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5 WHY -Problem Solving Process


5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

PRACTICAL PROBLEM SOLVING

Introduction In the Delphi organization, a common problem solving process is used to analyze and solve quality problems. There are four major parts of the process: ? ? ? ? Grasp the Situation Cause Investigation Problem Correction Prevention through Errorproofing

? Grasp the Situation During the first part of the process, you: ? Identify the Problem ? Clarify the Problem ? Locate the Point of Cause (PoC) ? Cause Investigation In the second part of the process, you: ? Conduct a “5-Why” investigation to identify the root cause ? for the specific problem ? for why the problem was not detected ? for why the “system” allowed the problem to occur ? Problem Correction In the third part of the process, you: ? Take specific action to correct the problem. At a minimum, short-term temporary measures are required to protect the customer. ? Prevention Thru Errorproofing In the fourth part of the process, you: ? Take specific action to make sure the problem cannot recur, typically through errorproofing ? Capture Lessons Learned

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

PRACTICAL PROBLEM SOLVING MODEL 5 Why Funnel

G S R I A T S U P A T T I H O E N C A U S E I N V E S T I G A T I O N

PROBLEM IDENTIFIED (Large, Vague, Complicated) Problem Clarified ? Area of Cause Located Where in the process is problem occurring? Point of Cause (PoC) “Go See” the problem Why? 1 Cause Basic Cause/Effect Investigation Why? 2 Cause Why? 3 Cause 5 Why? Why? 4 Investigation of Root Cause Cause Why? 5 Why did we Why did it
have the problem? get to the customer?

Why did our “system” fail?

? Root Cause ? Corrective Action ? Lessons Learned

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

BASIC STEPS OF PRACTICAL PROBLEM SOLVING Part I – Grasp the Situation ? Step 1: Identify the Problem In the first step of the process, you become aware of a problem that may be large, vague, or complicated. You have some information, but do not have detailed facts. Ask: ? What do I know?

? Step 2: Clarify the Problem The next step in the process is to clarify the problem. To gain a more clear understanding, ask: ? ? What is actually happening? What should be happening?

? Step 3: Break Down the Problem At this point, break the problem down into smaller, individual elements, if necessary. ? ? What else do I know about the problem? Are there other sub-problems?

? Step 4: Locate the Point of Cause (PoC) Now, the focus is on locating the actual point of cause of the problem. You need to track back to see the point of cause first-hand. Ask: ? ? ? Where do I need to go? What do I need to see? Who might have information about the problem?

? Step 5: Grasp the Tendency of the Problem To grasp the tendency of the problem, ask: ? ? ? ? ? Who? Which? When? How often? How much?

It is important to ask these questions before asking “Why?”

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

Part II: Cause Investigation ? Step 6: Identify and confirm the direct cause of the abnormal occurrence. If the cause is visible, verify it. If the cause is not visible, consider potential causes and check the most likely causes. Confirm the direct cause based on fact. Ask: ? ? ? ? ? Why is the problem occurring? Can I see the direct cause of the problem? If not, what do I suspect as potential causes? How can I check the most likely potential causes? How can I confirm the direct cause?

? Step 7: Use 5-Why investigation to build a chain of cause/effect relationships that lead to the root cause. Ask: ? ? ? ? ? Will addressing the direct cause prevent recurrence? If not, can I see the next level of cause? If not, what do I suspect as the next level of cause? How can I check and confirm the next level of cause? Will addressing this level of cause prevent recurrence? If not, continue asking “Why?” until you find the root cause. Stop at the cause that must be addressed to prevent recurrence. Ask: ? ? ? ? ? Have I found the root cause of the problem? Can I prevent recurrence by addressing this cause? Is this cause linked to the problem by a chain of cause/effect relationships that are based on fact? Does the chain pass the “therefore” test? If I ask “Why?” again, will I be into another problem?

Be sure you have used 5-Why Investigation to answer these questions: ? ? ? Why did we have the problem? Why did the problem get to the customer? Why did our “system” allow it to occur?

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

5 WHY CAUSE INVESTIGATION

Abnormal Occurrence Why? (cause/effect relationship)

C

C

C

C
Why?

Direct Cause

(cause/effect relationship)

C

C

C

C
Why?

Cause (cause/effect relationship)

C

C

C
Why?

Cause

(cause/effect relationship)

C

C

C
Why?

Cause

C

C

C

Root Cause

Therefore Test

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

Step 8: Take Specific Action to Address the Problem Use temporary measures to eliminate the abnormal occurrence until the root cause can be addressed. Ask: ? Does it contain the problem until a permanent solution can be implemented?

Implement corrective actions to address the root cause to prevent recurrence. Ask: ? Does it prevent the problem?

Follow-up and check results. Ask: ? ? Is the solution working? How do I know?

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

PRACTICAL PROBLEM SOLVING CHECKLIST To be sure you have followed the problem solving model, use this checklist as you complete the problem solving process.

Grasp the situation ___ Pick-up the problem. ___ Clarify the problem. ___ Break down the problem. ___ Locate the Point of Cause (PoC). ___ Grasp the tendency of the problem.

Cause Investigation ___ Identify/confirm the direct cause. ___ Ask 5 Why's to identify the root cause. ___ Ask 5 Why's for “Why the problem was not detected and reached the customer?” ___ Ask 5 Why's for “Why did the system allow the problem to occur?”

Problem Correction ___ Implement corrective action; at a minimum, implement temporary measures

Prevention ___ Errorproof the root cause. ___ Capture Lessons Learned.

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

ACTIVITY: FLEX INDUSTRIES CASE STUDY

Directions: ? Use the Delphi Problem Solving Process to evaluate the Flex Industries Case Study below and on the following pages. Review the 5-Why Investigation results on Page 11. Use the worksheets on Pages 13 and 14 to record your work. Use only the information provided. Do not try to re-engineer the rivets or solve the technical problems in the case study. The purpose of this activity is to use the Problem Solving model to organize the given data.

? ? ?

FLEX INDUSTRIES CASE STUDY

Background Jake Ryan is the Quality Manager at Flex Industries. Flex is a component supplier that manufactures metal stampings and light assembly products. The company has a reputation for supplying high quality parts on a consistent basis. Seldom has there been a customer complaint. Flex has Quality representatives called Customer Support Engineers (CSE’s) at every customer assembly plant. The CSE’s report any problems to Jake for investigation and follow-up. At 7:00 a.m. this morning, Jake received a call from Janet, CSE at the Winding River Assembly Plant. Janet informed him that the customer had found five defective stabilizing brackets on second shift last night. She checked the remaining inventory and there were no defects in the remaining 326 pieces. The manufacturing sticker on the back of the brackets indicated that they were made by the second shift operator. Normally, the stabilizing bracket is fastened to the regulator motor with three rivets. The five defective brackets had only two rivets in them. The lower set of rivets on all five brackets was missing a rivet. This was the first time that the problem occurred.

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

GOOD

BAD

Jake set-up containment procedures at the plant warehouse to sort for discrepant materials. As of this morning, two more defective brackets had been found in the remaining 2019 pieces of inventory at Flex.

Cause Investigation Jake went out to the floor to talk with the team leader of the two rivet lines (East and West) and the area quality assurance auditor. He informed Sam (the team leader) of the quality problem and asked him to identify the line which runs the stabilizing bracket assembly. Sam directed Jake to the East line which runs Winding River assembly brackets only. At the East Line, he spoke with Judy (the QA Auditor for the area) and asked to see the quality log sheets. Jake and Judy reviewed the Nov. 11 th log sheet and could not find anything out of the ordinary. He asked her to set-up in-house containment procedures to sort for any discrepant material in the finished goods area. Next, Jake tried to locate the second shift operator whose clock number was on the defective parts. Since that operator was gone, Jake spoke with the current machine operator (Ben). He asked Ben about any recent difficulties with the rivet machine. Ben said that he hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. Ben also mentioned, however, that there had never been any quality bulletins posted in the two years that this particular part has been running. Jake decided to stay in the area to watch the machine run for a while. After about 15 minutes, he watched Ben dump rivets into the feeder bowl to prepare for the next run.

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

Shortly after restarting rivet operations, Ben walked over to another riveter and came back with a steel rod. Ben poked around the rivet chute and then continued working. Jake approached Ben and asked him about the steel rod. Ben replied that from time to time the chute gets jammed and he has to clear it out. This happens two or three times during a shift. He didn’t mention this in his earlier conversation with Jake because the problem has existed ever since he started working with this machine. The previous operator showed him how to clear the chute. All the rivet machines are like this. Jake called the Machine Repair Department and asked that someone look at the rivet track. A slight gap in the track was found and removed, and Ben continued to work. Two hours later, Jake got a call from Ben saying that the track was still jamming. As far as Jake could see, only rivets were in the bowl. Next, Jake looked into the rivet supplier containers. There was some foreign material in the blue container, but none in the red container. The label on the blue container showed that it was from Ajax Rivet, Inc., and the label on the red container indicated that it was from Frank’s Fasteners. Obviously, the foreign material was entering the rivet feeder bowl and jamming the track. Jake called Maintenance and requested that the bowl be cleaned. He also added the cleaning operation to the preventive maintenance schedule on the equipment. He then called both Ajax Rivet, Inc. and Frank’s Fasteners. He asked about the cleaning procedures on the returnable containers. Frank’s did a full container purge and clean. Ajax just re-introduced the containers back into their system. When Jake asked why Ajax did not clean their containers, he was told that Ajax was not aware that such a policy was needed. Upon further investigation, Jake learned that Frank’s Fasteners supplies other major automotive companies. Since these companies require that all returnable containers be cleaned, Frank’s instituted the purge as part of its practice for all customers. Ajax Rivet, however, depends primarily on Flex as its major customer. No such policy has ever been required of them. Jake called the Material Control Department and requested that a container maintenance policy be drafted which would apply to all their suppliers. He also asked that a machine modification be developed to sense for the presence of rivets. Hopefully, this would errorroof the process. KEY PLAYERS
Jake Janet Sam Judy Ben Quality Manager CSE, Winding River Plant Team Leader, East Line QA Auditor, East Line Machine Operator

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS 5-Why Cause Investigation
Reference No. _______________ (Spill, PR/R…) Date: ____________________

Lessons Learned: 1. Make supplier part of APQP activities. 2. Make PFMEA’s comprehensive of entire system

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS
Delphi 5-Why Template to be used for all 5-Why Investigations

5-Why Analysis
Reference No. __________ (Spill, PR/R…) Date: ____________________

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

FLEX INDUSTRIES WORKSHEET

GRASP THE SITUATION Activity (Step) Identify the problem What did they know? What did they do?

Clarify the problem

Break down the problem

Locate point of cause (geographic location) Grasp tendency of the problem (What questions are you asking?)

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5-WHY PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS

CAUSE INVESTIGATION Activity (Step) Identify/confirm the direct cause Ask 5 Why’s to identify the specific root cause associated with the problem Ask 5 Why’s for why the problem was not detected and reached the Customer Ask 5 Why’s for why the “System” allowed it to happen Implement temporary measures to protect the Customer Implement corrective actions to prevent the problem from recurring Follow-up and check results What did they know? What did they do?

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