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Structured Problem Solving

A scientific, analytical, fact-based methodology for measurable results.

For what type of problems is Structured Problem Solving used?

Where there’s a Gap between Results and Expectations

Use it to close a gap between what is and what should be, or between what is produced and what the customer wants.

Critical and Chronic Problems that won’t stay solved. They pop up again. And again.

This is the solution – the lasting solution – for costly problems and obstacles to meeting goals that, despite your considerable investment of improvement resources, keep on coming back.

Where there’s no Agreed Solution

You may know (or think you know) how to solve a problem, but find it difficult to get others to agree, or to help implement your solution.

For Practical Work-related Problems

It can be used by everyone, at all levels throughout the organization, to solve problems that cause defects and dissatisfaction to internal and external customers. The team effort allows stakeholders to participate in, and take ownership of, the solution.

When it’s important to break large problems down into bite-sized chunks.

This may be counter-intuitive, because it’s natural to pursue the biggest possible improvement in the shortest time. But trying to eat the whole elephant in one sitting is a recipe for severe indigestion. Progress is stifled and often stalled completely.

  • compound the rate of improvement
  • sustain improvements over time
  • significantly improve skills development

Where there are chronic, systemic business problems, or a gap between performance and expectations, Structured Problem Solving gets results. Whether you have high failure or defect rates, cost overruns, products late to market, or missed deadlines on goals, problems create internal and external customer dissatisfaction and take a serious toll on success.

Whatever you call it: "DMAIC," "7-Step," "Ford 8D," "Honda 5P," or "Motorola 6-Step," this is a practical, logic-driven methodology to sharpen analytical and decision-making skills, get to the root-cause level of problems, devise solutions, and test those solutions with hard data to measure and validate the results.

Continual improvement requires Management by Fact (not by emotion; not by guesswork). Too often, instead of using a structured method or data analysis, teams apply collective guesswork to problems and solutions. JILOA uses a scientific method, objectively examining relevant data, to assess how well requirements are being met – or not. Where the gap is critical, Structured Problem Solving will uncover the root cause for a lasting solution.

Structured Problem Solving creates a common language and methodology for improved teamwork and cross-functional collaboration and decision-making. When deployed throughout your organization, it will transform the cultural mind-set from "It’s not my fault" and "It’s not my job" to one of accountability, responsibility, ownership, and action.

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