Lean problem solving for continuous improvement.

Organizations have problems at three levels

 

  • Strategic problems occur when executives give direction, manage performance and drive new behaviors throughout the organization.
  • Functional problems arise when senior and middle management optimize performance of people, equipment and processes.
  • Operational problems hamper lower management, teams and individual line-of-business employees from  carrying out, monitoring and controlling processes.
Levels of problems
Poor problem solving

Most teams have poor problem solving skills

 

Teams do not have a structured problem solving process. They fail to properly analyze the problem and often do not distinguish between symptoms and other effects of a problem, the problem itself and its causes. They fail to identify the root cause(s) of a problem and as a result they do not come up with effective, permanent solutions.

Teams often fail to take action to implement solutions

 

Solutions to problems are implemented by taking action.

Many teams have large numbers of actions of various sizes running at the same time. But with little (or no) project management skills, teams are left to their own devices to cope as best as they can. To pose an even bigger challenge, actions often have to be taken in circumstances requiring close cooperation between cross-functional teams.

As a result, many teams are poor at taking the actions required to implement solutions, with procrastination and under-delivery being at the order of the day.

Failure to take action
Performance gap

Unsolved problems result in performance gaps

 

Unsolved problems cause a performance gap between aspiration (what teams want to achieve) and current reality, resulting in teams not achieving their Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and other performance targets.

The responsibility of executives & senior managers

 

It is the responsibility of the executives and senior managers of an organization to build a culture of continuous improvement which will close the performance gaps resulting from unsolved problems. This is achieved by establishing a system of lean problem solving applied by teams at all levels resulting in teams consistently solving their problems.

“When the majority of the people act in a certain way, the problem is not with the people, but with the system”

W Edwards Deming

BlazeLeanSystems empowers teams to develop and implement lasting solutions to problems, enabling them to consistently achieve their performance targets. It changes the way teams work – making them both more effective (doing the right things) and efficient (doing it in the right way).

It creates visibility, transparency and accountability by enabling teams to follow a proven system:

  • to solve problems, which is compatible with lean methodologies such as Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA), A3 Problem Solving, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Kaizen as well as the 8 Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D);  and
  • plan and execute the countermeasures, action plans and projects required to implement solutions, using both traditional timeline type (Gantt chart) and agile methodologies.

It is completely flexible and can be used for:

  • problems of all complexities, from simple problems where the solution is obvious, to extremely complex problems requiring detailed analysis; and
  • actions of all sizes, from basic countermeasures (containment -, corrective – and preventive actions) to action plans consisting of a few tasks carried out by a few individuals, to projects with hundreds of tasks carried out by cross-functional teams.
Consultant graph

Consultants & coaches

Consultants and coaches can add tremendous value to clients’ organizations by assisting the executive and senior management to establish a proven system for:

  • solving problems, which is compatible with lean methodologies such as Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA), A3 Problem Solving, Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Kaizen as well as the 8 Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D); and
  • implementing solutions using agile project management methodologies such as Kanban, SCRUM and Scrumban as well as traditional Gantt charts.
Get your teams to consistently develop and implement solutions to their problems.