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ABC's of Problem Solving

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Slides from September 17, 2020 Webinar entitled "ABC's of Problem Solving: A3 Approach, Basic Tools, and Change Management." The slides cover the following concepts: 1. Why Problem Solving is Critical to Culture Change and Lean Transformation 2. What is A3 Problem Solving? 3. How to Properly Define Problems 4. Selected Basic Tools for Root Cause Analysis 5. Next Steps

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ABC's of Problem Solving

  1. 1. The ABC's of Problem Solving: A3 Approach, Basic Tools & Change Management Darren Dolcemascolo
  2. 2. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Agenda • Why is Problem Solving Critical to a Lean Transformation • What is Problem Solving? • Problem Solving Methodologies • Defining the Problem • Basic Tools for Determining Root Cause • Next Steps
  3. 3. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Why is Problem Solving Important? Six Critical Leadership Behaviors for Lean Transformation 1. Respect for People 2. Creates Vision 3. Go and See (Gemba) 4. Lead by Example 5. Problem Solving 6. Relationship Builder NOTE: Taken from Doctoral Thesis survey of Lean Experts entitled: “The critical success factors and leadership behaviors required for successful deployment of Lean process improvement” by Rohan Reid, PhD (former COO of Inland Empire Health Plan)
  4. 4. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Why is Problem Solving Important?  Culture needs to change from reactive to proactive.  Jumping to solution as the “normal” mode must change to something else.  A good problem-solving process must be the “something else” referred to above.  Everyone in the organization must have a common language for problem solving.
  5. 5. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved What is a Problem and When Do We Need Problem Solving?  A problem is the gap between the current condition and the target condition or standard.  A problem-solving process aims to identify the primary causes or obstacles preventing us from reaching the target condition and then take actions to eliminate the obstacles/causes and reach the target condition.
  6. 6. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Levels of “Problems” Level Example of a Problem Company Gap Between Planned Revenue $’s and Target Revenue $’s in a Month; Overall Customer Satisfaction Scores Below Target for Q1 Functional Area / Department Output not meeting daily target (production, development, etc.) Process / Front Line Purchased Component Has a Defect, Product has failed Test
  7. 7. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved What is A3?  A3 refers to an 11” x 17” sheet of paper. Toyota chose this size originally because it was the largest size paper that could fit into a fax machine.  In the first decade of the 2000’s, the problem solving process using an A3 came to be known as “A3 Problem Solving.”  The key in understanding the process is that it is based on a dialogue between the Team Leader (Person charged with leading the problem solving effort) and his/her Mentor/Coach (usually direct manager).  The interaction between the coach and problem solver is how the problem solver hones his/her skills.  On a larger scale, this is culture-changing.
  8. 8. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Toyota Problem Solving Steps: What we now call “A3 Problem Solving” 1. Define the problem. 2. Investigate: Break down the problem into manageable pieces 3. Identify the root cause 4. Set a target for improvement 5. Select appropriate solution among alternatives 6. Implement the solution. 7. Check impact. 8. Adjust, standardize, and spread.
  9. 9. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved A3 Problem Solving Story 1. BACKGROUND • What is the purpose, the business reason for choosing this issue? What specific performance measure needs to be improved? • What is the strategic, operational, historical, or organizational context of the situation? 2. CURRENT CONDITIONS • What is the problem or need—the gap in performance? • What is happening now versus what you want or needs to be happening? Have you been to the gemba? • What facts or data indicate there is a problem? • What specific conditions indicate that you have a problem or need? Where and how much? Can you break the problem into smaller pieces? • Show facts and processes visually using charts, graphs, maps, etc. 3. GOAL • What specific improvement(s) in performance do you need to achieve? • Show visually how much, by when, and with what impact. Don’t state a countermeasure as a goal! 4. ANALYSIS • What do the specifics of the issues in work processes (location, patterns, trends, factors) indicate about why the performance gap or need exists? • What conditions or occurrences are preventing you from achieving the goals? Why do they exist? What is (are) their cause(s)? • Use the simplest problem-analysis tool that will suffice to show cause-and-effect down to root cause. From 5 Whys to 7 QC tools (fishbones, analysis trees, Pareto charts) to more sophisticated SPC, 6 Sigma, and other tools as needed. • Test the cause-and-effect logic by asking “why?” downward and stating “therefore” upward. 5. PROPOSAL • What are the options for addressing the gaps and improving performance in the current situation? • Always start with two or three alternatives to evaluate. • How do they compare in effectiveness, feasibility, and potential disruption? What are their relative costs and benefits? • Which do you recommend and why? • Show how your proposed actions will address the specific causes of the gaps or constraints you identified in your analysis. The link should be clear and explicit! 6. PLAN • What will be the main actions and outcomes in the implementation process and in what sequence? • What support and resources will be required? • Who will be responsible for what, when, and how much? How will you measure effectiveness? • When will progress be reviewed and by whom? • Use a Gantt chart (or similar diagram) to display actions, steps, outcomes, timelines, and roles. 7. FOLLOW UP • How and when will you know if plans have been followed and the actions have had the impact planned and needed? • How will you know if you meet your targets? • How will you know if you reduced the gap in performance? • What related issues or unintended consequences do you anticipate? What contingencies can you anticipate? • What processes will you use to enable, assure, and sustain success? How will you share your learnings with other areas?
  10. 10. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved DMAIC Problem Solving Process  Define the problem and what the customers require  Measure by observing and collecting data / facts  Analyze the data and discover critical or root causes of the problem.  Improve the process with solution(s) that address remove causes of the problem.  Control the process to make sure the problem doesn’t recur.
  11. 11. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved DMAIC A3: COMPASS
  12. 12. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Defining the Problem: Problem Statement Information Needs 1. Actual Performance 2. Desired Performance 3. Gap/Magnitude of the Problem – Difference between Actual and Desired Performance 4. Characteristics of the Problem “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
  13. 13. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Problem Statement “The number of XYZ test failures has exceeded the threshold of 2 units per week for 6 of the last 7 weeks. The trend is increasing.” 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TestFailures Weekly Test Failures
  14. 14. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Problem Statement with Goal/Target “The packaging department has failed to meet its planned production during normal working hours 70% of the time over the past three months, resulting in excessive overtime. The target condition is to meet plan 95% of the time and reduce overtime to less than $1000 per month.”
  15. 15. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Grasping the Situation  Provide the starting point for solving the problem.  Need to have “correct” problem description in order to identify causes. Need to use terms that are understood by all.  List all of the data and documents that might help you to define the problem more exactly  Part Number(s)/ Process:  Customer(s)/ Machine:  Is there an action plan to collect additional information?
  16. 16. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Defining the Problem: Is/Is Not Analysis Description IS (Observation): IS NOT (Observation): NOTES What is the defect? Amount incorrect on invoices Other types of errors on invoices What processes? A/P Invoice Processing Processes outside of A/P Where in the process ? Review and Approval of Invoices Other A/P functions Who is affected? All suppliers (potentially) who send non-electronic invoices Suppliers utilizing electronic services When did it happen? January - August 2020 Data Prior to Jan 2020 How frequently did it happen? 271 incidences over 8 months Is there a pattern? More errors and invoices toward the beginning of the month Less at other parts of the month How much is it costing? An average of 30 minutes of rework/handling for each occurrence
  17. 17. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved What Data do I need to better understand the problem? What do I know? • The packaging department has failed to meet its planned production during normal working hours 70% of the time over the past three months. How do I know it? What do I need to know? • How much is this problem costing us? • Is this problem affecting delivery to customers? • Are we not meeting plan for one or more particular product lines or does this problem apply to many/all product lines? How will I find out? • Retrieve overtime data from payroll • On-Time Delivery Data • Review production data by product
  18. 18. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Did We Choose the Right Level of Problem? “Our packaging machine is down 10% of the time.” Starting Point We are unable to meet planned production without overtime. Therefore? Next level of problem – perhaps this is the right one to solve. We should ask “therefore” first to determine if the right problem to solve. Why? Asking “why” takes us toward the root cause, but it is important to start with the true problem first!
  19. 19. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Common Pitfalls  Do not:  State an opinion about what’s wrong- “The new database is too hard to use.”  Describe the cause of the problem.  Assign blame or responsibility.  Prescribe a solution- “The blade department is understaffed” or “We have a lack of resources.”  Combine several problems into one statement.
  20. 20. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Problem Statement Examples  What is wrong with these problem statements?  “More people are needed in accounts payable.”  “The ERP system is inadequate.”  “More electronic testing stations are needed in the Test department.”  “The part needs to be redesigned.”
  21. 21. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved How important is it to define the problem correctly? A problem well stated is a problem half-solved. - Charles Kettering
  22. 22. Basic Root Cause Analysis Tools
  23. 23. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Basic Tools & Toolsets  Five Why’s  Cause and Effect Diagram  Pareto Charts
  24. 24. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved The Five Why’s  The Five Why’s is one of the tenets of the Toyota Production System (TPS)  It is one of the simplest problem solving methods- and everyone at all levels of an organization should know and use it.  The purpose is to get at the root cause of a problem- or at least to “peel the onion” as much as possible.
  25. 25. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved The Five Why’s 1. Write down the specific problem. Writing the issue helps you formalize the problem and describe it completely. It also helps a team to focus on the same problem. 2. Ask why the problem happens and write the answer down below the problem. 3. If the answer you just provided doesn't identify the root cause of the problem that you wrote down in step 1, ask “Why” again and write that answer down. 4. Loop back to step 3 until the team is in agreement that the problem's root cause has been identified. This may take fewer or more times than five why’s.
  26. 26. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved The Five Why’s Level of Problem Corresponding Level of Countermeasure There is a puddle of oil on the shop floor. Clean up the oil. Because the machine is leaking oil. Fix the machine. Because the gasket has deteriorated Replace the gasket Because we bought gaskets made of inferior material Change gasket specifications Because we got a good deal (price) on those gaskets Change purchasing policies Because the purchasing agent gets evaluated on short-term cost savings Change the evaluation policy for purchasing agents. Source: Peter R. Schultz, The Leader’s Handbook, McGraw-Hill, 1998 Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? TIP: Answer the “why” question with the immediate cause, do not jump down the causal chain. To check on this, go up the chain with “therefore” and see if it makes sense.
  27. 27. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Cause and Effect Diagrams  The Fishbone or Cause and Effect Diagram is used for identifying potential causes of a problem or issue in an orderly way  It will help you search for root causes, identify areas where there may be problems, and compare the importance of different causes.  You can use the 5 Why’s method while brainstorming causes in a fishbone diagram.
  28. 28. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Cause and Effect Analysis 1. Briefly Name the Problem or Effect to be analyzed and write it at the head of a fishbone diagram 2. Determine appropriate cause categories: • Material • Methods • Machines • Measurement • Environment • People
  29. 29. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Cause and Effect Analysis 3. Brainstorm potential causes in each category. Use the Five Why’s and write down causes of the causes as branches. 4. Identify the cause and effect relationship between factors in each category. 5. Construct the fishbone diagram • Major causes become biggest bones on the diagram. • Each cause and sub-cause are on smaller levels of “bones” 6. Use data gathering, multivoting, or consensus to narrow down the most likely or important causes for further investigation.
  30. 30. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Fishbone Diagrams: Example 1 FISHBONE DIAGRAM Why aren't we meeting daily production? People Not Following Std Work Untrained People People Leaving Area Packaging Machine Misfeed Packaging Machine Changeover LongTest Failures Lack of Standard Work Technique for Inserting Technique for Loading Out of Material Material Variability Defective Material PeopleMachineMeasurement MethodMaterial View Report Edit Manually Review Instructions Return to Brainstorm Generate Report Return to Compass Add Nested Fishbone Show Initial Setup Form Copy
  31. 31. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Fishbone Diagrams: Example 2 FISHBONE DIAGRAM Why are there errors in the data? Data Not Known Wrong Codes Used Keypunch Errors Wring Procedures Codes Missing in System Retroactive Changes / Tining Data Owned by Multiple Depts Poor Data Vallidation Audits from Multiple Departments MS Access and Diamond Do Not Interface No Way to Handle Retroactive Changes time to Update Prodcedures PeopleProgramEnvironment SystemPolicies/Procedures View Report Edit Manually Review Instructions Return to Brainstorm Generate Report Return to Compass Add Nested Fishbone Show Initial Setup Form Copy
  32. 32. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Pareto Charts  Pareto Charts are one of the simplest yet most useful problem solving/analysis tools.  Pareto Analysis is based on the 80/20 Rule, the purpose of which is to make us focus on the most important things.  Pareto Charts help:  Set Priorities  Define problems/opportunities  Determine root causes Causes of Overtime 64% 83% 92% 100% 0 50 100 150 200 Packaging Machine Down Test Failure Out of Material Other #ofOccurrences 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120%
  33. 33. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Pareto Charts 1. Determine the process and types of problem or cause to be measured. 2. Determine appropriate frequency (time-frame) and data collection method. 3. Gather and compile data. 4. Total each category for the entire period to be analyzed. 5. Determine cumulative percent contribution for each category. Causes of Overtime # of Incidences Cumulative% Contribution Packaging Machine Down 154 64% Test Failure 45 83% Out of Material 22 92% Other 20 100% Total 241
  34. 34. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Pareto Charts 6. Create a pareto chart in Microsoft Excel TMor your preferred program of choice (such as COMPASS) Causes of Overtime 64% 83% 92% 100% 0 50 100 150 200 Packaging Machine Down Test Failure Out of Material Other #ofOccurrences 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 120%
  35. 35. What’s Next?
  36. 36. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved After the Root Cause / Top Contributing Causes Have Been Found and Verified  Re-focus team on innovation  Brainstorm and develop potential solutions  Systematically decide on a solution or set of solutions  Pilot test  Implement full scale  Put a Control Plan that includes Monitoring to Sustain the Solution
  37. 37. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Problem Solving Key Points  Creating a “problem solving” mindset at all levels of the organization is key to culture change.  There are several excellent problem solving methodologies including DMAIC, Toyota Business Practices, 8D, etc.  A3 is a way of documenting the problem-solving process – telling the “problem solving” story. All of the tools, graphs, and wording described in today’s session can be incorporated into an A3.  The basic tools covered today for analyzing problems to determine causes can be used on a wide range of problems.  More complex problems require more advanced tools in addition to these basics.
  38. 38. Copyright © 2003-2020 EMS Consulting Group Inc. All Rights Reserved Finally….  Contact us for:  Training offers  Tool of the Month Club  COMPASS® information & demonstration  info@creato.com  darrend@emsstrategies.com  Stand by for 5 minute COMPASS overview

Slides from September 17, 2020 Webinar entitled "ABC's of Problem Solving: A3 Approach, Basic Tools, and Change Management." The slides cover the following concepts: 1. Why Problem Solving is Critical to Culture Change and Lean Transformation 2. What is A3 Problem Solving? 3. How to Properly Define Problems 4. Selected Basic Tools for Root Cause Analysis 5. Next Steps

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