SMART Professional™ Agile Generalist
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Problem solving consists of five steps:
The Five Whys is a technique for identifying the root cause of a problem by asking a series of "why" questions. Teams can find the root cause of a problem by five times going through tailored "why" questions, each related to the answer to the previous "why" question.
Fish bone diagram (aka. Ishikawa and cause-and-effect) is a structured brainstorming technique to identify potential underlying factors or causes of a problem and them into useful categories.
The problem is represented at the head or mouth of the fish and the bones represent different categories of causes, each with a list of possible contributory causes. Team can use the "5 Whys Technique" or keep asking "why" questions to find deeper causes and organize them into relevant categories.
Typically used categories of a fishbone diagram include materials, measurements, people, time, energy, machinery/infrastructure, and environment.
The 80-20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle) states that 80% of the problems in the system come from 20% of the causes. Alternatively, by eliminating 20% of the system's deficiencies, 80% of the system's problems can be solved. The rule is based on calculating the frequency of incidents that cause most of the problems.
Pareto charts are often used to present the data and make decisions about corrective actions based on the 80-20 rule.
Pareto charts represent the type or category of causes ordered by frequency of occurrence.