There must be a point in time when you realize that your business is facing the same problems over and over again. Problems are quite time and resource consuming in nature. Executing a decision making or a problem solving approach can help you reach the root causes of the repetitive Operational Issue and generate solutions. This approach is listed in a step by step guide below.
- Identify problems
Problems tend to show up as temporary setbacks, tend to waste your effort and cause interruptions in the production activities. The first and foremost step is to be aware that a problem is present and then view it as a chance for improvement.
- Determine the current status
To fully comprehend the problem, you need to approach the source and determine all the factors. Ask these following questions to yourself:
- Who? (Who needs to be informed?)
- What? (What are the processes, products or parts involved?)
- When? (When did the problem take place?)
- Where? (Where did the problem take place?)
- Why? (What changed recently? Are there new participants?)
- How? (Does the problem happen occasionally?)
- Implement temporary solutions on the spot
Don’t seek the perfect solution right at the moment. Firstly, solve it temporarily. For instance, if you notice that you are lacking resources to accomplish an order, take possible countermeasures like borrowing material from another team or transfer the employees to the next order.
- Determine the root cause
Finding the root cause of a problem is like pulling weeds. If you just don’t pull the roots up, they will just grow back. Problems can be segregated in many ways. You can use the five whys approach to trace the problem back to its source.
- Suggest some solutions
You can suggest some solutions in order to address the root cause of the problem. Examine different options fully by taking into consideration how other teams might be impacted. Reach to a consensus on the best solution. Come up with alternatives, if the first solution doesn’t work.
- Build an action plan
Come up with an action plan to execute your solution. Allocate enough resources and build a timeline. Monitor the progress and standardize the solution in order to apply it across your business. And lastly check the outcome. If the outcome comes up as expected or better than that, you succeeded, if it doesn’t, find out the source of deviation and work on it till you achieve the desired results.