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Solving Operational Problems in a systematic way


Is there a magic formula for Problem Solving ?

One danger in attacking problems is that we quite often lose patience, leap to action and  in some cases compound the problem.


What is needed is a rational approach , an approach that is..

  • Focused.
  • Visible.
  • Systematic.

Click on the summary below for a taster of the course content.

 Taster of problem solving skills

Some of the difficulties  people face when Problem Solving.


  •   People tend to jump to conclusions.
  •   The problem is not sufficiently well defined.
  •   Emotions get in the way of logical thought.
  •   Lack of information about the problem.
  •   Too much information about the problem.
  •   Attacking the symptoms rather than the root cause.
  •   Relying solely on past experience of such situations.
  •   Not adopting a structured approach to the problem


What are the steps to take?

  •  Define the Problem to solve
  •  Gather Information about the problem
  •  Generate and evaluate Solutions to the problem
  •  Select the Best solution
  •  Implement and confirm the solution works

And there are techniques which can be deployed at each stage.


Key course objectives

The objective of this course is to introduce participants to a range of simple problem solving techniques :

  • They can use to enhance their ‘expert’ role within their team.
  • That they can use with their team to address specific problem issues.
  • So that they can organise a corrective action programme.


What key concepts  are taught on this course?

  • Understand the concept of variability and the associated cost of quality.
  • Continuous improvement: Kaizen and the Deming cycle.
  • The concept of the Internal Customer.

What techniques are taught on this course?

Techniques taught include :

  • The 5 Why’s
  • Cause-and-Effect Diagrams
  • Data gathering using checklists
  • Interpretation and presentation of data
  • Histograms and bar charts
  • Pareto analysis
  • Flowcharts
  • Scatter diagrams
  • Run charts
  • Control charts
  • Force-field analysis
  • Action planning using Gantt charts



How is the course organised?

 Objective Problem Solving Techniques Approach



Managing and improving quality to meet customer requirements.

To train participants how to Plan to meet and if possible exceed customer requirements.








To give participants the skills to define the root cause of a customer complaint or internal rejection and are able to identify an appropriate solution(s).








To enable participants to understand the costs and benefits of resolution.


To give participants the skills to develop an action plan so that the solutions identified are implemented.

Stage 1:


Defining and Measuring the problem :

  1. To understand different methods of data measurement and collection techniques :
  • Histogram
  • Run charts
  • Control charts
  • Pie Charts
  • Pareto analysis
  • Scatter diagrams

….and be able to display and present information to others. (Extensive use will be used of current complaint/rejection data to facilitate this process).



Stage 2:

Root cause analysis of the problem.

 To drill down to the root cause(s) of problems and be capable of identifying the vital few that will deliver the results…

Introduce problem solving tools & techniques:

  1. 5 ‘Why’s technique.
  2. Cause and effect analysis
  3. Force Field analysis
  4. F.M.E.A.

Practice using these tools and techniques using exercises.

Identify the pros and cons of alternative approaches.


Stage 3:

Managing the improvements

To plan and evaluate the improvement process and be capable of engaging the team in the action plan.

  • Prioritising the improvement processes.
  • Developing an action plan.
  • Planning the improvement process using Gantt charts.


Stage 4:

Sustaining the improvements

 To understand the techniques of sustaining the improvements and ensuring the team’s ownership of the solutions.




Great emphasis is placed throughout this module on :

  • The importance of effective data collection and feedback.


  • Building effective mistake-proofing POKA-YOKE systems.


  • Establishing Audit systems that ensure the standards set  are maintained

Relating it to the real world.


Throughout the course we investigate specific business problems and get the participants to use the above techniques to tackle problems, which are relevant, to them : often resolving real business issues during the training course.