Problem Solving

A Successful CI Program Depends on Strong Project Management Fundamentals

I’ve seen it happen more than once where a company starts down the path of Lean, Six Sigma, or Problem Solving to only change course in mid-stream.  It happens for many reasons – lack of resources, underestimating the time required to complete projects, allowing scope creep, project champions and sponsors that don’t ask the right questions, not putting the correct controls in...

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Make Something Happen – Establish Accountability!

Yesterday I met with a potential client that is looking for problem solving training for his employees.  We discussed the logistics of the training, topics to include, and a variety of other training issues.  He told me his organization would be very quick to say they know the reasons for many of their problems, based on past experience and opinion.  Very few of their problems are addressed by...

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Don’t Let Operator Issues Be An Excuse Not To Do Your Job!

I recently visited a client that is experiencing a number of quality issues both internally and externally with their customers.  A large portion of their manufacturing process relies on operators doing their job properly.  In reviewing their process, it was evident that operators were not handling material properly, not using process fixtures, and not following the methods they were taught....

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Does Your Organization Continue To Have The Same Problems?

Continuous improvement is an on-going effort to improve products, services, and processes in an organization.  It is typically conducted incrementally, i.e., making small frequent improvements versus breakthrough improvements where it is done in large steps.  Many organizations use the kaizen approach to making incremental improvements.  Key features of kaizen are: Improvements are based on...

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Base Your Problem Solving on Facts Not Data

Collecting the right data is important, but being able to turn that data into useful information is paramount in determining the right countermeasure to solve a problem.  When defects are produced, and we find out only through data, we miss the chance to take appropriate corrective actions.  Thus we may not be able to discover the true cause of the defects, resulting in our inability to take...

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Preventing Bad Decisions: There’s No Such Thing as a No-Brainer

Making decisions is one of the hardest things most of us do as individuals, spouses, parents, leaders, and executives.  Bad decisions can damage a relationship, a business, and a career, sometimes irreparably.  So what causes bad decisions – the alternatives were not clearly defined, the right information was not collected, the costs and benefits were not thoroughly assessed.  But often...

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