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Problem Solver - Tool

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Aline Teixeira

on 14 September 2012

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Transcript of Problem Solver - Tool

Marvin Boakye HR Director - LAT "I work at Goodyear in the commercial area. I've got great news: A new solicitation of a very relevant order. But, there is a problem... We are out of stock or production capacity." "I work in the field and I've just received an email with 3 megs of a client. I have a problem: my computer crashed and I can not respond on time the customer solicitation." The mental process you follow when you have a goal but can't immediately understand how to achieve it.

It's a process that depends on you - how you perceive a problem, what you know about it, and the end-state you want to reach. What Problem
Solver means? Problem Solver's Meaning
The meaning of Problem Solver to GY
Cognitive Activities
7 Steps of Problem Solving
Barriers to Solver Problem
Types of Mind Traps
Problem Solving Skills
Tips to improve Problem Solving Skills
A Practical A3 Process
A3 Process: Problem Solver's Tool Agenda What means Problem Solver for Goodyear? Creates innovative business solutions by establishing a vision and driving to it through new ideas, processes and continuous improvement efforts. - Develops and identifies new and innovative products, services, processes and partnerships;

- Encourages others to break boundaries and ask - How can this be done better?

- Applies new technologies, techniques and multiple potential solutions to complex problems and critical issues;

- Embraces learning for self and team that leverages diverse resources and drives continuous improvements drawing upon individuals, disciplines, best practices and bodies of knowledge;

- Identifies and handles problems quickly with minimal guidance

- Demonstrates leadership in change management. If we are more prepared, better will be our assertiveness in making decisions! This module Problem Solver
is part of Learning Series! Solving a problem involves
a number of cognitive activities:
- Ascertaining what the problem really is;

- Identifying the true causes of your problem and the opportunities for reaching your goal;

- Generating creative solutions to the problem evaluating and choosing the best solution;

- Implementing the best solution, then monitoring your actions and their results to ensure the problem is solved successfully. Clearly, problem solving isn't a one-step process.

Your success will depend on whether you approach and implement each of the stages effectively. The best way to do this is to use a well-established, systematic problem-solving model. In this program you will have the opportunity to meet this model! The 7 steps to solving a problem : 1. Theme
2. Current Condition
3. Background
4. Causes Analyzes
5. Target Condition
6. Implementation Plan
7. Follow Up 0. Theme
Identify precisely what it is that needs to be solved and put this into words.

You could use a gap analysis to help you define the problem by comparing where you are with where you want to be.

The best problems to work on are those that arise in day-to-day work and prevent you from doing your best. 1. Current Condition Identify the causes so you'll know what sort of solutions you should look for.

 To accomplish this, first make a list of the main problem(s).

Next, ask the appropriate “why?” questions until you reach the root cause.

A good rule-of-thumb is that you haven’t reached the root cause until you’ve asked “why?” at least five times in series. 2. Problem’s Background Create a diagram that shows how the work is currently done.  Any number of formal process charting or mapping tools can be used, but often simple stick figures and arrows will do the trick. Quantify the magnitude of the problem (e.g., % of customer deliveries that are late, # of stock outs in a month, # of errors reported per quarter, % of work time that is value-added); if possible, represent the data graphically. Observe the work processes first hand, and document one’s observations. 3. Cause Analysis Once the current situation is fully understood and the root cause(s) for the main problem(s) has been unveiled, it’s time to devise some countermeasures. Countermeasures are the changes to be made to the work processes that will move the organization closer to ideal, or make the process more efficient, by addressing root causes. 



 - Specify the outcome, content, sequence, and task of work activities;

- Create clear, direct connections between requestors and suppliers of goods and services;

- Eliminate loops, workarounds, and delays. Problem solver is part of our Leadership Traits: Why should we enhance and improve our capability of solving problems?

Where did arose this necessity to solve problems? 4. Target Condition - Describes how the work will get done with the proposed countermeasures in place.

-   In the A3 report, the target condition should be a diagram (similar to the current condition) that illustrates how the new proposed process will work.  

- The specific countermeasures should be noted or listed, and the expected improvement should be predicted specifically and quantitatively. 5. Implementation Plan - The implementation plan should include a list of the actions that need to be done to get the countermeasures in place and realize the target condition, along with the individual responsible for each task and a due date.

- Other relevant items, such as cost, may also be added. 6. Follow-up
A critical step in the learning process of problem-solvers is to verify whether they truly understood the current condition well enough to improve it.

Therefore, a follow-up plan becomes a critical step in process improvement to make sure the implementation plan was executed, the target condition realized, and the expected results achieved.  

You can state the predicted outcome here rather than in the target condition, if you prefer. Barriers to Problem Solving Throughout history, problem solvers in all fields have struggled to break through barriers that constrained their thinking.

In fact, it's part of human nature to have mental baggage, and often it's only by getting past this that real solutions to problems can be found.

So some barriers to effective problem solving arise from the way people think. At other times though, it's the process followed to address a problem that has flaws. Two main types of barriers: - internal;

- reside in the mind of the problem solver;

- can prevent you from understanding what the real problem is. - external;

- problems or mistakes in the approach used to solve a problem. Types of mind traps: - people's initial ideas

- defending prior choices

- selecting supporting information based on bias people already have

- making assumptions

- conformity People's initial ideas “First impressions last.“ When considering a problem, the same can be said of first thoughts – the initial ideas you have when first considering the problem.

It's important to avoid this mind trap because the roots of a problem are often deep; and if the problem and solutions are not analyzed properly, you could end up with less effective solutions. Defending prior choices When you're faced with a problem, it can be tempting to make a decision that protects your previous decisions.

This is particularly true if your prior choices involved costs to you or your company. If you've already invested in a decision, it's hard to change it – even if doing so would be much less costly in the long run.

This mind trap has a particularly strong impact on the fourth step of the problem-solving model – when you choose what seems the best alternative from possible solutions. Selecting supporting information based on bias people already have Even when people try to be neutral, mentally they've often decided on an alternative before they even begin investigating. As a result, it's common to seek out supporting information that confirms an initial bias. Making Assumptions Even if an assumption appears reasonable or based on common sense, by nature it's a belief that hasn't been verified.

Especially when assumptions are strongly held, they can lead problem solvers to overlook or even ignore the facts. The first four steps in the problem-solving model are particularly vulnerable to the mind trap of assumptions. Conformity By nature, human beings are social creatures. Whether people like it or not, the actions of others often influence them.

Conformity, or "groupthink," can lead problem solvers to accept the consensus of a group instead of being critical in assessing a problem and its possible solutions.

The conformity trap can impact every step of the problem-solving model but is likely to affect the fourth and sixth steps most. In a group, everyone else's support for a particular solution may convince you – or even pressure you – to support it too. And when it comes time to evaluate the success of the solution, the group may have a vested interest in reaching a positive conclusion. What are the skills and competencies for Problem Solving? - Analytical intelligence

- Practical intelligence

- Practical skills

- Creative intelligence Skills and competencies for Problem Solving involves the use of logic and reason to maneuver from A to B. Analytical intelligence Practical intelligence involves finding the best fit between your actions and the demands of the situation, often by applying skills learned through experience. Practical skills Practical skills are used to solve problems in everyday life, typically involving material things. They aren't easy to learn or control, because they draw on the problem solvers' extensive knowledge and experience solving similar problems. The problem solver will most likely find a solution intuitively.
Practical skills can't be acquired or sharpened as readily as creative or analytical skills can, so organizations can't encourage people to formally acquire this kind of intelligence. But they should recognize, encourage, and reward the application of practical problem-solving skills. Creative intelligence . Ask yourself lots of questions to free your mind from your usual thinking patterns and kick-start your imagination. You might ask "What would be an unusual way of doing this?" or even "What would a child suggest?" Asking "What if...?" as many times as possible can help you escape your own preconceptions. Involves thinking "outside the box" to come up with novel ideas. Solving different problems will require different types of intelligence If you stay open to the possibility of using a variety of skills, you'll have an advantage over people who tend to fall back on the same way of meeting challenges. Tips to improve problem-solving skills * Identify individuals in your organization whom you consider to be good problem solvers. Ask them if they wouldn't mind you interviewing them in an attempt to understand how they have developed their skills.

* Make a note of a bad decision made in your organization within the last 12 to 18 months and extract five key lessons to be learned from this bad decision.

* Set yourself a goal to read at least one leadership book and one biography of an exceptional person in your field, in one year. Make notes about any main principles or ideas that come to light.

* If you get the opportunity to attend any talk or seminar that handles problem solving or critical and creative thinking, be sure to go.

* Be open to criticism about your problem-solving skills and use any feedback as a means of developing and improving your skills. The market offers several tools to support problem solver. Goodyear opted for A3 Process. Let's know more about it? - A3 refers to the size of the sheet of paper (11” x 17”)

- A simple way to capture data and Information

- A standardized approach for team based problem solving

- An easy way to visually communicate information and ideas – it tells the story What is A3? - Toyota Motor Corporation is famed for its ability to relentlessly improve operational performance

- In 1960s they created a tool for problem solving efforts

- It allowed the teams to get the most important information on one sheet of paper to easily read, understand and make decisions

- If you can’t say it with one page, you’re not concise enough History of A3 - Describe, understand and solve a problem

- Present a new product concept

- Propose a technical solution

- Capture knowledge from past programs

- Explain an organization’s vision, mission and values

- Team Charters

- Present market research and customer data

- Analyze trade-off decisions or cost-benefits

- Document a standard procedure or test Ways to use A3 Benefits * Friendly

* Easy

* Practical

* A structured way

* Supports continuous improvement Let's see the A3 process in practice? Step 0: Theme
Identify a problem or need ''The company culture where I work is to do presencial meetings.'' Step 1: Background
Conduct research to understand the current situation
"I have a meeting with a client at 7:30 am. 1 hour earlier than my usual time. I must arrive on-time, but I just checked on the internet and I see there is heavy congestion near the local.'' Step 2: Current Condition
Conduct root cause analysis Main problems:

- Living in a big city

- Inefficient public transport

- Unpredictable scenario

- Disorganization municipal

- Meeting attendance is presencial

- Lack of planning Step 3: Cause Analysis
Devise countermeasures to address root causes
- Adapting the model of a large city and its problems;

- Finding alternative means of transports, such as: bike, ride, taxi, on foot

- Being informed of the city traffic

- Choose consciousness the government representatives

- Attend meetings virtually, using new media technology

- Forecasting alternative routes Step 4: Target Condition
Develop a target state Arrive early at the meeting maximizes productivity, greater concentration, creates less stress,

If you can do a virtual meeting, you will contribute to lowering the traffic, pollution, cost and emission of pollutants! Step 5: Implementation Plan
Develop a target state - Align, engage with participants about rules and format of the meeting

- Plan in advance the technological needs

- To test the functionality of advance tools

- Being on-time

- Send supporting materials in advance

- Catch people attention during meeting

- Have a plan B if something unforeseen happens Step 6: Follow-up
Develop a follow-up plan with predicted outcomes Understand with the involved people with how effective the meeting was.
Following the A3 process helps users avoid mistakes when solving a problem, and also helps coordinate efforts of everyone involved. "The SSI in the 7+5 of my country for august was 20K, but the actual for august was 10K. This is a big problem." "I developed a supplier of raw materials and I had to register it in SAP. I also had to issue a doc approval. The problem is: there were several letters and I did not know which one I should choose. " Based on our Organizational Capabilities for Latin America, Country Strategic Roles and in the Assessments Results that were applied in about 70 Senior LAT Leaders, we identified that problem solver is a critical capabilities to develop for LAT going forward. To close this GAP, Goodyear Latin America have structured this customized training for you !
Our approach was:
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