I've been noodling around about writing an article about 10 common problem solving mistakes. Before fleshing it out, I thought I'd share the list here to get your reactions.
In no particular order of importance (and without much explanation for now):
- Jumping to solutions (before understanding the problem or its root cause)
- Jumping to the root cause (without thorough enough analysis and observation)
- Not going to the “gemba” to talk to the people involved and to observe first hand
- Solving the wrong problem (the real problem isn't what you think it is)
- Stating the problem as the lack of something (pre-supposing a countermeasure), such as “problem = we don't have enough MRI machines” so the obvious countermeasure is “buy another MRI”
- Thinking of “solutions” instead of “countermeasures”
- Trying to fix others before fixing problems in your own circle of influence
- Not confirming that countermeasures really led to improvements
- Not confirming that the improvements are sustained over time
- Not reflecting on the learning that occurred during problem solving (focusing only on the results)
Which of these do you see as the most common problem-solving problems in your organization? Are these problems more prevalent in certain industries? If you comment, please share what industry you are in…
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