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[SOUND] Hi there, my name is Ron Pereira and
I do officially welcome you to this first overview module of the Gemba
Academy Practical Problem Solving course. By the end of this module, you’ll
know what a problem is as well as why companies, such as Toyota use a form of
practical problem solving to this very day in order to improve their way of working. Next, you’ll also be introduced to
other problem solving approaches, such as the six sigma DMAIC methodology. Finally by the end of this module,
you’ll know what the eight steps to practical problem solving are as
we prepare to take a deep dive and to each step throughout
the rest of this course. Well, let’s get started by first
answering a fundamental question. What is a problem? Well, first of all, a problem can be defined as any
deviation from the standard. Now, it can also be defined as a gap
between actual and desired conditions. And finally, a problem can be defined
as an unfulfilled customer need. Now taking it a bit further, we’re often able to classify
problems into one of three types. Now, the first is when
the standard is not achieved. In other words, if our target is 100%
on-time delivery and we experience a month of 82% on-time delivery, our actual
performance doesn’t meet the standard. Now the second type of problem occurs
when the standard is achieved, but a higher standard is now required. Now staying with the on-time
delivery example, if we’re currently performing at
100% on-time delivery at a quoted lead time of two weeks, our customers
may very well ask us to reduce our lead time to one week while still
maintaining 100% on-time delivery. Finally, the third type of problem occurs
when our performance to the standard varies. Meaning, it’s not consistently achieved. Now this is actually a form of Mura or
unevenness, which we first learn about in the
transforming your value streams course. Well, now that we’ve been introduced
to what a problem is let’s now turn our attention to why practical problem solving
is such a powerful approach to tackling issues burdening you and
your organization. Well, first of all, practical problem
solving enables organizations to have a common understanding and
definition of what a problem actually is, which in turn creates a fast and
urgent initial response. Next, a standard problem solving
approach removes time lost in debate and discussion. In other words, organizations are able
to focus their valuable time and energy on things that actually matter,
such as solving problems. Finally, through planning, root cause
analysis and the implementation of mistake proofing insures problems don’t reoccur
since there’s nothing more disheartening than to see a problem reappear a few
months after it was thought to be solved. Now then,
throughout this problem solving course, we’ll be referring to the PDCA Cycle,
which stands for plan, do, check and act. And in particular, we’ll be spending a lot
of time on the first step, which is plan, since the failure to plan properly as
show on the top side of this diagram. Almost always result in longer
times to resolve the problem. In other words, this organization rushed
through the planning phase only to pay for this hastiness and
the check and act phases. And on the other hand, when
an organization takes the time to do slow, thorough planning as prescribed in
the practical problem solving approach, they are far more likely to
solve their problems faster and far more efficiently as we see here. So those are just a few of the reasons why
practical problem solving is so powerful. Now, I’d like to turn our focus towards
a few of the other problem solving approaches used today by companies before
we take a deeper dive into the eight step practical solving road map. First of all, depending on the problem
at hand many, companies utilize one of the simplest problem solving methodologies
available today known as just do it. In other words, for small problems
that may not require much time or resources is sometimes possible
to quickly fix them and move on. These might be like these so-called
low hanging fruit initiatives. Next, Ford Motor Company adopted
a problem solving process known as Eight Disciplines,
which takes eight disciplines and uses them to tackle engineering problems. Now some actually confuse 8D with the
eight steps of practical problem solving and while they do share some similarities,
they are different. Now another extremely powerful
problem solving approach finds its roots in the six
sigma methodology. Now specifically, six sigma practitioners
around the world have used the DMAIC or define, measure, analyze,
improve and control process to attack problems associated with
variation and defects for many years. As an aside, if you’re interested
in learning more about six sigma, please be sure to check out
Gemba Academy School of Six Sigma. Well, to wrap up this overview module,
I’d like to officially introduce you to the Eight Step Practical
Problem Solving Process. Now throughout the rest of this course,
where we’ll follow an actual case study, we’ll be taking a deep
dive into each step. But for now, we just want you to
become familiar with their names. I’d also like to point out that these
eight steps are based closely on what Toyota calls the Toyota
business practice, which is a detailed explanation
of how the PDCA Cycle works. Well, the first step and the process
tells us clarifying the problem. In other words, we must clearly describe
the current situation while going to see with our own eyes in
order to get the facts. Now we also want to answer questions, such as whether we’ve contained the
problem in order to protect the customer, even if this means implementing
a temporary solution. The second step of the process
has us breaking the big, vague problem down into it’s smaller,
more specific problems. Again, we wanna go see the actual problem
process or situation with our own eyes. Now during this step, we’ll also take
time to study the various inputs and outputs of the process. Helping us to properly scope and
prioritize our efforts. Next, once we’ve scoped the problem, it’s time to set a target which we
will achieve, which is step three. Now this is an important step as
it forces us to make a commitment. Now this target should
definitely be a challenge, but also something that helps limit the scope. In other words,
it becomes a must do target. Finally, it’s important to remember
that this target should take us one step towards the ideal. Meaning, it doesn’t have to be
a gargantuan leap towards perfection. Instead, we’ll focus on taking
one solid step at a time. Next, step four has us
analyzing the root cause. Now once again, to do this, we must practice genchi genbutsu without
prejudice, which means we must go and see the problems for ourselves,
instead of relying on what a report says. Now during this step,
we’ll work to find points of cause, which is the starting point
of root cause analysis. Now as it turns out,
there are often multiple points of cause. So we must drill down using things like
the five why and for the record, five is not a magic number, its just a typical
number suggested to get to the root cause. Now then, a proper root cause analysis
will point to the action needed. Namely, the removal of the root cause. To do this, you and your team will
need to make a plan that includes who, what, and when, enabling you to
pursue multiple countermeasures, which is step five of the practical
problem solving process. Step six has us seeing the countermeasures
through as we implement our countermeasures quickly as a team. Now to accomplish this,
it’s important to seek the help. And most importantly,
the ideas of many people. You’ll also wanna communicate this
status regularly while turning the PDCA Cycle again and again. And perhaps, the best advice we can offer
with this step is to never ever give up. You will no doubt hit obstacles and
challenges, but your willingness to persevere and
battle through these situations may very well mean the difference
between success and failure. Step seven is often called
the follow up phase, as we evaluate both the results and
the process. Now during this step, you’ll wanna ask the question was this
an effective countermeasure or just luck? Now this is an important question to
ask since if you look closely at this picture of the famous square peg in
the round hole example, you’ll realize sometimes even great ideas such as
ensuring only round pegs get inserted. Have room for improvement since
a person with a square peg and hammer, just might find ways around
this error proof device. Finally, step eight of
the Practical Problem Solving Method challenges us to standardize success,
using something the Japanese call Yokotin. Which loosely,
translated means the copy and expand good kaizen ideas to other areas
while also identifying unresolved issues. And in addition to building on successes,
we must also face and learn from unresolved issues. In fact, we should never shy away from
these challenges since failure to address them could lead to problems
reappearing in the near future. Finally, during this eighth and final
step, we must set the next targets for improvements since the phrase no
problem is a problem is so very true and that covers the overview of the eight
steps to practical problem solving. Obviously, we’ve only
offered a brief overview of these eight steps in this first module. But rest assured throughout the rest of
this course, we’ll take you on a deep journey through each and every step as
we work through a case study example of the company solving a particular problem
using this powerful eight step road map. Now then, in our next module, we’re going to continue the journey
as we explore the PDCA Cycle. So we’ll speak to you soon.

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