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A Problem Solving Process


Step 1:

Identify The Problem

  • Select the problem to be analyzed

  • Clearly define the problem and establish a precise problem statement

  • Set a measurable goal for the problem solving effort

  • Establish a process for coordinating with and gaining approval of leadership


Step 2:

Analyze The Problem

  • Identify the processes that impact the problem and select one

  • List the steps in the process as it currently exists

  • Map the Process

  • Validate the map of the process

  • Identify potential cause of the problem

  • Collect and analyze data related to the problem

  • Verify or revise the original problem statement

  • Identify root causes of the problem

  • Collect additional data if needed to verify root causes



Step 3:


  • Establish criteria for selecting a solution

  • Generate potential solutions that will address the root causes of the problem

  • Select a solution

  • Gain approval and supporter the chosen solution

  • Plan the solution


Step 4:

Implement a Solution

  • Implement the chosen solution on a trial or pilot basis

  • If the Problem Solving Process is being used in conjunction with the Continuous Improvement Process, return to Step 6 of the Continuous Improvement Process

  • If the Problem Solving Process is being used as a standalone, continue to Step 5



Step 5:

Evaluate The Results

  • Gather data on the solution

  • Analyze the data on the solution


Achieved the Desired Goal?

If YES, go to Step 6.
If NO, go back to Step 1.



Step 6:

Standardize The Solution (and Capitalize on New Opportunities)

  • Identify systemic changes and training needs for full implementation

  • Adopt the solution

  • Plan ongoing monitoring of the solution

  • Continue to look for incremental improvements to refine the solution

  • Look for another improvement opportunity

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