Improving Processes & Services

Structured Problem Solving

Structured Problem Solving

When people started forming improvement teams, often the team was simply thrown together and left to get on with it. Sometimes this worked but unfortunately often the teams ran into problems through a variety of pitfalls and the projects failed. Some of the most common pitfalls were:  

  1. Jumping at Solutions
    A tendency for some people to want to leap to conclusions and solutions without really finding out what the problem is and analysing it.”
    • We don’t need to do all that, the answers obvious.”
       
  2. Not planning ahead
    Particularly in implementation and particularly in terms of peoples reactions.
    • "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it"
       
  3. Too Big
    The team wanting to work on problems that are too general or large.
    • ”The real problem around here is Staff Morale”
       
  4. Teamwork lack
    Not working as a team, but as a number of individuals, possibly in competition.
    • When you have an aim or a goal, don’t stop to have a competition on the way.

What was clear is that often the people in the team were not sure how to go about solving problems. As a result, the structured problem solving approach and tools were developed and first used in Quality Circles. This section describes that approach.