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  • 1. Analytical Problem SolvingGemini Skills WorkshopAugust 1998

2. Learning objectives Understand the key steps in the problem solving process. Learn tools and techniques that are availablefor each step of the process. -2- Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 3. Analytical Problem Solving The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them - Albert EinsteinThe difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer- Fridtjof Nansen -3- Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 4. As consultants we need to have a structured approachto problem-solving We work in groups. We work with complex problems. Other consultants or clients may have to continue our work (e.g. inlater phases of the project or when implementing the solution). Need to know where we are and what has been done Need to understand the process that leaded to the result/recommendation A structured approach helps the client follow where we are Our solution will be shared with people that did not take part in theproblem solving process. It is easy to miss a step. Current steps often seem less important than future steps. -4-Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 5. Key steps in the problem solving processDetermineFollow-up ClarifyInvestigateDecisionIdentify Evaluate ImplementProblem CausesSolutions Solutions Solutionand CriteriaMeasure1. Determine what 1. Identify possible 1. Determine 1. Determine 1. Compare with1. Prepare action1. Measure we know and causes criteria solution decision criteriaplansexpected what we dont approach benefits2. Design tests2. Determine2. Decide on 2. Prepare follow-2. Gather decision2. Developsolution(s)up plan and 2. Collect information3. Perform testsprocesssolutions measures feedback 3. Validate3. Identify 4. Determine3. Implement 3. Incorporate constraints causes or re-feedback into test ongoing work4. Determine if you should 5. Determine to proceed proceedThere are many variations of this process, but these are the basic stepsyou should follow.-5- Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 6. STEP 1: CLARIFY PROBLEMClarify the problem Determine Follow-upClarifyInvestigateDecisionIdentify EvaluateImplement Problem CausesSolutions SolutionsSolutionandCriteria Measure Steps Tools (examples) 1.Determine what we What we know/What we dont know and what we dont 5 W`s and 1 H 2.Gather information(What, Where, When, Who, Why and How) 3.Identify constraints 5 Whys 4.Determine if you should proceed SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)-6- Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 7. STEP 1: CLARIFY PROBLEMClarifying the problem is the most important step inthis process A problem can be defined as a gap between where we are and where we want to be. This gap should be measurable. Be aware that perception is reality. Although some client problems we encounter are very logical and factual, such as machine breakdowns, most client issues are based on peoples perceptions of problems, such as poor customer service. Because of this, most problems will no require an optimal solution, but will have many adequate solutions. Ensure that the problem statement accurately depicts the client situation. It will determine your entire course of action.-7-Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 8. STEP 1: CLARIFY PROBLEM - EXAMPLE These are the steps involved in clarifying the problem 1. Determine what we know and what we dont. Using a table with What, Who,When, Where, How, and Why can help define what information needs to begathered. Example: Urgent customer requests are not being addressed. What We KnowWhat We Dont KnowWhat Customers are complaining about Are requests being lost, forgotten,or not lack of responsivenessanswered initially?WhoOnly customers with urgentE-mail, voicemail,or telephone requests or rush orders communications?WhereHeadquartersCustomer place of originWhen Problem only in last two monthsWhyNo documentation of requests or System error? Not recorded byserviceordersagent? Message not received?How-8- Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 9. STEP 1: CLARIFY PROBLEMSteps to clarify problem (continued)2. Gather the information you need in order to define the problem statement. You may begin to identify possible causes, but that should really be done at a later step.3. Identify constraints - Who is the client for this problem and what is important to that client? Consider time frame (short-term vs long-term), costs, resources required, level of effort vs value-added, etc.4. Define the problem statement. Validate the problem with the client. Do we agree that this is really the problem at hand?5. Determine how to proceed. Seriously consider if the time and effort involved creates enough benefit or if this problem will disappear as the result of other activities. Most importantly, this step frames the investigation before we begin tackling the causes.-9- Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 10. STEP 2: INVESTIGATE CAUSES - EXAMPLE One very easy way to understand and define a problem is to ask Why? 5 times (5 Whys)Real Client Example: Why are we shipping orders late?Because we cant meet our production schedule. Why cant we meet our production schedule?Because we are constantly changing it. Why do we change it?To accommodate late orders from our customers. Why do we have late orders?Because many of our customers dont know what their orders are bythe order cut-off date. Why do we have a cut-off date?So we can create a production schedule and meet our shipping dates.Client problems may require several iterations of the 5 Whys.- 10 - Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 11. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (S.W.O.T.) can clarify complex issues and define direction S.W.O.T. analysis is a general tool that can be used across key areas: Product mix Profit/pricing Promotions Space management Supply chain Definitions: Strengths WeaknessesExploited strategic capabilities and/or marketExploited strategic capabilities and/or marketpositioning providing a competitive advantage in thepositioning possessed by competitors creating amarket place. competitive disadvantage in the market place.Opportunities ThreatsUnexploited strategic capabilities and/or marketUnexploited strategic capabilities and/or marketpositioning which could provide a competitive positioning which could provide a competitor aadvantage in the market place.competitive advantage in the market place.- 11 - Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 12. STEP 2: INVESTIGATE CAUSESInvestigate causes ( or perform analysis) DetermineFollow-upClarifyInvestigateDecisionIdentifyEvaluateImplement Problem CausesSolutionsSolutionsSolutionandCriteriaMeasureSteps Tools (examples)1. Identify possible Hypothesiscauses Surveys and interviews2. Design test Fishbone (cause and effect)3. Perform test Pareto4.Determine causes or Root cause analysis toolsretest DuPont tree5. Determine to proceed Financial, statistical, databaseanalysesWe use two general methods to approach problems - using analogies toprevious experience and breaking the problem down into smaller pieces. - 12 -Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 13. STEP 2: INVESTIGATE CAUSES Step 2 is to investigate causes of the problem 1. Identify possible causes. We need to do this in order to carve out amanageable piece of work by narrowing the scope of the problem to the mostprobably causes. There are many tools we can use to investigate causes. The two basic ways toanalyse problems for causes are: Use analogies. We naturally relate the current problem to our previous experiences. As experts,we should be able to develop plausible hypotheses to explain the problem. Break the problem into smaller subsets of problems (chunking). In conjunction with ourhypotheses we can also dissect the problem into its variable components and determine which ofthese components is most likely to be causing the problem.- 13 - Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 14. STEP 2: INVESTIGATE CAUSES Now we are ready to test our possible causes 2. Design tests or analytics. Tests can include surveys, interviews,process flows, pareto analyses, control charts, etc. it is unlikely thatyou will have to create an entirely new analytic because so manyalready exist, in Gemini and externally. Well-designed tests shoulddirectly prove or disprove hypotheses and should consider oneproblem variable at a time. 3. Perform tests. Ensure that the test will not be a burden for the clientand that they want to do it. Otherwise, the results may not beaccurate. 4. Determine causes based on test results. (Or re-test, if necessary) 5. Determine how to proceed. Is the cause within our sphere ofinfluence? How does it compare with our constraints?It seems logical that the next stop would be to develop solutions. but tomake our time more effective, we should plan ahead to determine what agood solution looks like.- 14 -Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 15. STEP 2: INVESTIGATE CAUSES - EXAMPLE The Fishbone or Cause and Effect Diagram is simple tool for investigating causesCAUSES FOR A CAR NOT TO START:Man MachineDead batteryNo gas Left lights onLost keysBad choke Bad Switch Electrical Wrong fuelWorn out LemonNo oilVapor Lock Car will not start Out of tune Dont knowToo coldhow to start RentalParts StolenNo antifreeze Repod Gets wet in the rainMaterial Methods Milieu (Environment) 5 M fishbone - Man, Machine, Materials, Methods and Milieu (Environment)- 15 - Anal Prob ol v5.ppt 16. STEP 2: INVESTIGATE CAUSES - EXAMPLE Supply Chain fishbone is an mental model for looking at a businessPurchasing & VendorProduction Control, Mtg.SupplierInventory Partnershipselection Performance Capacity ReliabilityEDImeasures Safety stockMaintenance Sourcing termsVendor alliancesInformation Mgt.Lead time Reliability CertificationSupplier base Auditing Common databasesNetworkingChange overCycle time reduction Contractor Lead time New product Accessibility TransparentingBOMQualitymanagement development Real time Bar coding Forecasting ComplexityQuality material MRO Aligned with operationsUser trainingMonitoring turnsLabour training TQM JITTiming of processingCycle ti