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© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 8 Step Problem Solving
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Exercise I Choose a problem you are facing. Document your problem and how you would solve it here. 1
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Why 8-Step..? Every employee needs to solve problems every day. The 8-step Problem-Solving Process is the standard practice, because: – It is a foundational skill for Lean – Brings clarity to what problem is being addressed – Ensures a thorough analysis of the problem and that root cause investigation is carried out – Helps user complete all steps – The Process is scalable – Common language 2
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 3 8-Step – A3 The A3 Report is a Toyota-pioneered practice. A3 is an international paper size, in the US its equivalent is 11”x17”
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Communication tool – Share this regularly with your team and leaders – Display it…keep it visible! Living record – Use pencil, edit, change as more is learned Template helps ensure all steps are covered – This guide will get you started. – Once you are familiar with the technique, any blank 8-step sheet will work Scalability – Dependent on the impact of the problem being solved Solving the problem of where to go to lunch – no need for an A3 Solving a problem that impacts our company financials - Yes Accelerating implementation of our enterprise strategy – Yes A3 – 8-Step Process Recording 4
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Not a form, not even a standardized format Adjusted for the type of story being told (e.g., quality problem versus company strategy) Always complete the 8-Steps in sequence No exact or specific look or format The more visual the better (pictures, charts, no small print) Fits on one page, break down if necessary Flow as a story (visual story teller) 5 A3 – 8-Step Story Board
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 6 8-Step Process Recording
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Step 1 – Define the Problem 7
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Define the Problem 8 What is a problem..? A gap between where you want to be and where you are Two Kinds of Gaps: Sub-standard performance - Correct a variation to standard Raise the Bar – A gap between current performance and where you want it to be Note: Select one you own and haven’t delegated
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Writing Problem Statements 9 Clear Concise Measurable (where possible) Factual – what is known and how Visual Impact of doing nothing included Write the problem statement in pencil. Erase and re-write as you learn more. The problem of[Describe the problem] Affects[The stakeholders affected by the problem] The impact of which is[What is the impact of the problem] A successful solution would be [List the critical benefits or key capabilities that the solution, however implemented, must have to be successful] Example format The Software Requirements Memory Jogger
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 10 Step 2 – Clarify the Problem
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Clarify the Problem THINK CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION! Go to where the problem is occurring – Experience the actual process and validate ownership – Ask questions, “Only the facts.” – Interview participants – Collect artifacts, gather data - in relation to the Problem Can you isolate or narrow down the leads for future analysis? 11
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 12 Step 3 – Define the Goal
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Define the Goals What is the end goal or desired future state? What will you accomplish if you fix this problem? What is the desired timeline for solving this problem? A good goal statement is: – Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time based Set individual goals for each of the down-selected ideas from Step 2 13
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 14 Step 4 – Identify the Root Cause
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org The 5 Whys Process Many tools can be used to drill down to an issue’s root cause. – for standardization and best practice it is recommended to use The 5 Whys Process. It is a consistent approach It can be universally applied to most situations It provides a method to identify – Direct Root Cause – Detectability - Why the issue was not detected – Systemic Root Cause. Keep in mind: More than 5 questions can be used when necessary. People do not fail, processes do 15
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Effects and Causes 16 EffectsCauses InjuryCaused ByFall Caused BySlipped Caused ByWet Surface Caused ByLeaky Valve Caused BySeal Failure Caused ByNot Maintained Source: Apollo Root Cause Analysis, 3 rd Ed, Dean L. Gano, 2007
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 17 Step 5 – Develop Action Plan
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Develop an Action Plan For the selected Root Causes to be addressed Generate a list of actions required to solve the problem (solution) Assign an owner to each action Assign completion date – “Lock-in” the due date – hold the team accountable for giving a reasonable date to start with and then for delivering by that date. Identify intended benefit 18
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 19 Step 6 – Execute Action Plan
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Execute Action Plan Up until now, no changes have been made, solutions have only been offered and plans made to implement them Implement action plan to address the root cause Consider piloting improvements on small scale to reduce risk Be cautious of over-analyzing Don’t wait for the perfect solution Verify actions are completed Document the process 20
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 21 Step 7 – Evaluate the Results
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Evaluate the Results Monitor progress Are you on target to meet your goals? – If not, reassess the 8-Step Problem-Solving Process Were there any unforeseen consequences? Did you experience ah-ha moments? 22
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 23 Step 8 – Continuously Improve
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Continuously Improve Look for additional opportunities to implement the same solution – Another product line with same design? – Where can we standardize Processes? Communicate lessons learned – Share your problem and solution with other teams – you never know who may be trying to solve the same or similar problem Ensure problem will not come back – Implement controls and metrics Repeat the process to drive further improvements Celebrate your successes 24
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Iterative Process 25 Step 5 Step 4 Step 1 Step 2
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Common pitfalls Someone else owns the process Trying to tackle everything… choose your battles!!! Sizing the problems: break them down into smaller problems Not understanding the actual problem Problem is not measurable…if you don’t know where you started, you won’t know whether you improved No or unreliable data Use of junk words or data Jumping to conclusions and solutions… 26 Problem Statement (with pitfalls): We have too many customer complaints about various things that are caused by some of our own plants. We need to reduce the number of complaints by paying more attention when we get the orders, quote and invoice them.
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Common pitfalls…continued Going fast, but getting no where…how long does it take to solve a problem? …it is not about Speed, it is about moving Correctly at the Right speed. Earn the right…study examples to understand the concepts, don’t just copy. Lessons Learned is missed…what have we learned and how can we get better Sustainment through standardization is missed…how do you make sure we don’t fall back? 27
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Exercise II Think about the same problem from earlier exercise. Utilize the 8-Step Problem Solving Process to address the same problem. 28
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 29 Define The Problem Clarify the Problem Define the Goal Root Cause Analysis TITLE: PLAN
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org 30 Develop Action Plan Execute Action Plan Evaluate the Results Continuously Improve – Next Steps PLAN DO CHECK ACT MENTOR:DATE:
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Recommended Skills for more Effective Problem Solving + 31 Critical Thinking (CBT) Overcoming Biases Crucial Conversations (ILT) 8-Step Problem Solving Better Solutions = We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org References 32 A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge ® Section 8.1.4
© International Institute of Business Analysis IIBA.org Questions 33
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