far as possible Brainstorming is not appropriate for testing an idea. it is used to generate ideas      Individual brainstorming Group brainstorming Storyboarding .

Conducting the Analysis  Analysis of the facts is required to prove or disprove the hypotheses Analysis provides an understanding of issues and drivers behind the problem  Various Analysis Techniques      SWOT Analysis Force Field Analysis Cost Benefit Analysis Impact Analysis Pareto Analysis .

SWOT – Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats     Probably the most common analytical tool for strategic planning Somewhat subjective Easy to understand and follow Very useful for identifying the core competencies of any organization .

Force Field  Visually shows significant forces that impact the problem Forces tend to be those factors that promote or hinder a solution to a problem Prioritize forces between direct (more important) and indirect (less important) May need to brainstorm to generate ideas to list all forces    .

money. not making the decision   . etc.Cost Benefit  Identify all expected costs and benefits to make sure the decision has economic merit. Costs includes all tangible outlays (time.) and intangible /qualitative factors where you can assign some value Look at the net changes between making the decision vs.

000 Change in Benefits Choice A – B Change in Benefits Choice A – B = $ 950.Cost Benefit Example • The Costs (minuses) • The Benefits (pluses) Choice B: Do Nothing – Status Quo Choice B: Do Nothing – Status Quo • Net Benefit = $ 250.000 = $ 950.000 .000 = $ 700.000 Change in Costs Choice A – B Change in Costs Choice A – B = $ 700.

Used to quantify impacts Decision Tree Analysis – Build a tree and assign probabilities to each alternative to arrive at the most likely solution Simulation – Modeling a process and seeing how it changes when one or more variables change Prototype Model – Build and test the solution on a small scale before implementation to flush out lessons learned     . Solution Cost Benefit Analysis .Impact Analysis Tools  Scenario Playing – Storyboarding out how the future will unfold between alternatives: Do Nothing vs.

Pareto Analysis .

Defect Types. Lines. etc. Errors. Measure Categories Causes. Mfg.Pareto Chart Downtime. Products. . etc. Operators Machines. # of Employees.

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