Regardless of your organization’s size, it is inevitable that problems will plague your company and may impact employee moral, product quality, customer retention and revenue growth. Knowing how to approach the solving of these problems is key to your organization’s success.
At the Ford Motor Company, they created the Eight Disciplines (8Ds) Problem Solving approach to resolve problems, which was a method typically employed by engineers or other professionals focused on product and process improvement. The purpose of the 8Ds was to identify, correct, and eliminate recurring problems. It establishes a permanent corrective action based on statistical analysis of the problem and on the origin of the problem by determining the root causes.
Whether using 8Ds or another problem solving approach, understand that happiness comes with solving your business’s problems. Your employees will be happier, which will trickle down to your customers and revenue for the organization. And keep asking yourself – What Problem am I trying to solve in the company?
Disciplines to Problem Solving:
Admit there is a Problem: A problem cannot be fixed until you admit there is one. Denying one even exists continues to manifest the problem –hoping it goes away is not a strategy! Often the most uncomfortable conversations are the most important ones to have!
Define the problem: Get clarity! Solving a problem you are clear is the actual challenge is extremely important in the Problem Solving process. If you are only solving a symptom of the problem, you are allowing the real issue to go unresolved. Don’t jump to give a solution until you have heard all sides.
Develop possible solutions: Failure is the path to Success! If a solution isnt’ right the first time, don’t get discouraged. Keep plugging along until you find the right solution to the problem. Making adjustments is often needed to find the right recipe for a successful resolution.
Measuring the Solution: Unless you set a measurement for a solution, it will be difficult to identify the effectiveness. Tips on measurement can include Key Performance Indicators and building set Processes to help pinpoint where the drop-off point is happening.
Continue Evaluation after Resolution: Congratulations on finding resolution to the problem! A regular check-in on the checks & balances you put in place are important to ensuring the issue does not reoccur. Do you have an on-boarding process for new hires? Are team leads completing random checks to proactively identify the issue resurfacing?
We’d love to hear back from you on how effective this worked for you and your company.