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Before we begin a discussion about the steps of the problem-solving model, we should talk a little about the philosophy that good problem solvers have about problems.Here are a number of ideas that are part of the philosophy.Step 1 is a critical step; it determines the overall focus of the project.
Five SPC tools are helpful in defining the problem: brainstorming the problem's characteristics, creating an affinity diagram, using a Pareto chart, creating an initial Process Flow Diagram of the present process, and Control Chart data.
The process flow diagram (PFD) will help the team identify "start to finish" how the present process normally works.
When working on a problem, we should focus on solving the problem, not on whose fault the problem is.
We should avoid personalizing the problem and blaming others.
Often the PFD can dramatically help define the problem.
After the problem is well defined, Step 2 helps the team measure the extent of the problem.
These ten steps are effective with most of the problems the team will encounter.
Each step is discussed here, and end products for step completion are specified as check points for team progress.
All too often, people jump from a problem to a solution.
And it is often a solution that is short-lived or creates numerous other problems within the organization.