Problem Solving

PDCA vs PDSA in Problem Solving

05.05.2017

Plan Do Check Act (PDSA)  is a well known approach to continuous improvement and problem solving.  I propose you consider the PDSA approach that includes study and adjust to truly understand why you are getting the results you are.        

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White space for important work [Lessons from the Road]

02.29.2016

In 2016 I am trying, with my column Lessons from the Road, to stretch people’s thinking and not just refine it. I hope that most of my columns will generate some disagreement or at least some questions. This month in White space for important work I am addressing Leader Standard Work and whether it is […]

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If we’re going to fight fires, do it like the pros

11.03.2014

Email comes in. React. Issue gets raised at a meeting. React. Customer calls. React. What do we call it when we spend all day reacting to the events around us? FIREFIGHTING! We all do it. It’s how most people spend the majority of their day. Sometimes one of the biggest values I can provide as […]

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A3 Problem Solving ebook converted to Prezi by a reader

12.22.2013

Darrell Damron, Enterprise Lean Consultant from the Office of the Governor for the State of Washington, generated a Prezi presentation of my ebook, A3 Problem Solving. You can find links to the book here. Since he shared it with me, I thought I would share it with you, so here it is:  

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Are you working on the right problems?

05.17.2012

Lean is not all about waste, despite what we see in most definitions and applications. If it were about one thing (which oversimplifies things) it would be about problem solving, at all levels of the organization. We take problem solving for granted. Why? Because we’ve been doing it since we were very young. We learned […]

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Building a Problem Solving Organization Presentation

05.15.2012

I want to thank Enterprise Minnesota and the Center for Business & Industry for hosting me during the Lean Enterprise Summit held today. The following are my slides from my talk on building a problem solving organization.    

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eBook published on A3 Problem Solving

02.14.2012

We are still very proud of our book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Lean, that has done very well over the past few years. The book publishing world is changing, very rapidly. I’ve had one of the big publishers ask me about doing another book. I’m not ready for that yet. But it also begs the […]

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Kodak and Fuji: a tale of two companies in the face of the same insurmountable problem

02.08.2012

The Economist had an excellent article detailing the difference between Kodak’s historic bankruptcy and Fujifilm’s equally remarkable success, in The last Kodak moment?, and expanded on in Sharper focus. Both companies faced the same problem statement: digital photography would replace film. But Eastman Kodak, founded in 1880, despite it’s major innovation capabilities and giant patent […]

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The failure of “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!”

02.07.2012

I head this approach many times, and in many different forms. Managers say “I don’t want people to bring me problems; I want them to bring me solutions.” Or “I don’t want more questions, I want answers.” I ran across this on the Harvard Business Review Blog in The No Whining Rule for Managers by […]

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Why won’t they tell me there is a problem?

01.24.2012

Leaders ask people to tell them what problems they have. This isn’t a practice exclusive to lean. MBWA, or Management By Walking Around, even incorporated this concept. In some organizations, there are systems in place (whether digital or on a board) for individuals to capture and surface problems. We ask as part of one-on-ones. But […]

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