Problem solving & Continuous improvement Lean techniques can be used to solve problems that occur on site, such as damaged materials, late deliveries and missing scheduled deadlines, investigating the root causes and involving all stakeholders and then implementing solutions. The problem solving project consists of the analysis of non-random causes of variation so that the process can once again work within its control limits. In this step, you should identify and clarify the problem. Determine why it's a problem, what should happen instead, and how it fits into the business as a whole.
For the next step, you should start to be more detailed and specific. Divide the problem into manageable parts, analyze the problem in the process, analyze the problems, and start thinking about priorities. With a process improvement technique, seek consistent gains over time. Rather than being a one-time occurrence, it's an ongoing process.
You'll have more opportunities to try new ideas and discard those that don't work. Don't let the search for perfection get in the way of your good intentions. One of them is the requirement that everything that is described or affirmed in the process of solving the problem (the problem itself, the objective condition, the direct cause, the root cause) be based on confirmed facts and not on assumptions and interpretations. If a culture of problem-solving is the means to achieve continuous improvement as a way of doing business, it may be useful to “analyze the term and consider what it implies”.
In today's data-driven world, retrospective analysis is key to optimizing performance and promoting continuous improvement. Solving problems is more about solving local problems and does not take into account interactions with other processes or with the system as a whole. On the contrary, the process of continuous improvement occurs when it is intended to change the status quo of a controlled process; in other words, the analysis of the sources of random variation, to generate more benefits. However, human nature being the way it is, it shows that people spend 80% of their time solving problems and only 20% improving the process.
When a process is outside the control limits, these peaks are known as non-random variations (also called sporadic variations), which must be analyzed and resolved as soon as possible. On the other hand, if the process works within the limits of control, but you want to develop a more efficient process by eliminating process waste (Muda) or balancing the workload (Mura or Muri), then we will talk about continuous improvement projects. This action is known as the problem-solving process, but it's often mislabeled as a process of continuous improvement. Therefore, the methodological analysis applied to reduce standard time will be associated with a process of continuous improvement.