Friday, October 12, 2012

Problem Solving

When it comes to solving a problem, issue or concern I always find myself clinging to the methods I know and have practiced over and over again throughout the years. Luckily for me DMAIC is one of the main methodologies I turn to when solving a problem. DMAIC if you are unfamiliar is a cycle that takes you through the Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control steps in order to solve the problem at hand. This circular logic is great for returning to the situation if your initial design did not function as you intended. In the world of Lean and Six Sigma this may sound wasteful because you should always be doing or providing  things right the first time to deliver a high quality product or end result, however sometimes things do not always go as planned. Murphy's Law even states that whatever can go wrong will go wrong in any given situation so although not ideal allowing for variation and some rework in your problem solving techniques can be beneficial in the long run. With this being said I am not giving you permission to carry extra labor, inventory, machine capacity or any other costly attributes "just in case". This is purely wasteful and is not what the DMAIC cycle should be used for. The DMAIC cycle should however assist in planning, follow through and benchmarking of any plans, decisions or new practices you may plan on implementing.

It is my suggestion that the next time you are faced with a decision that needs to be made, a problem to be solved, or an item to implement you turn to the DMAIC cycle and give it an old college try. It may not be the most complete of the the methodologies on the market but in my opinion it is by far the most efficient and easy to follow for both novices and experts alike.


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