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Summary

Every business has issues. The question is how do they get resolved? We have a best practice approach to resolving issues quickly and effectively. We can also introduce your people to this approach making your company self-sufficient.

Definition

Issue resolution, problem solving, troubleshooting, variation reduction; these are just a selection of synonymous terms that consume a lot of energy and effort in any business operation, from manufacturing to customer services. Many methods have been developed to problem solve, the most common being Six Sigma DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyse-Improve-Control), the Demming Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) and Lean PMASEE (Plan-Measure-Analyse-Solve-Execute-Embed).

Our Approach

Because of our analytical expertise we have a host of methods and tools we can use that suit different types of issues and problems. The overall approach we use follows the principles of Six Sigma DMAIC but with some refinements. Unresolved issues and problems in a business can ultimately lead to mounting waste and, using an environmental parallel, create a desert, a deserted or failed business. This is why we have named our refined approach as the Accelerate out of the DESERT©.

The Accelerate out of the DESERT© Approach has 6 simple steps that work in a cycle:

  • D – Define: Defining the issue or problem is the first stage of any problem solving approach. It helps the business recognise there is a problem, without which there will be little support to take any action. The definition should highlight the impact on customers as well as profitability and provide the scope of the problem. This is where the plan of action is also defined and agreed.
  • E – Evaluate:  Evaluating the issue or problem is all about collecting data, measuring performance and impact, and assessing and evaluating the likely root cause(s). Consideration should be given to how data is collected and what is measured – irrelevant measures and quality issues with data can lead a business down a garden path.
  • S – Solve: Solving the issue or problem is where the root cause is confirmed and alternative options on reducing or eliminating the root cause are identified and analysed. Stakeholders should participate in this which will ensure a quick agreement the solution.
  • E – Execute: Execution is the doing step. This is where the solution is designed, tested and implemented. If this is complex, a full project may need to be funded and initiated following a project management [Link to project management service page] methodology.
  • R – Regulate: Regulating is all about monitoring the new solution to verify whether it is delivering the required outcome. This is where small adjustments may need to be made to refine or fine tune the solution. This is not just about the technical elements of the solution but also the human factor – to ensure people do not slip back to old habits. Hence it includes roll-out and training.
  • T – Thrive: The final step is about embedding the changes, transferring knowledge to those that operate the solution, and making sure people are empowered to continuously improve which creates the cycle by linking back to step 1, Define.