Six Sigma Problem Solving

So, it is a one-page report or document and you’re using it as you solve the problem. So when people say they’re in the plan phase or the do phase or the step, people can understand what’s happening there. So again like I said, you don’t fill it out after, which is also a mistake. I have seen it a lot there as well that people feel like it’s supposed to be an accountability thing that they have to fill out to get credit of some kind and they’re not really using it as a development tool or a thinking tool. So it’s either really they either haven’t used it or they used it throughout PDCA. So the one we thought the people on this webinar having that situation as much. Some people might be freaking out right now if they come from the Lean-only side of the world. At Go Lean Six, we’re not big promoters of which camp is better, the Lean camp or the Six Sigma camp.Some people look at it like, “I’m now going to fill this piece of paper out.” No! So you socialize the A3 and you communicate with the A3. Elisabeth Swan: I see it when largely – I see people sort of using it at the end of a project. They might even say this is sacrilegious because I put DMAIC on an A3. We are big promoters though of making it easy for people to build their problem-solving muscles and we want to meet people where they are and we want to make connections that people understand to expand their learning.That should have been happening as you’re going through the problem-solving. And it’s a lot easier to just walk around with a piece of paper and show people as opposed to sending it to them via email buried under the 300 emails that they can’t get to and they don’t get a chance to look at it. If you need to do like drive-by office visits, right? It’s not really a scheduled meeting but you happen to walk by somebody’s office and they’re in it and they don’t look like they are busy and you’re going to go talk to them and now you got your piece of paper right in front of you. So again, it’s a tool to build that problem-solving muscle for you and for your peers as well as people who are leaders. I want to see how many people online actually have used an A3 before. Use at the end of an improvement to document it is B. They’re not really taking advantage of how it can be useful throughout the problem-solving method. And it is a fact and it is true that A3 follows DMAIC as well as PDCA.

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And this is hard for people too because we often want to just fix something. We want to actually just – we don’t want to spend time analyzing current state. And that could be a challenge for people too especially beginners. And so, I find that people are trying to solve and implement solutions very quickly on A3s. So again, this is typically if you have – if something is taking too long, a process is taking too long, it’s taking too long to process this application, currently taking 18 days and we want to get it to 7 days. Sometimes we don’t really know if that’s achievable until you know what the root cause really is. And hopefully, you’re thinking about what the customer wants when you set the target. So these are some of the things we’re going to be talking about as part of the methodology. What are you trying to solve by having a lunch buffet?

But if you’re a beginner, I want to really get clear on some very important definitions and these are going to be really important for you to start practicing because people confuse these definitions all the time. And so, you hear people talk about this all the time.

And so, our goal is to help you build those problem-solving muscles. We’re going to break down some of the elements of the A3 for beginners and then what can we do to commit to using the A3. So those are all really important things to think about. And we’re going to talk about all of these pieces today. All of these different methodologies have come from the scientific method.

So today, we’re going to be working on something specific and it’s about learning about A3s. So these are some of the things that we’re going to be talking about today. But sometimes people just have what we call a 4-block. So, most of the participants on this webinar have not used one so 63% haven’t used them. And so, I know that this is going to raise a few eyebrows especially in the Lean community but I think it’s really important to make this connection if you have a mostly Six Sigma background.

So there’s something very different between a problem, a root cause, and a countermeasure or solution. This side comic strip here is exactly what we’re talking about. You hear people say, “Well, the problem is we need to hire more people.” That’s not a problem. What problem are you trying to solve by hiring those people?

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And if you start to really pay attention to how people are talking, they do this all the time.

She got her start way back in 1998 with GE Appliances as a Black Belt. OK, Tracy, you’ve got a very nice cosmopolitan crew here. So we really try to make it easy for everyone everywhere to build their problem-solving muscles. Our goal is to provide practical, easy to understand, and enjoyable Lean and Six Sigma training and we try to give you as many free resources as possible to make your journey easy too.

Elisabeth Swan: So Tracy has been involved with Lean Six Sigma process improvement for decades. And so, I’ll just tell you a little bit about Go Lean Six

So that’s ultimately what we’re doing here is we clarify that problem or the issue that you need to be addressed which is sometimes the hardest thing is to really say, “What problem am I trying to solve?

” I actually find people really struggle with this.


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