Problem solving can be tricky, painful, and frankly a waste of time if you are trying to solve the wrong issue.
Properly defining your problem upfront is the key to success.
This article, the third in the series, takes you through the next key step to help you quickly and accurately clarify the problem – using data and facts to eliminate the problem of opinions.
If you are a CI Manager, CI Practitioner or a Lean Leader, I’d guess you might have a few books on your desk.
Of course, there are the lean classics – Lean Thinking, The Toyota Way, The Goal – but I think there are also a number of other, less obvious, brilliant books which can be hugely valuable to you.
Next up is the brilliant Black Box Thinking by @MatthewSyed – a book about marginal gains and high performance.
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Journey to Excellence conference held in Manchester in the UK.
This is an annual conference, organized by True North Excellence, created to inspire through sharing best practice, building new networks, and experiencing best in class learning.
I delivered a workshop to around 75 delegates, titled ‘Solving the Biggest Problem with Problem Solving’ and I used Tom Wujec’s Draw Toast activity during the workshop.
In the first article in this series, I said that the primary thing that needs to be done to get you on the right track to solving a problem is to clearly define the problem.
I went on to suggest that the first stage in doing this should be to Go-Look-See-Ask – go where the problem is happening, look at the process, see what is happening, and ask questions to fully understand.
So, you’ve done that. And what should you do next?
Brainstorming is a very useful and valuable tool when you need to generate ideas. I’d be willing to bet that all CI practitioners (and probably the majority of managers generally) have been in a brainstorming session at some point.
But are they always effective?
Do the creative, innovative ideas flow easily?
We’ve all been there. A problem has arisen and there is a room full of people trying to figure out a solution. But no-one really knows what’s happened. There is SOME data. And a whole lot of opinions. And feelings. And emotion. And you are going round and round in circles.