Reasoning Backwards: Sherlock Holmes' Guide to Effective Problem Solving, The Best Practice Tools
The Reasoning Backwards strategy can upgtade any improvement process, or it can be used as a stand-alone process. It shortens the time to identify root causes down to days or weeks instead of months, and it eliminates 90% to 100% of all defects. It also addresses cycle time reduction. We can apply to tools for to solve customer problems or train employees and coach them to become self-sufficient.
We also provide the book, Reasoning Backwards: Sherlock Holmes' Guide to Effective Problem Solving, to students so they can leave school already knowing how to be effective problem solvers.
The techniques we offer include:
- Document the Problem - briefly capture what is known about the problem, the defect rate, and how much it is costs.
- Process Certification - eliminate background noise and issues that could get in the way when searching for root causes.
- Multi-Vari - determine which category of variation is the primary root cause of the problem - for example, within-unit, unit-to-unit, or time-to-time.
- Concentration Chart - gather clues about root causes, especially in within-unit situations.
- Paired Comparisons - gather clues about root causes in any operation.
- Component Search - identify root causes in manufacturing assembly operations where disassembly and reassembly are possible.
- Variable Search - identify root causes in any operation.
- B vs. C - verify root causes by turning the problem on and off.
- Scatter Plots - establish realistic target values and tolerances of critical non-interacting variables in any operation.
- Simplex - establish realistic target values and tolerances of critical interacting variables in any operation.
- Process Certification - eliminate background noise and issues to assure flawless performance.
- Positrol - the process control plan that assures Zero Defect performance long-term.
- Pre-Control - enable line workers to easily control the critical variables in any process, in order to keep the process operating flawlessly.
The Cycle Time Reduction Tools include:
- Cost-Time Management - the Westinghouse Baldrige Award-winning tool that creates a visual profile of any process to reveal cycle time reduction opportunities, and it acts as an excellent precursor to Lean methodologies.
- Theory of Constraints - addresses system bottlenecks to link profit/year for a business to profit/hour for every product, process, and customer so a business can maximize profits.
Results - Projects are completed in a few weeks, defects drop by 90%-100%, profits increase by over 100%, and the entire workforce becomes more involved and committed to improvement and Zero Defects, as everyone gets involved and becomes an effective problem solver.
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Opportunity Analysis for Successful Innovation
Opportunity Analysis identifies unmet market needs and the value of satisfying these needs before new products are developed. 40% of commercially launched new products fail because of poor understanding of market needs. OA enables companies to modify their initial product concepts, so their new products better better address real market needs, which improves their probability of success.
First we work with Top Management to establish their Real Internal Screen - the kinds of new products they will enthusiastically support. Then we test acceptable initial concepts in the marketplace. The initial concept is almost never good enough to succeed, and must evolve to become successful.
Results - When a company uses its Real Screen to guide development, and when they listen to customers and respond to their real needs, then the new products they develop are market successes over 95% of the time, an order of magnitude better than traditional Stage Gate systems.
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Paired Comparisons, Component Search, Variable Search, and B vs. C are trademarks of Red X Holdings LLC.