7 Steps Problem Solving Skill LO26729

From: Barry Mallis (theorgtrainer@earthlink.net)
Date: 05/26/01

Replying to LO26722 --

The 7-Step Problem Solving Method has evolved through the Center for
Quality of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts (www.cqm.org), and is
based upon methodologies developed over the past decade or so.

In brief, the model is a roadmap for individuals and teams who are solving
relatively complex problems or planning a new process. It's elements can
be divided into three groupings, each building on the next.

In the first such "grouping" we find the steps of proactive improvement.
This is followed by reactive improvement when processes of ANY kind are
out of "spec" (the PDCA Cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act); and finally, there is
the control grouping, where we follow the SDCA cycle
(Standard-Do-Check-Act) where we maintain a current process with
continuous improvement tweaking as necessary.

The steps themselves are:

1. Select the relatively narrow-focused theme for the problem solving
2. Collect and analyze data
3. Analyze causes
4. Plan and Implement a solution
5. Evaluate effects
6. Standardize the solution, and
7. Reflect on process and next problem.

I just completed a workshop in San Jose at a company which is deploying
continuous improvement techniques in the team environment. The company is
going to use the 7-Step method as one of the tools in its "team toolbox"
to inform team problem-solving work.

I have myself instituted this program at a manufacturing company where I
worked for over a dozen years. The rewards were significant to the
company, its employees and other stakeholders.

While this is a very brief narrative, I can suggest from Productivity
Press the latest edition of "Four Practical Revolutions in Management" by
Shoji Shiba and David Walden. It's available from the CQM.

I'll answer your questions now...!

Barry Mallis
The Organizational Trainer
Keene, NH


Barry Mallis <theorgtrainer@earthlink.net>

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