We could leave it there – yes, that makes sense; you can probably see this from your own experiences.
But we can’t leave it there as below standard results are unacceptable to management at any level and will lead to only one end.
Everyday operations problems have increased in complexity in recent years. It is becoming harder to identify simple root causes – often people and process causes are tightly intertwined and harder to disentangle. Other problem solving methods are less effective; changes often don’t stick and we find ourselves having to work around the same problems over and over again.
To counter this your leaders and their teams need to learn how to quickly:
- Use facts and data more effectively when analysing problems.
- Identify causes of the problem: direct (visible) and indirect (invisible) causes, and how they are linked to each other.
- Understand the nature of the problem: is it a process problem, a skills problem, a behaviour problem or a combination of all of these?
- Apply an appropriate method or methods to close the results gap. Ensure improvements stick and prevent performance from slipping.
TWI Problem Solving (PS) provides your middle managers, front-line supervisors and teams with current real world problem solving skills ready for direct application in your workplace.
It draws on the content of the identified basic TWI skills of:
- Results through people (Job Relations).
- Stabilising performance through effective training (Job Instruction).
- Improving productivity and quality (Job Methods).
Like all TWI programs, TWI Problem Solving is a 4-step “Plan-Do-Check-Act” based method presented in a learn-by-doing format.
The four steps are:
- Isolate the problem.
- Prepare for the solution.
- Correct the problem.
- Check and evaluate results.
In Step 1 there is heavy emphasis on gaining proof and evidence – facts and data – and establishing the chain of causation.
Step 2 draws in “process tools” such as flow charts and flow diagrams – tools that assist in analysing the specific situation.
Step 3 is the “Do” stage of the Plan-DoCheck-Act cycle. This will most likely involve a number of countermeasures depending on what the chain of causation identified.
Step 4 closes the loop (cycle) with a focus back on corrections in quality, quantity, cost and safety.
Our one week problem solving training provides a hands-on opportunity for your people to learn and apply the 4-step method to work on current problems at their workplace and start solving those problems. The training week follows one of our TWI models – 20 hours of hands-on class work learning the problem solving skills accompanied by 20 hours of coaching of participants.