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Root cause analysis techniques September 28, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
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5 Why Technique

Simplest technique to indentify the root cause of a problem. You ask “Why ?” for 5 times (can vary) to get to the bottom of a problem. When you have answer to a question, you can frame the answer into another “Why” Question. Its one of the most simplest techniques to identify a root for a problem. For this technique to work, questions should be concise and focussed. Its effective for solving problems involving human factors.

Fish Bone Analysis (Ishikawa Diagram)

Can be used when you have a complex problem having multiple causes and when you need to brainstorm to identify possible causes. First step is to frame a Why question stating the problem and place it at the head. Draw a horizontal line leading to the head and vertical lines leading to the main line. Label vertical lines with categories or departments where the problem may have originated.

Some standard categories for service industries are : Policies, procedures, people and strategies.

Three steps to complete a fishbone are:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Prioritizing
  3. Action plans

4M version of the plan has Manpower, Material, Method, Machine. 5M and E has measurement and Environment exra.

Good Problem September 27, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
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Characteristcs of a good problem:

  • Clearly defined
  • Impact measured in terms of time to fix and delay it causes to product delivery
  • Can be resolved by applying common quality mgmt techniques
  • Resolving the problem should have visible impact on customer satisfaction

Problem Solving August 4, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Lifehacks.
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The simple keys to effective problem solving are:

  • Anticipation of the problem.
  • Recognition that it is a problem. If it is a recurring problem ask why is this happening again?
  • Acceptance that it won’t solve itself.
  • Careful evaluation of the causes, circumstances or attitudes that led up to it.
  • Determining your real intent.
  • Determining appropriate actions to take.
  • Determining who will be touched by the solution or actions.
  • Deciding how you will get buy-in to your solution/actions from others.
  • Anticipating potential resistance from – people, circumstances or resources.
  • Evaluating the consequences or ripple effect of your decision/action.
  • Start, decide, do something.
  • Take full responsibility for the outcomes of your actions/decisions.
  • Re-evaluate the outcomes at pre-determined benchmarks.
  • Be willing to abandon your solution if it is obviously not working
  • Keep your ego out of the decision process