To Know the Problem You Must Experience the Problem!
I get a lot of questions about Quality. Most of the time people want to know how to improve it. Sometimes its a straight forward problem to solve and other times it gets complicated.
After years of study and working in the field I’ve learned this:
1. To know the problem you must experience the problem.
2. Problems aren’t solved in boardrooms. Go to where the problem is, experience it and get to know it.
3. Once you experience the problem, you can explain the problem.
4. Once you can explain the problem, you can propose a solution to resolve the problem.
5. Once you propose a solution to resolve the problem you must prove or disprove it.
6. To prove or disprove a solution you need to know how to organize and classify the facts.
7. To organize and classify the facts you need data.
8. Once the data validates a solution the boardroom is a great place to use to communicate how you solved the problem.
Solving problems takes time. Sometimes people look for short cuts or try something for the sake of having something to show for their efforts. This often doesn’t work and consumes time.
The fastest way to resolve a problem is to spend the time to get to know the problem. Understanding the problem is about explaining how the problem manifests itself.
Often people will describe the symptom. For example, when a critical characteristic doesn’t meet specification. Or when the scrap rate exceeds a budgeted standard. In both cases, these descriptions describe symptoms of an ill process. It is not an accurate description of the problem. We begin to describe the problem by answering when, where, and how the problem manifests itself.
As I stated earlier, to know the problem you must experience the problem. Once we experience the problem, get to know it, then we can describe it.