Implementing Problem Solving
Implementing a Lean production system is a HUGE undertaking as it touches all of the business. It isn’t a clear journey from point A to B. While we can define what we’d like our future state to look like, knowing all the steps we need to take to get there is impossible. As we find issues, road blocks and bottlenecks we need to be able to tackle that problem as it arises and make sure it doesn’t stop us from progressing.
A robust problem solving approach is the best method for tackling these problems. Having all of our staff involved in problem solving helps to share the load and creates a learning organisation. Then we can have many people solving problems when and where they occur.
Problem solving needs to occur every day. Initially to develop this habit, we need our leaders to lead these problem solving sessions and encourage our people to participate and learn our process. As we mature as problem solvers, we can hand the session leadership over to our front-line supervisors and team leaders.
In any human endeavour, it takes time (“21 days”) to create a habit so plan this into implementing a problem solving regime. For some people, it can be such a different mindset to be involved in solving their own problems that it will take time and encouragement to learn these new skills and ways of thinking.
The rewards for creating a robust problem solving culture in your company is enormous and will support your continuous improvement efforts throughout your Lean journey.