Problem Solving Diagram

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You will systematically be embedding a problem solving and continuous improvement culture without even knowing it!

In this lesson, you will learn the important role diagrams play in solving word problems.

Now draw the line going from left to right as the ‘Spine’, connecting to the problem statement. (An issue can fall in a number of categories) and continue this process until the group have run out of ideas.

The group in the example below, had a problem with excessive scrap.

The four possible sources are: Machinery and Equipment Materials Methods People This can be seen below: Step 4: For each problem source, the user must brainstorm and think of possible causes and hypothesis related to that source.

The production and supply chian data collected in step 2 can be very helpful in this step.

Some word problems can have a lot of information, which may create confusion when trying to find the answer. The word diagram simply means a drawing or a visual. Venn Diagrams, bar graphs, basic drawings, pie charts, and tape diagrams are only a few of the diagrams used to solve problems.

It is likely you have either used or seen at least one of these diagrams.

The prime remit is to brainstorm all the possibilities that could cause the problem and then drill down to the factor(s) that are causing this issue. It enables the team to focus on why the problem occurs, and not on the history or symptoms of the problem, or other topics that digress from the intent of the session.

It also displays a real-time ‘snap-shot’ of the collective inputs of the team as it is updated. You can use the generic cause categories of People, Method, Machine, Material, Environment, which is easier to use for a group that is relatively new to this exercise, or you can brainstorm the major categories related to the specific problem. You could use the approach of writing each cause on post it notes, going around the group asking each person for one cause.


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