Problem Solving

In a lean transformation or any process improvement effort, identifying and closing gaps between current and target conditions.

In a lean management system, everyone is engaged in problem solving, guided by two key characteristics:

  1. Everything described or claimed in the problem-solving process (the problem itself; the target condition, the direct cause, the root cause) should  be based on verifiable facts, not assumptions and interpretations. The burden of proof on the problem solver is emphasized through questions such as, How do you know that? Did you go to the gemba and grasp the actual condition first hand? How do you know you have agreement to your improvement plan?” 

  2. There is a recognition that problem solving is never-ending, beginning rather than ending when implementation of an improvement plan starts. A plan is viewed as a theory of both what will address the problem’s cause and what it will take to implement a countermeasure to that cause. The implementation process is a learning process to find out what actually will be required to make progress toward the target condition.