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Sustainable Solutions That Create Lasting Value

As we approach performance problems in existing operations, our fundamental principles include:

  1. Any operation that doesn't generate perfect results every time can be improved. Perfect operations can be improved by reducing cycle time.
  2. Whenever defects occur, just 1-3 root causes are responsible for 80-100% of all the defects. (Pareto's Law)
  3. To permanently remove defects, the root cause(s) must be identified and eliminated.

We apply these fundamental principles to create sustainable solutions to these types of problems:

Here is how the fundamental principles apply in these situations.

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Quality and cycle time problems in existing operations.

Any repetitive operation that usually works well is fundamentally sound. Whenever it generates defective output something has changed within the operation. The answer is not to change the operation, but to discover what is different inside the operation when it works well, and when it does not.

We focus on the output first and look for consistent differences between very good and very bad outputs. Consistent differences relate to the 1-3 root causes. This screening approach identifies the root causes in just days to weeks. Tighter control of these root causes eliminates 90-100% of the defective output.

This approach works in any repetitive operation - manufacturing, transactional, or administrative - because the fundamental principles are universal. The powerful Best Practice Tools we teach are easy to use, so every employee can master them and become an effective problem solver.

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New products that fail to meet sales expectations.

When it comes to new products, the same principles apply. The #1 reason that new products fail is poor understanding of the needs in the marketplace. Only 1 out 3,000 new product ideas ever becomes successful. Of the new ideas that reach early stage development, only 11% are commercial successes. 40% of all commercial launches fail. Our approach to innovation is to start with an initial concept and test it in the marketplace before development begins. The goal is to understand exactly what customer needs exist, and what would be the value of satisfying those needs. Clients use this information to guide the evolution of their concepts in the development process. New products developed using this approach are commercially successful over 95% of the time.

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About the book: Reasoning Backwards: Sherlock Holmes' Guide to Effective Problem Solving

This book is designed to be a complete resource for all types of problems. It provides guidance for solving all three major types of problems found in the workplace.

Reasoning Backwards is available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and from AtlasBooks.com, 1800-BOOKLOG (266-5564).

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To learn more about our offerings, select Services We Provide.