Solutions by Definition

The recent British Petroleum (BP) oil dilemma brings yet another problem solving opportunity to the forefront.  Fortunately, few of us have to deal with problems of this scope and magnitude. Problem solving is a daily challenge for many of us and, like the BP oil dilemma, rarely are they presented in clear and concise terms. Our ability to define and […]

Solving problems BEFORE they Happen!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could solve problems before they happen?  While a problem free world may be far from our present reality, I am encouraged to learn that there are steps that we can take to improve our ability to recognize and resolve problems before they happen in real-time.  The solution to developing this problem awareness mindset is […]

Lean Reflections

Sometimes we need to take a look back in history to understand and appreciate the significance of change over time.  I recently found an article titled “How Toyota Turns Workers Into Problem Solvers” that was published on November 26, 2001 and authored by Sarah Jane Johnston.  The title of the article gave me cause to reflect on the recalls that […]

Lessons Learned from Toyota’s Stumble…e piece on Toyota recall by Steve Spear

Date: Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 12:43 AM Subject: Lessons Learned from Toyota’s Stumble…e piece on Toyota recall by Steve Spear I received an e-mail this morning from Steven J. Spear, author of “Chasing the Rabbit: How Market Leaders Outdistance the Competition” and thought I would share his commentary on the Toyota recall. Steven raises some interesting points that we […]

Agility Through Problem Solving: a Model for Training and Thinking

We tend to use analogies when we are discussing certain topics, introducing new concepts, or simply presenting an abstract idea.  Analogies are intended to serve as a model that people understand, can relate to or identify with, and, more importantly, remember.  Our challenge is to identify a simple model that can be used to teach people to identify and solve problems – a core competency […]

Using TRIZ for Problem Solving – Resources

In our first post on this topic, “Using Triz for Problem Solving – Introduction“, we provided a very basic introduction to TRIZ.  In the spirit of TRIZ, it is not our intent to rewrite or redefine the TRIZ process when excellent information is already available.  Our intent is to identify the few of the many excellent and exceptional resources that we have found. What is […]

Using TRIZ for Problem Solving – Introduction

Using TRIZ for Problem Solving – Introduction A famous quote from Albert Einstein, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.“, applies to the discussion of problem solving and more so to the topic of TRIZ, The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, developed by Genrich S. Altshuller. TRIZ – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving […]

How to Solve Problems with Idea Maps

Problem solving is a problem in itself for many companies and at times can be one of the most daunting tasks to undertake during the course of an otherwise regular work day. For some, problems seldom occur while for others this may, unfortunately, be a daily activity.  Since problem solving is not usually part of the typical daily agenda of “routine” activities, our ability […]

SPC for OEE

Some of our readers have expressed an interest in the application of Statistical Analysis Tools for OEE.  We have also reviewed various texts and articles that have expressed opposing views on the application of Statistical Tools with OEE data. Our simple answer is this:  At best, statistical tools should only be used on unique or individual processes.   Comparisons may be made (with caution) […]