Problem spotting and problem solving in business

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Problem spotting and problem solving in business

Systematic Problem Solving Strategies: Improving Customer Satisfaction and Efficiency March 7, Lee Candy Problem solving strategies are common place in business and it is essential that the right tool is used for the specific problem in hand.

Process improvement and effective problem solving strategies are two weaknesses of many companies. Every company has problems. The difference between the outstanding, world class performers and the average companies is how well they react to issues when they arise.

More importantly, how well they put to bed issues that have risen, so they do not come back. The better performing companies have also found ways to get better at what they do — continuously.

Some companies believe that scrap, waste and defects are just the cost of being in business. It is a cost… a cost that can be avoided, because this cost is a cost of poor quality! Remember, the only thing that eventually kills a business is having no cash!

Problem solving

Jidoka — Finding the problem and eliminating those pebbles…. The Japanese call the art of problem solving strategies as Jidoka. This involves a continuous improvement culture, which takes time and great leadership. Picking the right issue In business, errors are made; issues arise, so how do you know what problem to deal with amongst the mountain of problems that may exist.

Where do you start? What problem strategies are there to help diagnose and eliminate the causes amongst the myriad of issues? Simply put, one must find the biggest impact, either by number of times the issue arises or the financial impact it has on the business, or any other scoring method.

Then it is a case of focusing the problem solving effort on this issue until it is resolved. The Pareto chart is an effective tool for just this. It enables the organisation to visually identify the biggest issue and then allows the team to focus on rectifying it. Once eliminated, one can focus on the next biggest issue and so on and so forth in a structured and logical way.

You simply pick the most appropriate tool for the problem at hand. Identify the problem 2. Identify the root causes 3. Brainstorm the solutions 4.

Problem spotting and problem solving in business

Select the appropriate solution 5. Implement and check the impact of the solution The diagram below summarises. Identify the Problem You may know there is a problem, but do you know what the root cause is?

Problem Solving Strategies Road Map

Can you put your finger on the actual problem? Are there a number of issues that are just symptoms of a bigger cause? It can be easy to get lost in the see of issues and problems in a business, but keeping it simple is the main aim of the game.

Simply put, if you have a problem somewhere and it is causing a big impact, measure it! What is the actual problem? How many times does it happen and what generic factors are causing this?

Simple Visual tools to firstly expose the problem are QCPC charts, and Pareto Diagrams to display quick, simple and visual understanding of the problem, its occurrence and the generic reasons why can be captured.

After this, the next thing to do is to understand the problem further and drill down to the root causes….

Problem spotting and problem solving in business

Identify the Root Causes Analysis tools like the Process flow chart, Scatter diagrams, histograms and others can help pin point at what point in the process issues arise, but a simple tool to help kick-start the root cause analysis is the Fishbone diagram. The objective here is to wade through the symptoms, and identify the root causes to the problem.

Brainstorm Alternative Solutions Use a group, preferably cross functional, to understand the problem, identify the potential causes and agree what they think the root causes are. At this point, a simple exercise would be to discuss the problem and in turn, get each individual within the team to identify possible causes.

No idea is a bad idea, and the remit is to get as many ideas as possible.Problem Solving in Business and Management Hard, soft and creative approaches Michael J. Hicks Senior Lecturer Thames Valley College of. Every day we are each faced with problems to solve: the large problems can be intimidating and the small problems can be mind-numbing.

Either way, there is no avoiding problems. You are in your leadership position, title or not, because you have the reputation for spotting and solving important problems while rallying others, and [ ]. A few days ago I wrote about how to know a Driver when you see one, as well as a few tips for working with them.

In this second post of the series I offer the same kind of perspective about Pioneers. After all, Business Chemistry wasn't developed for introspection, it was developed for action!. A version of this article appeared in the Spring issue of strategy+business..

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in , the terrorists responsible for that act took the life of a police officer, Sean Collier, who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Business savvy describes a level of understanding and technical expertise in business that we are more prone to recognise in others than acknowledge in ourselves. Creative leaders and innovators are thinking about design thinking in more mature ways.

Moving away from a sole emphasis on language and learning, they are increasingly focusing on questions of application, ownership, and impact.

Problem-Solving Skills From