Clearing the Problem / Solving the Problem

As I work with clients to get a “problem solving culture” embedded, one common challenge is the distinction between the short term work-around to remove the obstacle, and the long-term countermeasure that actually improves the process.

I addressed this at a conceptual level in the “Morning Market” post a while ago.

Last week I was working with a client who has begun using the work-around as their key insight into the issue they have to solve.

When the work flow is disrupted, they are careful to capture what they had to do in order to clear the problem and get the item back into the normal production flow.

“We had to wait for parts.”

“We had to rework _____.”

“We had to get on someone else’s login for enough security to do the task.”

“We had to find the ____.”

“We had to replace ___”

This is really valuable information. By appending “Why did…” in front of the statement, they have a fairly well defined starting point for getting to the bottom of the actual issue.

By making the containment action the first “Why?” they get off the containment-as-solution mindset.

It might not work for everyone, but it is working very well for them.

“Please continue.”  Smile

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