Identify the Problem.” Each step must be completed before moving on to the next step. At any point the group can return to an earlier step, and proceed from there.
Effective Problem Solving Steps to Not Disrupt your Supply Chain (or Life! Problem-solving is also a structured approach to addressing a problem and can lead you to the best solution to a problem. These 6 Problem solving steps are a basic coping strategy that can be very effective in managing different sources of stress or problems both in the supply chain, logistics planning, in business in general, and of course, in your life too.
When done correctly, it can help someone experience a greater sense of control and predictability with regard to a problem. As with any coping strategy, it may be important to combine it with other coping strategies, such as anxiety reduction techniques or skills for setting and managing goals.
The Six-Step method provides a focused procedure for the problem solving (PS) group.
All six steps are followed in order – as a cycle, beginning with “1.
In this step the problem solving team will use tools such as: These techniques help collate the information in a structured way, and focus in on the underlying causes of the problem. At this stage, the group may return to step one to revise the definition of the problem.
Analytical, creative problem solving is about creating a variety of solutions, not just one.Determine the Root Cause(s) of the Problem”, the group may return to the first step to redefine the problem. The goal is not to solve but to evolve, adjusting the solution continually as new challenges emerge, through repeating the Six Step Process.Step One is about diagnosing the problem – the context, background and symptoms of the issue.Getting input from others, similar to the cross-functional team example, is very important for objectivity and looking at the problem from various points of view, always being objective and looking for the right solution(s) to the problem.Example I: Improving Inventory Records Accuracy (IRA), for instance, where the warehouse on-hand quantity differs from the ERP/computer on-hand quantity, takes looking at the root cause of the problem in the transaction detail of the Warehouse Management System (WMS).This way you can get comfortable with the steps before you use them with more complex problems.Six Sigma Quality uses DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control as their driving problem solving steps guide.You then analyze the problem once uncovered, discuss it, and write a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to eliminate this from happening in the future.Example number II: A bicycle fender is very difficult to put into a plastic sleeve because of the contour of the fender.First you define the problem, next you measure it, then analyze it, improve it, and the final step is to control/maintain the solution. Once you find the root cause of the problem and solve it, it must be controlled so it does not occur again.In both of these methods finding the root cause of the problem and solving it is at the core of problem solving.