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Problem Solving & Critical Thinking


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For most, problem solving and critical thinking are NOT naturally given talents. But they are skills that can be developed in anyone, with practice and adequate coaching. In this webinar, Karen shares her 12-step model for executing the PDSA (plan-do-study-adjust) cycle and give tips on how to best develop deep capabilities across the entire workforce.

Published in: Business, Education, Technology
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Problem Solving & Critical Thinking

  1. Problem Solving & Critical Thinking: How to Build These Vital Capabilities Karen Martin Webinar August 2, 2012
  2. “Most people spend more time andenergy going around problems than in trying to solve them. ” — Henry Ford 2
  3. Rule #1Embrace Problems 3
  4. Problems are not“opportunities for Improvement.” 4
  5. Rule #2Insist on Cross-Functional Involvement 5
  6. Problems Nearly Always Extend Outside theFunctional Silos in Which They’re Discovered 6
  7. Rule #3Follow PDSA Fanatically Develop hypothesis Refine Conduct Standardize experiment Stabilize Measure results 7
  8. “It takes a different kind of thinking tosolve a problem than the kind of thinking that produced the problem. ” — Albert Einstein 8
  9. Clarifying the PDSA Cycle Phase Detailed Steps New   1.  Define and break down the  problem. Problem   2.  Grasp the current condition. Develop 80% Plan Hypothesis   3.  Set a target condition.   4.  Conduct root cause & gap analysis. Continuous   5.  Identify potential countermeasures. Improvement   6.  Develop & test countermeasure(s) Conduct  Do   7.  Refine and finalize countermeasure(s). Experiment   8.  Implement countermeasure(s). Evaluate  Study   9.  Measure process performance. Results 10. Refine, standardize, & stabilize the process. Refine  Adjust Standardize  11. Monitor process performance. Stabilize 12.  Reflect & share learning. 9
  10. Nailing the Plan phase of PDSA is the most important step in theentire problem-solving process. Primary Goal: Achieving Clarity 10
  11. Critical ThinkingThinking that questions assumptions  Why? What if? Why not?Relies on set of values:  Clarity, precision, relevance, accuracy, fairness, sound evidence, good reasons, consistency, depth, breadth, patience, tenacityLeads to innovation 11
  12. Lack of Clarity Lack of Focus Lack of Discipline Lack of Engagement 12
  13. Rule #4Don’t Look Away. Ever. 13
  14. Minding the StoreMUST have a process owner3-5 KPIs for every major processFrequent measurementVisual display of the resultsRelentless pursuit of problems and/or “raising the bar” (continuous improvement) 14
  15. DevelopingProblem-Solving Capabilities 15
  16. Building mastery takes 10,000 hoursof deliberate practice 16
  17. Ways to “Deliberately Practice”• A3 Management (Shook) • Quick & Easy Kaizen (Bodek)• Toyota Kata (Rother) • Plain Old PDSA (Martin) 17
  18. What is A3?• The core of Toyota’s renowned management system.• A structured method for applying the PDSA (plan-do-study-adjust) approach to problem- solving.• International designation for 11 x 17” paper. 18
  19. The A3 Report• A concise “story board” that reflects the problem solver’s discoveries & thought process along the way. – Limited “real estate” develops precise thinking• A “living document” that reflects the iterative nature of problem-solving and enables organizational learning.• Highly visual – graphics, charts, maps, drawings, etc.• Neither the format nor the specific sections are set in stone. 19
  20. The A3 Report is a Communication, Consensus-Building and Learning Tool The A3 report is a  story board that reflects the problem‐ solving process. It is created as you  progress through  PDSA, not after. George Koenigsaecker, Leading the Lean Enterprise Transformation. 20
  21. Sample A3 Report Plan Do, Study, Adjust21
  22. Benefits of the A3• Creates consistency in how organizations go about solving problems, managing projects, and making decisions.• Builds critical thinking and problem- solving capabilities across the entire organization.• Forces a holistic/comprehensive view of the problem and solutions; requires collaborative problem-solving. – Reduction in “silo-ism”• Thorough root cause analyses reduce the risk of “band-aid” solutions. 22
  23. Benefits of the A3 (continued)• Ownership role drives accountability and reduces risk of “it’s everything else’s problem.”• Stimulates data-driven decisions.• Fairness and accountability replace blame and deceit.• Transparency re: problems spawns a commitment to action.• Develops deep organizational capabilities. 23
  24. A3 Roles & Responsibilities• Problem owner – Individual who’s accountable both for the results and the process for achieving results. – Problem owners have the authority to engage anyone needed and the responsibility to engage all relevant parties.• Coach – Person teaching the owner the problem- solving process. – Eventually, the coach is the problem owner’s direct supervisor. 24
  25. Socratic Questions to Instill Critical Thinking While Solving Problems Appendix, The Outstanding  Organization, Karen Martin, July 2012 25
  26. For Further Questions Karen Martin, Principal 7770 Regents Road #635 San Diego, CA 92122 858.677.6799 Twitter: @karenmartinopexSubscribe: 26