Practical problem-solving (PPS): the lean management toolbox

If you want to make your company cost-effective, i.e. LEAN, then at some point you will have to tackle the various types of waste that are present in your business. These wastes, such as unnecessary movements, shipments or excess stock, often occur as symptoms of underlying problems based on organisational or structural failings . The challenge is to discover these wastes, and then take a targeted and methodical approach to eliminating them. The methods in the practical problem-solving toolbox can help you to identify the causes and organise your countermeasures. Methods for practical problem-solving include

  • 5 Whys
  • A3 Report
  • Ishikawa
  • Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)

And there are many other methods besides to be found in this lean management toolbox.

Praktische Problemlösungen

Deploying practical problem-solving

To ensure PPS methods can be applied in your company, these need to be introduced in a series of four steps:

  • Step 1: Introduction – First, all of the methods are presented, together with their pros and cons
  • Step 2: Selection – You then decide which of the methods you want to deploy and communicate this decision to all of the relevant teams
  • Step 3: Training – Following this, your employees are trained in how to use the methods
  • Step 4: Rollout – As a last step, the methods are deployed and measures are taken to ensure the long-term use of these solutions


Identifying problems and taking action

At Soltany Training & Consulting, our application of these practical problem-solving methods in many projects has given us many insights that we can use to your advantage. We teach your employees methods they can use to discover the root cause of a problem. One of the tools we use here is the A3 report, for example: the A3 report addresses a variety of issues that can be categorised into four separate groups:

  • Analysis
  • Solution approaches/interim measures
  • Creation of new standards
  • Follow-up to verify and check effectiveness