Management Problem Solving Strategies

This means brainstorming about the process, using a Pareto Diagram to prioritize potential obstacles and creating a process flow diagram of what is currently going on.

After you have the problem defined, the model leads you through analyzing data you gather about the process, determining the root cause of the problem, and identifying possible solutions to the problem.

Five SPC tools are helpful in defining the problem: brainstorming the problem's characteristics, creating an affinity diagram, using a Pareto chart, creating an initial Process Flow Diagram of the present process, and Control Chart data.

The process flow diagram (PFD) will help the team identify "start to finish" how the present process normally works.

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At every level, from top to bottom, problems occur.This newsletter introduces the Problem Solving Model.This is a ten-step model to guide you (and your team) through a structured problem solving process.Step 1 is a critical step; it determines the overall focus of the project.In this step, the team defines the problem as concretely and specifically as possible.Not all decisions need to be made by teams nor do all problems need to be solved by groups.However, groups of people help to break mental sets (i.e., figuring out new ways of doing things). In excellent companies people constantly work on solving problems as they occur.These ten steps are effective with most of the problems the team will encounter.Each step is discussed here, and end products for step completion are specified as check points for team progress.The first step in the model is to define the problem; it does not matter if it is late shipments, stock outs, computer downtime, typos, lost messages, or an agreed upon "red bead" that everyone keeps running into.Before you can solve the problem, you must truly understand what it is.

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