Problem Solving J Wixson


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This is a short seminar in problem solving that I presented to SME Chapter 85 on April 15, 2010.

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Problem Solving J Wixson

  1. 1. Productive Problem Solving <br />James Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />President, Wixson Value Associates, Inc.<br />(208) 520-2296<br /><br /><br />1<br />
  2. 2. What you will Learn<br />What is productive problem solving?<br />What are some of the impediments to successful problem solving?<br />What essential things are needed for productive problem solving?<br />What are some of the methods of productive problem solving?<br />What works best?<br />2<br />
  3. 3. PRODUCTIVE PROBLEM SOLVING<br />It’s the Problem, NOT the process that’s King <br />
  4. 4. 4<br />
  5. 5. Apollo XIII<br />5<br />Intro<br />Houston, we have a problem Part 1<br />Houston we have a problem Part 2<br />Houston, we have a problem Part 3<br />Getting Them Back<br />CO2 Filter Problem<br />Success!!!!<br />
  6. 6. 15 Minute Apollo 13 Problem Solving Exercise<br />Break into teams of 3-4 people<br />List your observations of what you saw. (10 min)<br />How would your team go about solving the problems presented? (10 min)<br />Pick a spokesperson.<br />Present your findings to the group.(5 min)<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Some Famous Quotes about Problems<br />Henry FordThere are no big problems, there are just a lot of little problems. <br />Theodore RubinThe problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. <br />Albert EinsteinIt's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. <br />Billy GrahamHot heads and cold hearts never solved anything. <br />Denis WaitleyDon't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. <br />Unknown AuthorWorry is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but won't get you anywhere. <br />John DeweyA problem well stated is a problem half solved. <br />Norman Vincent PealeHow you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself - so always think positively. <br />7<br />
  8. 8. John Dewey once said, "A problem well-stated is half solved.“<br />8<br />Problem Solving<br />
  9. 9. “A good problem statement often includes: (a) what is known, (b) what is unknown, and (c) what is sought.” - Edward Hodnett<br />9<br />Problem Solving<br />
  10. 10. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />PROBLEM SOLVING<br />An organized effort for developing<br />UNIQUE and RELEVANT<br />resolutions for opportunities<br />or<br />undesirable situations<br />
  11. 11. Productive Problem Solving<br />Productive Problem Solving (PPS) is usually applied to larger problems involving significant resources, but, can be tailored to fit smaller problems.<br />PPS follows a structured methodology that leads to root cause solutions and corrective actions.<br />PPS works best with an interdisciplinary team lead by a skilled facilitator.<br />PPS minimizes the impediments to problem solving.<br />PPS can be used in Kaisen workshops to solve difficult problems with the process. <br />11<br />
  12. 12. Impediments to Problem Solving<br />Poor communication<br />Poor understanding of the problem<br />“Jump to solution” without analyzing the problem<br />Fear of reprisal<br />A "Yes, but'' attitude<br />Intellectual defensiveness closed to new ideas<br />Fear of being perceived as being incompetent<br />Fear of one's ideas being unaccepted<br />Inability to be objective about the problem<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Impediments to Problem Solving<br />Inability to be creative, imaginative or "off the wall'' in developing alternative solutions<br />Being inflexible or too serious to have fun while problem solving<br />Being so chronically immersed or emotionally "stuck'' in problems that no feelings or emotions can be elicited<br />Resentment about having to solve the problem; blaming others for causing the problem; no desire to own up to the problem yourself<br />Believing that problems are the concerns of others, not me; therefore, why waste my time in trying to solving them<br />13<br />
  14. 14. Essential things needed for productive problem solving<br />A clear description of the problem.<br />A description of the limiting (or negative) factors involved in the problem.<br />A description of the constructive (or positive) factors involved in the problem.<br />Sufficient data regarding the scope, location, size and seriousness of the problem.<br />A clear delineation of the "ownership'' of the problem. Whose problem is it: mine, yours, the other guy's, my boss', my spouse's, my child's, my parents', my teacher's?<br />A clear description of the scope of the problem: How extensive a problem is it? How long has this problem existed? How many people are affected? What else is affected by this problem?<br />A clear description of the consequences if the problem were not solved: What is the possible impact on my family, job, marriage, school performance, life in this community, company etc., if this problem isn't solved? What is the worst possible thing that could happen if this problem isn't solved?<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Essential things needed for productive problem solving<br />A list of brainstormed solutions to the problem, with each alternative analyzed as to its reality, its benefits and the consequences for following each one.<br />A system of ranking each solution to finalize the decision-making process. A rating system for analyzing each solution is developed, e.g., 100 percent chance of success, 75 percent chance of success, 50 percent chance of success.<br />Determination to follow through on the solution decided upon jointly. This involves full motivation to "take the risk'' and pursue the solution to its fullest<br />Management support and buy-in<br />Empowerment to solve problems and confidence in the solution<br />Adequate allocation of resources (time and people)<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Nine Key Steps to Productive Problem Solving<br />Understand the problem environment<br />Define the problem<br />Identify what’s required<br />Identify what’s available (resources)<br />Isolate functions/activities needing improvement<br />Identify success criteria<br />Generate alternative solutions given the resources at hand, and what resources may be needed.<br />Analyze risks, hidden assumptions, and unexpected impacts<br />Select the best solution<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Tips for productive problem solving<br />Five-dimensional thinking or looking at a problem from five different dimensions:1. What is the size or extent of the problem?2. How would really be affected if the problem was left unattended or unsolved?3. How are you functioning in handling the problem-solving process?4. What do your five senses tell about the problem, i.e., what you see, hear, touch, smell and taste?5. What does the world of reality look like from within the problem?<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Some Problem Solving Methodologies<br />Drill Down method<br />Straw Man Approach (Trial and Error)<br />Heuristic method (Rules of Thumb)<br />5 Whys<br />Kepner-Tregoe Situation Analysis, Problem and Decision Making methods (Is, Is-Not method)<br />Deming's PDCA, or PDSA method<br />Six Sigma’s DMAIC method<br />Value Analysis/Value Engineering<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Don’t forget: The Scientific Method<br />Make Observations<br />Collect data <br />Define problem <br />Hypothesize <br />Test with experiment<br />Analyze Results and Draw Conclusion<br />Apply solutions <br />19<br />
  20. 20. Brainstorming Tips<br />Express all ideas.<br />Deem no idea too wild to be considered.<br />Quantity is important; every idea that comes to mind should be included.<br />Getting together with others to brainstorm is desirable.<br />Criticism or negative evaluation regarding any idea is forbidden until brainstorming is completed.<br />20<br />
  21. 21. Productive Problem Solving Method<br />Define the problem<br />Gather Information related to the problem<br />Map the process using flow chart, VSM or FAST Model<br />Identify what elements contribute to the problem<br />Assign scores to each element that might be contributing to the problem<br />Brainstorm potential causes to the high scoring elements.<br />Score potential causes<br />For high scoring potential causes, breakdown further using the 5 why technique<br />Validate most likely root causes<br />Develop solutions to resolve the root causes<br />21<br />
  22. 22. Work to Solve Root Causes<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Use FAST to Study the System<br />23<br />
  26. 26. Example: Eat Cookie FAST Model<br />26<br />WHY?<br />HOW?<br />Drink Milk<br />Satisfy Hunger<br />Eat Cookie<br />Make Cookie<br />Buy Ingredients<br />Choose Recipe<br />Buy Cookbook<br />Mix Dough<br />Drive to Market<br />WHEN<br />WHEN<br />Roll Dough<br />Select Ingredients<br />Mark B<br />Purchase Ingredients<br />Bake Cookie<br />Drive Home<br />
  27. 27. Determine Defects<br />HOW<br />WHY<br />Establish Container Integrity<br />Follow Inspection Plan<br />Write<br />Inspection<br />Plan<br />Determine Condition<br />Inspect Container<br />Examine<br />(Visually)<br />Container<br />Establish<br />Integrity<br />Criteria<br />Verify<br />Inspection<br />Plan<br />Identify Potential Problems<br />Determine Disposition<br />WHEN<br />Determine<br />Contents<br />Define<br />Container<br />Integrity<br />Develop<br />Inspection<br />Plan<br />Identify<br />Defects<br />Know<br />Problem<br />Contents<br />Verify<br />Container<br />ID.<br />Validate<br />Inspection<br />Plan<br />OUTPUT<br />INPUT<br />Function Analysis Systems Technique (FAST)<br />27<br />
  28. 28. Identifying Areas for Improvement<br /><ul><li>Identify key functions/activities where performance may be undesirable
  29. 29. For the functions where performance is undesirable, brainstorm likely causes of failure.
  30. 30. Next, rate these causes on a scale of 1-10 as to which are the most likely causes of the problem(s).</li></ul>28<br />
  31. 31. Identifying Most Likely Causes of The Problem(s)<br /><ul><li>After rating the likely causes of the problem(s), choose a cut-off point from which the most likely causes of failure will be addressed first (usually about 6 on a 10pt scale depending on the number of causes).
  32. 32. For the most likely causes of the problem(s), brainstorm contributing factors to the causes of these problem(s).</li></ul>29<br />
  33. 33. Rating Potential Causes<br />30<br />
  34. 34. Identifying Most Likely Causes of Failure<br />31<br />
  35. 35. Identifying Alternatives<br /><ul><li>Given the most likely causes and their contributing factors, you are ready to start identifying potential alternatives for design, or improvements to the system.
  36. 36. For each key function/activity that has been identified as not being performed, or performance is poor, brainstorm potential ways to perform, or improve the performance of these functions/activities.
  37. 37. The identification of most likely causes of the problems with those functions/activities focuses the teams attention on the most needed improvements which facilitates brainstorming of superior ideas for improvement, or design of the new system.</li></ul>32<br />
  38. 38. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />Creativity<br />
  39. 39. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />IDEA vs. SOLUTION<br />A solution requires justification & validation, and idea needs no justification.<br />A solution is an end point, an idea is just the beginning.<br />A solution is solid and self supporting, an idea is tender and must be built upon.<br />DON’T KILL IDEAS WITH<br />ROADBLOCKS!!<br />
  40. 40. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />PROBLEM SENSITIVITY(CHARACTERISTICS)<br />Awareness of the problem<br />Constructive discontent<br />Need to discover the problem<br />Resolving “What’s wrong with…”<br />Adopting a questioning attitude<br />
  41. 41. 36<br />IMAGINATION<br />Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited, while imagination embraces the entire world.<br />Albert Einstein<br />
  42. 42. 37<br />Thought for the day:<br />When you always do what you have always done - you always get what you have always gotten.<br />Socrates<br />
  43. 43. 38<br />IDEA vs. SOLUTION<br /><ul><li>A solution requires justification & validation, and idea needs no justification.
  44. 44. A solution is an end point, an idea is just the beginning.
  45. 45. A solution is solid and self supporting, an idea is tender and must be built upon.</li></ul>DON’T KILL IDEAS WITH<br />ROADBLOCKS!!<br />
  46. 46. 39<br />What is the next symbol in sequence?<br />
  47. 47. 40<br />What is the next symbol in sequence?<br />
  48. 48. 41<br />CREATIVITY TECHNIQUES<br /><ul><li>Brainstorming
  49. 49. Synectics
  50. 50. Morphological Analysis
  51. 51. Force Fit/Forced Relationships
  52. 52. Brainwriting</li></li></ul><li>42<br />CREATIVITY TECHNIQUES (continued)<br /><ul><li>Visualization/Visual Brainstorming
  53. 53. Listing
  54. 54. Lateral Thinking
  55. 55. Divergent Thinking
  56. 56. For more information on creativity, click here.</li></li></ul><li>©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />What do you see?<br />
  57. 57. Rules for Brainstorming<br />When brainstorming solutions to the problem, follow these rules:<br />Express all ideas.<br />Deem no idea too wild to be considered.<br />Quantity is important; every idea that comes to mind should be included.<br />Getting together with others to brainstorm is desirable.<br />Criticism or negative evaluation regarding any idea is forbidden until brainstorming is completed.<br />Record all ideas presented<br />Time to let ideas “incubate” should be allowed.<br />Select an appropriate meeting place<br />44<br />
  58. 58. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />Brainstorming Concept<br />Best Solutions - combination of ideas<br />100 +<br />75 - 80<br />Off - the - wall ideas<br />15 - 20<br />Traditional Answers<br />QUANTITY<br />TIME<br />
  59. 59. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />1 st<br />2 nd<br />3 rd<br />4 th<br />5 th<br />Evaluation Phase - Idea Screening<br />GO, NO-GO<br />CHAMPION<br />GFI (Killer Trade)<br />FORMAL TRADE-OFF STUDY (NGT, PAIRWISE COMPARISON, ETC.) MOCKUP AND PROTO TYPES IF NECESSARY<br />CUSTOMER ACCEPTANCE<br />
  60. 60. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />Evaluating Ideas<br />NO GO<br /><ul><li>Scratch ideas that hold no interest.</li></ul>CHAMPION<br /><ul><li>Who will speak for the ideas and support them?</li></ul>GFI<br /><ul><li>Discuss pro/con and vote. GFI is team average.
  61. 61. Combine ideas; add new ideas.
  62. 62. Record all assumptions when voting.</li></li></ul><li>©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />Evaluating Ideas<br />Quantify performance characteristics.<br /><ul><li>Select top candidates using NGT, Pair-wise Comparison, Multi-voting, etc.
  63. 63. Could use software such as Expert Choice®, or Criterium Decision Plus®
  64. 64. Record all assumptions when voting.
  65. 65. Determine & quantify customer acceptance criteria.
  66. 66. Rate surviving ideas against norm & risk.
  67. 67. Develop proposal scenarios.</li></li></ul><li>Attribute Weighting<br />49<br />
  68. 68. ©James R. Wixson, CVS, CMfgE<br />Criteria Weighting - Paired Comparison Example<br />
  69. 69. 51<br />
  70. 70. Problem Solving Templates<br />52<br />
  71. 71. Project Charter<br />Be concise and to the point! <br />By permission: LSSHC<br />53<br />
  72. 72. Project Charter<br />54<br />
  73. 73. Attributes<br />Establish Proposal Attributes<br />Team proposals are evaluated against key characteristics / attributes that are important to the success of the project using a Product Performance Profile. <br />The 4 steps in developing the Product Performance Profile are:<br />1. Select attributes<br />2. Scale attributes<br />3. Rank attributes<br />4. Display attributes in a Product Performance Profile<br />J. J. Kaufman Assoc, Inc.<br />55<br />
  74. 74. Attributes<br />Attribute Selection Guidelines<br />Select project attributes that best identify those key characteristics that are important to the market success of the project and in support of the business goals.<br />Requisites for selecting project attributes:<br /><ul><li>All attributes should be independent of each other. </li></ul>(E.g., “Ease of manufacture“ directly affects “Unit Cost”)<br /><ul><li>Attributes should be scale able, rather than binary.</li></ul>(That is, attributes should be acceptable within a range of “goodness” rather than being out of compliance.)<br /><ul><li>Attributes can be mixed to reflect business as well as market value adding characteristics.</li></ul>Select a minimum of 5 to 8 maximum attributes<br /><ul><li>Too many – difficult to balance in determining trade-off options
  75. 75. Too few – may place too large a weight difference between attributes</li></ul>56<br />
  76. 76. ATTRIBUTEDEFINITIONS<br />57<br />
  77. 77. Attribute Rating Guidelines<br />A “Paired Comparison” process is used to determine the relative importance of the selected attributes and assign a percentage (weight) value to the attributes.<br />Attributes are evaluated in pairs asking “Given a snapshot of the current condition of the project, which is more important of the two attributes being evaluated?” <br />Or, “If you are given a sum of money to invest in improving one of the attributes which one would you use the funds to improve?”<br />Determine the degree of importance by asking “Is the degree of importance separating these attributes low, medium or high?”<br />When the weighting is calculated, validate the ranking by ask “Does the ranking seem reasonable?” If not, reconcile concerns.<br />J. J. Kaufman Assoc, Inc.<br />58<br />
  78. 78. Paired Comparison Tool<br />59<br />Go to Tool<br />
  79. 79. Rank and Rate Template<br />60<br />
  80. 80. Workshop Team Members<br />61<br />
  81. 81. Issues/Concerns<br />62<br />
  82. 82. Issues/Concerns<br />63<br />
  83. 83. 4 Questions – Problem/Opportunity Definition<br />What is the problem we are about to resolve?<br />Why do you consider this a problem?<br />64<br />
  84. 84. 4 Questions – Problem/Opportunity Definition<br />Why do we believe a solution is necessary? <br />What are the consequences of not solving this problem?<br />65<br />
  85. 85. Rating Potential Causes (Example)<br />66<br />
  86. 86. Rating Potential Causes<br />67<br />
  87. 87. Identifying Most Likely Causes of Failure (Example)<br />68<br />
  88. 88. Most Likely Causes<br />69<br />
  89. 89. Ideas to Fix the Problem ________:<br />70<br />