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  1. Problem Solving An interactive self training program

  2. The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read & write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn - Alvin Toffler

  3. Goals: • To provide an understanding of problem solving, as a process and a revolution in thought • To provide an understanding of what to analyse and how to use analytical tools. • Suggest a few steps that could be used for problem solving. Adopt a systematic approach • Desired outcome: • Be aware that there exists a scientific system of taking decisions which may challenge many of our present ways • Develop conviction that analysis helps problem solving • Acquire the desire to start implementing a process orientation in problem solving in one’s own department • Answer how organisations can transform themselves and become world class

  4. Problem Solving

  5. Why learn Problem Solving • To develop a systematic approach • Learn possible frameworks for understand & resolving problems • Be able to reflect and analyse the approach • Learning to improve problem solving skills • Transfer skills, knowledge and experience to new problems • Create a knowledge repository /avoid eyelash effect • Logical and rational approach • See problems in a new way • Develop interpersonal skills and personal qualities • Improve success rate

  6. How we do problem solving Actions taken Decisions made Judgments made Inferences made Facts / data selected Facts / data available

  7. Common methodologies of problem solving • Intuition • Judgment • Ostrich Approach • Trial and error • Try the first solution • Ask advice • Delegate upwards or downwards

  8. The path to skill in decision making Myriad specific situations Unconscious competence Rules of thumb recipes Conscious competence Conscious incompetence Unconscious incompetence

  9. Problem solving terminology PURPOSE ISSUE Problem Cause Solution Solvable Cause

  10. Problem Solving setting Problem Solving Self Development Creativity Change Management Innovation Total Quality Management Negotiation

  11. Thinking Patterns for judgments • Strategic thinking • Emotional thinking • Realistic thinking • What we can do • Fix the essential problems first • Paretto analysis (draw) • Empirical thinking • Past experience • Available Data base • Done before

  12. Thinking Patterns for systematic thinking • Rational thinking • Set ideal situation ‘To be” • Identify ‘as is’ • Identify gaps - problems • Break own problems to causes • Choose reasonable alternatives • Implement solutions • Systems thinking (more scientific) • Purpose • Input • Output • Function • Inside cause (solvable) • Outside cause (unsolvable) • Result

  13. Thinking Patterns for systematic thinking • Cause & Effect thinking • Fish Bone • Tree diagrams • Contingent thinking • Game Theory • Different Situations • Analysis • Solution for each situation • Why – Why analysis

  14. Thinking Patterns for efficient thinking • Hypothesis thinking • Develop hypothesis based on available information • Collect information to prove hypothesis • Test hypothesis against information, if OK proceed, if not – develop new hypothesis • Conception thinking • When you need creativity and flexibility • New Product Development – Shoji – Shiba or Triz methodolgy • Be visual • Write down what you think • Use cards, draw, write, arrange ideas • Change positions, group, form, viewpoints • After creating ideas translate into explanations

  15. Thinking Patterns for efficient thinking • Structure thinking • Tree diagrams • Affinity diagrams • Convergence & Divergence thinking • Creative ideas – divergence • Summarize - convergence • Time order thinking • Prioritization

  16. Problem Solving & Decision Making Facts & Data Boundaries Brainstorm Stakeholders Opinions & Assumptions Openness Challenges Define the Problem Gather Information Develop Alternatives Data analysis Goals Opportunities Identify important Criteria Evaluate & Prioritize Weigh Alternatives Identify advantages & constraints Suitable Select the alternative Feasible Develop a plan Implement Solution Inform stakeholders Flexible If results do not meet expectations reconsider Compromise Standardize Results Review/ Learn from your Experience Monitor Progress Procedure & Process


  18. What is a problem • Are issues ------- problems • Are causes -------- problems

  19. 1. Maintenance Related Process abnormality • Deals with abnormalities • Find and removes cause so as to prevent problem from recurring • Bring process back to status quo Level Time WHAT IS A PROBLEM? A problem is the undesirable result of a job  Takahashi & Kume A problem is a gap between the actual state of affairs and goals, or the way things should be  JUSE Problem Solving Research Group Continued

  20. WHAT IS A PROBLEM? 2. Improvement Related B C A • Change level (eg. Reduce defective rate, increase production quantity, error rate, • improve percentage on-time delivery), • or • Reduce variation (make the process more capable) • Or both, ie, change level and reduce variation • Causes process to become better, cheaper, faster, safer, easier etc.

  21. PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS Sponsor/Management/ Voluntary Group Team Planning A. Understanding problem areas B. Selecting the theme C. Forming the team 1. Understanding current circumstances Team The Problem Solving Process 2. Establishing activity plan & targets 3. Analysing the causes 4. Researching the improvement plan 5. Implement the plan 6. Verifying the results 7. Standardising & institutionalising Sponsor & Team Reflection Reflecting and looking into the future 0601

  22. PROBLEM-SOLVING LEVELS I. Input based: (Not part of problem-solving) 1. 5-S activities 2. Abnormality tags on equipment Why-why analysis II. Output based: Part of problem-solving 1. Abnormality.(sporadic) : Corrective Action P-M Analysis Statistical tools 2. Stable/chronic trouble : Corrective Action Statistical tools Management tools DOE Continued

  23. PROBLEM-SOLVING LEVELS II. Output based: Part of problem-solving (Contd.) 3. Early stage instability : Corrective Action Statistical tools DOE 4. Improvement (of Q, C, D, S, M) Statistical tools Language tools DOE 5. Task Achievement type. DOE FMEA/FTA PDPC

  24. QC techniques are methods for establishing control by discovering problems, arranging and interpreting information, analysing factors, taking corrective actions, and making improvements K. Hosotani Seven Management Tools Seven QC Tools 1. Relations diagram 2. Affinity diagram 3. Matrix diagram 4. Systematic diagram(Tree diagram) 5. Matrix data analysis 6. Process Decision Program Chart (PDPC) 7. Arrow diagram 1. Check sheet 2. Pareto diagram 3. Cause-and-effect diagram 4. Histogram 5. Control chart 6. Scatter diagram 7. Graph Other tools • Flowcharts • Sampling methods • Testing and estimation • Design of experiments • Correlation and regression analysis • Reliability engineering (FTA,FMEA,Weibull..) • Multivariate analysis • Optimisation methods (Linear Programming etc) TOOLS TOOLS 300 260

  25. WORKING WITH FACTS AND DATA • Being reality oriented, not just concept oriented The Three Reals 1. The real workplace 2. The real object 3. The real fact • Distinction between facts and opinions (or interpretation). Use of language tools • Precise use of language is related to thinking with facts • Where there are a number of complex interrelations between causes  statistical treatment is essential

  26. WORKING WITH FACTS AND DATA - 1 PURPOSES OF DATA 1. Data to assist in understanding the actual situation  Arrange data for easy understanding, estimations or comparisons 2. Data for analysis:  Analytical data examines the relationships between an effect and its causes 3. Data for control:  Data to determine whether or not a process is normal, i.e. under control 4. Acceptance or rejection data:  Data used to approve or reject, through total or sampling inspection 5. Regulating data  Example : for raising an oven temperature 6. Data for records:  QA records for product liability or Excise records

  27. WORKING WITH FACTS AND DATA - 2 PURPOSES OF DATA To take corrective action it is essential to have a constant, accurate Grasp of the facts. When we go out and collect data, it becomes clear that our vague guesses based on experience were way off the mark. Checking the facts enables us to bring in effective countermeasures, leading to good results.  K. Hosotani

  28. Variation which occurs even when the process is being operated the same way as always Variation which occurs due to an abnormality in the process and results in a particularly large variation Occurs when work standards are not correct, or are not obeyed, or are not there at all, or people operate in different ways. Also when there are specific reasons like changes in tools, materials etc. Problems are sporadic This variation is a part of the system. Problems are chronic. To reduce this, the method (process) or system must be changed. This is the management’s responsibility Called : Random causes Chance causes Common causes Called : Special causes Assignable causes Common causes Special causes VARIATION - TYPES OF CAUSES Two types of causes causing variation

  29. DATA DISPERSION        Common Cause Special Cause When variation occurs due to common causes only, the process is stable or in control When variation occurs due to special causes, the process is unstable or is out of control Process in control “In control” is a statistical term. It does not necessarily mean the variability is acceptable. In fact, most problems arise from processes in control which are outside desired limits. Whose responsibility is this? Management’s or workers’? A process in control is predictable, that is, it will vary randomly within a range (with exceptions). No one point has any special meaning Process out-of-control The out-of-control point has in all likelihood a special cause which must be identified and removed. Questions to ask: What was different? What has changed? Looking at all the points together will not help. Was the standard followed? Was anything different observed about man, machine, material or method? Is there a known special cause such as power failure?

  30. FUNNEL EXPERIMENT -2 (From Deming and Joiner) • When a stable process is adjusted for an undesirable (or extra good) result, the variation will be worse than if the process were left alone • In the above marble and funnel example, the goal is to drop the marble on a target spot • Consider four rules: Rule 1 : Leave funnel fixed, aimed at target, no adjustment Rule 2 : At drop k (k = 1,2,3,…) the marble rests at point z, measured from the target. Move funnel the distance “minus z k” from its last position. Memory 1 Rule 3 : Set the funnel over point “minus z k” measured from target. No memory Rule 4 : Set funnel at each drop right over z k where it last came to rest. No memory What results ?

  31. Record of drops of the marble through the funnel under the four rules described in the text. Rule 1, Rule 2, Rule 3, Rule 4. Only far-off points are shown, to avoid congestion. FUNNEL EXPERIMENT - 1 (From Deming and Joiner) THE FOUR WORK HABITS


  33. FUNNEL EXPERIMENT - 4 OVERADJUSTMENT The result of the four rules:

  34. ACTION ON CAUSES Three levels of actions on problems: 1. Correction: Action to eliminate a detected nonconformity. (ISO 9000) i.e., acting on symptoms or phenomena e.g., rework, regrade, sort, replace 2. Corrective Action: Action to eliminate the cause of a detected nonconformity or other undesirable situation. (ISO 9000) 3. Preventive Action: Action to eliminate the cause of a potential nonconformity or other considerable situation i.e., preventing the occurrence of a problem before it arises

  35. ACTION ON CAUSES ACTING ON SYMPTOMS - ACTUAL EXAMPLES 1. Problem : We periodically get defective supplies of this plunger due to bend. We have asked the vendor many times to improve Solution : We are developing another vendor • Problem : Customer X has got a delivery mixed up with products meant for customer Y Solution : Train the stores staff (Does this necessarily mean corrective action?) 3. Problem : We got a customer complaint that the bore was oversize Solution : We are now inspecting the bore 100% (Correction/Corrective Action/Preventive Action?) • Problem : Customer A has complained once again of defect type T in our fabric Solution : Production Dept. should be more vigilant (What type of action?)

  36. Vital few Prioritise problems, causes and opportunities for improvement Useful many A B C D PRIORITISATION 1. Choice of defect types or causes to eliminate, or markets (or products) to develop, potential equipment errors to correct, or cost improvements to be effected  where inter-dependence between choices is low. Tools: Pareto diagram, FMEA, circling items in a cause-and-effect diagram, mapping desired vs current product profile in QFD, resource allocation or production sequencing algorithms Continued

  37. PRIORITISATION 2. Choice of key issues or problems to address, as in policy management, i.e. we get leverage. The issues are strongly interdependent. • Address the core issue, solving which many symptoms or potential troubles are eliminated, at one go. Tools: JIT methods (pacemaker process) Fault-tree analysis, PDPC. TOC tools: Current and future reality trees, Prerequisite trees Consensus tools also help focus on key issues.

  38. EXAMPLEFMEA of Monthly production plan

  39. = Process (Collection of causes producing a result) Inputs Factors Result Result Orientation Process Orientation Focus on outcome alone. Ends justify means. Believe that “somehow” results can be delivered. Ends and means are not separable. We cannot control the result, only the means. A result cannot be improved on its own. Focus on lasting results, strong fundamentals, even at the expense of short term difficulty. Measurements & goals reflect real stakeholder needs. Short-term thinking, often at the expense of what is more important, or at the expense of another result area. Distorted measurements and goals. “Man control”. Like inspection, deals with results, after the fact. Numerical goals, quotas. Fact control. Deals with factors, and strengthens them. Promotes openness to reality. Forces people to “window-dress” results. Emphasis on control, rewards and punishment, extrinsic motivators, attachment to results. Emphasis on commitment, intrinsic motivation. MBO ! TQM PROCESS ORIENTATION • Without an output or a result, no process can be said to exist. To improve any result, we have to improve the inputs and factors.

  40. PDCA CYCLE DESIGN (PLAN) RESEARCH & SERVICE (ACT) MANUFACTU- RING (DO) SALES (CHECK) • Deming’s visit in 1950 : The wheel of quality control showed QC as an • endless cycle of improvement • The “Management” cycle or “Kanri” cycle is an offshoot of this Continued

  41. PDCA CYCLE PLAN : Define the problem, or state a goal. Determine the method (or process) by which the goal is to be achieved DO : Train, communicate, execute with everyone’s cooperation CHECK : Check the results. Check the factors affecting the results. Also check the effects (the impact) ACT : If results are not OK, take countermeasures on the causes of troubles in planning or in implementation If results are OK, standardise

  42. P A C D Define problem, set goals Understand current circumstances P Analyse the factors Find solutions A Plan implementation C D PDCA CYCLE PLAN • The first step in planning is to define the problem or to set goals. • Then, the questions must be answered : Why solve this problem ? • Why achieve this goal ? • Having set goals, the method of achieving it has to be determined.

  43. P A C D • First Step • 1. Train • or all people involved • 2. Communicate with • Detailed standards help in training and communication • Elements of successful implementation • Plan adequate resources (manpower, materials, money etc.) • Get everybody’s cooperation and commitment in advance • Design detailed activity schedule. Don’t make it too tight but • base it on good understanding of what is involved • Be committed to the task and work to the schedule • Pay meticulous attention to detail • Correct small things going wrong early, not allowing them • them to grow big PDCA CYCLE DO

  44. P A C D PROCESS INPUTS RESULTS CHECK POINTS (Reflect effects or results) CHECK POINTS (Reflect processes or causes) PDCA CYCLE CHECK Continued

  45. PDCA CYCLE ACT P A C D Result Not OK OK Standardise or Maintain as is Take countermeasures on plan or implementation and recheck Continued

  46. Company character Good company Humanity, solidarity Emotion QC, Scientific attitude, rationalism - Hosotani Intelligence PARTICIPATION BY ALL • Participation means involvement by all in decision making and • improvement activities. It means more power to people. It means • openness.

  47. Towards a smarter organization • Must improve quality of decision making • Adopt rational decision process • Train appropriate personnel in the tools for decision making • Improved understanding and implementation through repeated use. • Six Tools • Get support from top • Start small, be patient • Demonstrate value of rational decision making • Train people • Don’t be a hammer looking for a nail • Practice continuous improvement

  48. Never be afraid to try something new.Remember amateurs built the Ark.Professionals built the Titanic Unknown


  50. Systems Thinking