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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.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.
Define the problem, measure exactly where the problem exists, through trial and error, try different methods of fitting the fender into the plastic bag, analyze these alternatives, and call a Supplier in to look at the problem from a specialist’s point of view.
The Supplier comes up with the idea of air blowing into the plastic bag to open it up easier and the fender then slides into the plastic sleeve much easier. Write a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) to confirm how this issue was finally solved.
Between Steps Five and during Step Six the operational/technical implementation of the chosen solution takes place.
The project implementation now needs to be monitored by the group to ensure their recommendations are followed.
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.