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”.

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 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 achieve 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 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 Daming Cycle or Daming 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 wat changes to be made

[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 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


[4] A3 Method:

→ It is widely used by Toyota Motors and its suppliers.
→ Eight Steps of 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

👉 Also Read:
      1. 5S Methodology



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