Problem Solving Methods  Steps, Process, Examples

What is problem-solving?

→ Problem-Solving Methods are various methods used to solve the problem.
→ A Problem is an undesirable event or In other words, “Any Gap between what is expected and what is obtained”.
→ Any effort to reduce this gap between what is expected and what is obtained is called “Problem-Solving”.
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What is the problem-solving approach?

→ The most important two things are related to all problems: 1. Goal and 2. Barriers
[1] Goal:
→ It can be anything that we want to achieve or we want to be.
→ Let's take one example to understand this thing. If I am hungry then my goal is to eat something.
→ If I am the Managing Director of a company then my target is to increase profit this is the main goal and further, it is subdivided into many sub-goals to achieve the main target.
[2] Barriers:
→ If there is no barrier to achieving the goal then it is not an issue. The barrier prevents the achievement of the goal.
→ Let's take the above example to understand this thing. In the first case, my target is to eat something but I have no food at my home so this is a barrier. To remove this barrier I have to go to the shop or market to purchase some food hence this is solved.
→ In the second case, There are many barriers that prevent achieving the main goal to increase profit. So after identify and remove the barrier we can achieve the target.

What is Problem Solving Skills?

     ⇢ Creativity
     ⇢ Team Work
     ⇢ Research & Analysis
     ⇢ Intelligence
     ⇢ Risk Management (Risk Based Thinking)
     ⇢ Decision Making
     ⇢ Active listening
     ⇢ Communication

What are the 5 steps in problem-solving methods?

  1. Identify
  2. Analyze
  3. Find out the Solution
  4. Implement the Solution
  5. Monitoring, Analysis, and Evaluation of Solution

Types of Problem Solving:

  1. Correction
  2. Corrective Action
  3. Prevention
  4. Preventive Action
[1] Correction:
→ In a simple word "Correction is like first-aid," Correction is the instant action that is taken to correct the nonconformity or to reduce the impact of nonconformity.

[2]. Corrective Action:
→ Corrective actions are steps that are taken to remove the causes of an existing nonconformity or undesirable situation or event.

[3]. Prevention:
→  Prevention is to eliminate the causes of potential nonconformities or potential situations that are responsible for an undesirable situation or event.

[4]. Preventive Action:
→ Preventive actions are steps that are taken to remove the causes of potential nonconformities or potential situations that are undesirable.

Problem Solving Methods:

  1. PDCA - Cycle
  2. DMAIC Method
  3. 8D Method
  4. A3 Method

[1] PDCA - Cycle:

PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle is also called the Deming Cycle or Deming Wheel.
→ While PDSA (plan–do–study–act) is called the Shewhart Cycle.
→ PDCA (plan-do-check-act) is a repetitive four-stage model for Continuous Improvement in business or process management.
→ PDCA Cycle is implemented within:
     ⇢ Product Lifecycle Management,
     ⇢ Project Management,
     ⇢ Human Resource Management (HRM),
     ⇢ Supply Chain Management (SCM) and many other areas of business.

PDCA Cycle Methodology

→ PDCA Cycle refers to :
     ⇢ P = Plan = Make Plan for any Project
     ⇢ D = Do = Carry out the Plan
     ⇢ C = Check = Summarize the Result
     ⇢ A = Act = Determine what changes are to be made

PDCA Cycle Training Presentation

[2] DMAIC Method:

DMAIC Methodology is a quality strategy used to improve processes.
→ In general, DMAIC can be implemented as a standalone Quality Improvement procedure or as part of other process improvements.
→ It is an integral part of a Six Sigma Initiative.

DMAIC Methodology

→ DMAIC Methodology refers to :
     ⇢ D = Define
     ⇢ M = Measure
     ⇢ A = Analyse
     ⇢ I = Improve
     ⇢ C = Control

[3] 8D Method:

8D Methodology is widely used by Ford Motors and its suppliers.
→ This methodology was developed by ford motors and widely used by many manufacturing industries.

8D Methodology

→ Eight Steps or 8 Disciplines of 8D Methodology are mentioned below.
  1. Create a Team & Collect Information
  2. Describe the_Problem
  3. Interim Containment Actions
  4. Root Cause Analysis
  5. Define the possible corrective actions
  6. Implement corrective actions
  7. Define actions to avoid recurrence
  8. Congratulate the Team
8D Problem Solving Training Presentation

[4] A3 Method:

→ It is widely used by Toyota Motors and its suppliers.
→ Eight Steps of the A3 Methodology are mentioned below.
  1. Clarify the issue
  2. Break down the issue
  3. Set the Target
  4. Analyze the root cause
  5. Develop countermeasure
  6. See Countermeasure
  7. Evaluate results & Processes
  8. Standardize Success

Comparison of Various Methods:

→ Here in the below picture, you can easily find the comparison of various methods like PDCA, DMAIC, 8D, and A3.

Comparison of Various Problem Solving Methods

👉 See Also:


  1. Great article. I would add a 5th type of solution as it is a key element of reducing the impact of the issue - that being containment. Whilst it is by no means the long term solution but may take the form of short-term interim solutions with a minimum additional spend or resource required - such as a quality wall or reinspection and rework of potentially affected items.

  2. Please add 3L5Y tool which is also majorly used for problem resolution .

    1. Thanks for your suggestion we will do needful.

    2. 3L5Y helps in deep 5why analysis: specific - detection - systemic []

  3. Great page!, please add 3L5Y tool. actualy is majorly used in manufacturing process

  4. Nicely explained. Easy to understand

  5. Very useful and well explained information, only one detail, is Deming Cycle like
    his creator William Edwards Deming.
    I love your site!

  6. Great post. Its very important for learning.

  7. Hi Nikunj,
    Where do you get these Materials please? Really these are easy to understand and you are doing a great job.hatsoff to you.

  8. Hi Nikunj
    Where do you get these materials please ? These are easy to understand, you are doing really great job. Keep it up.

  9. Any chance to provide your pdf google cloud library?

    1. As of now we are working on that we will share further details

  10. Dear Sir,

    It is great work you are doing especially for young Engineers, who strive to have strong industrial foundation in the beginning.

    Also, this is helping in great extent for individuals who strive to train their down the line team.

    This is great initiative from your side in line with "Atmanirbar".

    Wishing you and your entire Team Happy New Year, young India expects further more from you.

    1. Thank you very mech for your kind words for us. This energy motivates to our team.
      Once again thank you very much for your time and sharing valuable feedback!!!

  11. This is very helpful information, through this our industrial knowledge is increasing and specially for who loves to provide precised output for customer satisfaction.

  12. Very Good work Nikunj, keep it up. Very helpful and simple presentations

  13. Thanks so much for your sharing and it is valuable to us much more. We show our gratitude if you have pdf file and can share. We just want to save in computer and read your meaning lessons. Thank you

  14. Very useful information

  15. PDCA is also called Deming Cycle - not Daming Cycle as mentioned above, please correct it - improvement model was first introduced to Dr. Deming by his mentor, Walter Shewhart of the famous Bell Laboratories in New York

    1. Thank you very much for your observation and improve our content. We have updated the same.

  16. What great article for businesses

  17. Thank you, great article!

  18. There are some similarities between 3A vs 8D, could you give me some tips to use 2 these kinds of problem solving 3A vs 8D

    1. Sure we will definitely help you.

    2. You can go through our article we have explained all things or you can mail us at:

  19. I love it! Great stuff!!

  20. I can not adding what's up group.

    1. You can join from your mobile and open link with whatsapp still you are facing any difficulty then mail us at:


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