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Problem solving Tools
5 Why's, is a technique for discovering the root causes of a problem and showing the relationship of the causes by repeatedly asking the question, "Why". Plan Do Act Check (PDCA), also known as the Deming Cycle is an iterative four-step quality control strategy, that utilizes a systematic problem solving process.

5 Why's

PDCA

8D Report, is a problem-solving methodology for 8D Report product and process improvement. It is structured into eight disciplines, emphasizing team synergy. A3 Report, Is a problem solving methodolgy that drives A3 Report problem-solvers to address the root causes of problems on one sheet of paper. Fishbone Diagram, also called the Ishikawa Diagram is a graphical tool used to to help workers focus on the causes of a problem rather than the symptoms. PPS - Practical Problem Solving Report Form. A straight forward simple two page report for problem solving. Pareto Analysis Diagram, focuses on efforts or the problems that have the greatest potential for improvement. Pareto uses the principle that 20% of the sources causes 80% of the problems. Brainstorming, is a technique for generating a large number of creative ideas with a group or team of people.

Fishbone Diagram

PPS

Pareto

Brainstor ming

Affinity Grouping

Affinity Grouping, A tool that gathers large ideas, and organizes them into groupings based on their natural relationships.

Quality Control Quality Control Incident Investigation, is a three step Incident reporting and identification process for quality non Investigati conformances with a corrective action plan. on Cause and Effect Matrix is a process that generates and Cause and sorts possible causes of problems within a process by Effect asking to list all of the possible causes for the identified Matrix problem. PAR (Preventative Action Request) are actions taken to eliminate a 'potential root cause' to a potential problem that has not occurred. CAR (Corrective Action Request) or Corrective Action Report, is a request for a root cause remedy of a contractual non compliance. SCAR (Supplier Corrective Action Request), is a systematic approach to solving a quality concern by the supplier.

PAR

CAR

SCAR

5 Principles for Problem Solving

5 Principles for Problem Solving Sheet, a five step problem solving methodology for problem solving and corrective actions for non conformances.

Deep Drill Deep Drill Analysis, is used to understand why the Analysis quality system failed.

Fishbone Diagram
What is it: A Fishbone Diagram or otherwise known as a "Cause and Effect" or "Ishikawa" Diagram will help to visually display the many potential causes for a specific problem or effect.The Fishbone Diagram is used to help workers focus on the causes of a problem rather than the symptoms. The results of a Fishbone Diagram may lead to other activities such as Brainstorming, FMEA's, Multi-vari charts, ANOVA, regression analysis or DOE activities. Fishbones Diagrams have a box at the right hand side where the effect is written and is examined. The main body of the diagram is a horizontal line from which stems the general causes, represented as "bones". These "bones" are drawn towards the left-hand side of the paper and are each labeled with the causes to be investigated, often brainstormed beforehand and based on the major causes listed above the line. Off each of the large bones there may be smaller "bones" highlighting more specific aspects of a certain cause, and sometimes there may be a third level of bones or more depending on the complexity of the problem. The "bones" can be found using the '5 Whys' technique. When the most probable causes have been identified, they are written in the box along with the original effect. The more populated bones generally outline more influential factors, with the opposite applying to bones with fewer "branches". Further analysis of the diagram can be achieved with a Pareto chart. Why use it: It is particularly useful in a group settings and for situations in which little quantitative data is available for analysis. What is it used for: Similar to Affinity Grouping, The Fishbone Diagram is used to group items. However, the grouping is done in a more structured manner; inputs (causes) are categorized to show how they lead to the output (or the effect.) When to use it:
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When identifying possible causes for a problem. Especially when a team’s thinking tends to fall into ruts. To sort independent variables (or causes) into like categories.

How to use it: The general procedure is: 1. An initial brainstorm of 20 or so possible causes of the problem.

2. 3. 4. 5.

Draw your first Fishbone Brainstorm further onto the Fishbone Vote & Prioritise Action Plan

Once you have the branches labeled, begin brainstorming possible causes and attach them to the appropriate branches. For each cause identified, continue to ask 'why does that happen?' and attach that information as another bone of the category branch. This will help get you to the true drivers of a problem. Causes in a typical diagram are normally arranged into categories, the main ones of which are: Causes in the diagram are often based around a certain category or set of causes, such as the 6 M's, 8 P's or 4 S's Administration and Industries Service Industries (The 8 Ps)
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Manufacturing Industries (The 6 M's)
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The Service Industries (The 4Ss)
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Price Promotion People Processes Place / Plant Policies Procedures Product (Service)

Machines Methods Materials Measurements Mother Nature (Environment) Manpower (People)

Surroundings Suppliers Systems skills

5 Whys
What is it: The 5 Whys is a question asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Ultimately, the goal of applying the 5 Whys method is to determine a root cause of a defect or problem. By repeatedly asking the question "Why" (five is a good rule of thumb), you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. Very often the underlying reason for a problem will lead you to another question. Although this technique is called "5 Whys," you may find that you will need to ask the question more or less than five times before you find the root cause of the problem.

The 5 Whys method can be used on its own or in conjunction with a Fishbone (also known as the cause and effect or Ishikawa) diagram. The Fishbone diagram helps you explore all potential or real causes that result in a single defect or failure. Once all inputs are established on the fishbone, you can use the 5 Whys technique to drill down to the root causes. There

can be more than one cause to a problem as well. In an organizational context, generally a 5 Whys root cause analysis is carried out by a team of persons related to the problem. What is it used for: To tunnel into the process to find the root cause of the process problem Why use it:
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Help identify the root cause of a problem. Determine the relationship between different root causes of a problem. One of the simplest tools; easy to complete without statistical analysis. Understand why the systems did not detect the problem.

Where to use it: Can be used on any problem that requires the root cause to be identified. When to use it:
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During root cause analysis to help identify the root cause or to identify where data needs to be collected. When problems involve human factors or interactions. In day-to-day business life, can be used within or without a Six Sigma project.

How to use it:
1. Write down the specific problem. Writing the issue helps you to formalize the problem and describe it completely. It also helps a team focus on the same problem. 2. Ask "Why" the problem happens and write the answer down below the problem. 3. If the answer you just provided doesn't identify the root cause of the problem that you wrote down in step 1, ask “Why” again and write that answer down. 4. Loop back to step 3 until the team is in agreement that the problem's root cause is identified. Again, this may take more or less than five “Whys”.

The template package has been developed for the user to identify the three problem paths and root causes of a typical production 5 why analysis problem:
1. Identify the root cause of how the problem occurred. 2. Identify why the problem was not detected. 3. Identify why the systems allowed the problem to occur.

Once all factual data has been gathered and entered on the template, a corrective action plan is implemented, next to each of the root cause results.

Important Notes
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The term “5 Whys” is a figurative term. A team might need more or less than five whys to tunnel down to the root cause of a problem. Be careful not to “lead” the questioning to a preconceived “why.”

PDCA
What is it: PDCA ("Plan-Do-Check-Act") is an iterative four step problem solving process typically used in quality control. It is also known as the Deming Cycle, Shewhart cycle and Deming Wheel. PDCA is an iterative way of feeding management information based on measurements and targets into an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement by completing the ‘feedback loop’. Benefits of the PDCA cycle include:
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Problem solving process Daily routine management for the individual and/or the team Project management Continuous development Vendor development Human resources development New product development Process trials

Why use it: PDCA is a methodology that is used to analyze and measure, to identify sources of variations that cause products to deviate from customer requirements. By using PDCA business processes or production processes are placed in a continuous feedback loop so that managers can identify and change the parts of the process that needs improvements. Where to use it: PDCA is usually used in industrial production processes for continuous improvement or problem solving, however PDCA has also revolved to include the business strategy and strategic descisions in modern post-industrial companies. When to use it: To correct deviations in the process that affects the customers requirments or expectations. How to use it: The Plan Do Check Act Model follows the four main steps below:
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PLAN: Design or revise production/business process components to improve results DO: Implement the plan and measure its performance CHECK: Assess the measurements, monitor and evaluate the processes and results against objectives and specifications and report the results to decision makers, AKA (STUDY: Study the results) ACT: Decide on changes needed to improve the process and apply actions to the outcome for necessary improvement. This means reviewing all steps (Plan, Do, Check, Act) and modifying the process to improve it before its next cycle of implementation

PDCA should be repeatedly implemented in spirals of increasing knowledge of the system that converge on the ultimate goal, each cycle closer than the previous. This approach is based on the belief that our knowledge and skills are limited, but improving. Especially at the start of a project, key information may not be known; the PDCA provides feedback to justify our guesses (hypotheses) and increase our knowledge. A visual representation of the PDCA process model is shown below, click on any of the 4 quadrants to illustrate how the "Fast Response PDCA Template" has been designed and tested with the PDCA methodology.

PDCA Process Model "click on circle" for more information

8D Report
What is it: 8D Report is a structured step-by-step problem solving methodology for product and process improvement. The 8D Report involves identifying the root cause of a problem using data collection and data analysis, taking actions to resolve the problem, and preventing similar problems from occurring in the future. The 8D Report is structured into eight specific steps which require team synergy. The team as whole is better and smarter than the quality sum of the individuals. Why use it: The primary difference between the 8D Report and other problem-solving approaches is the emphasis on involving a TEAM versus doing it all yourself. When to use it: The 8D Report is a problem solving method for product and process improvement, ideally for complex or urgent issues which an individual is unable to solve with a quick fix. How to use it: The 8D Report consists of the 8 following steps below, please refer to the instruction presentation in the 8D Report template package for a more detailed explanation: The Global 8 Disciplines are listed below. Establish the Team Describe the Problem Develop Interim Containment Actions Define and Verify Root Cause and Escape Point Choose and Verify Permanent Corrective Actions for Root Cause and Revaluate Escape Point 6. Implement and Validate Permanent Corrective Actions 7. Prevent Recurrence 8. Recognize Team and Individual Contributions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


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