Integrating Mistake-Proofing and Problem Solving
Structured Problem-Solving Approach
- Using a structured problem-solving approach like the 8D (or 8 Discipline) problem-solving process helps assure mistake-proofing efforts will be successful.
- However, any structured problem-solving approach can be used when mistake-proofing.
Step 1: Use a Team Approach
- Teams need to know their boundaries of freedom or what they are and are not empowered to tackle.
- Boundaries of Freedom are defined by:
- Scope of work
- Time constraints
- Communication methods
Step 2: Describe the Problem
- Create a clear, complete problem statement.
Step 3: Interim Containment
- Stabilize the current situation. Use a short-term or “band-aid” approach if necessary.
Step 4: Define the Root Causes
- Problem-solving is really about problem-finding or finding the root cause, which is the underlying reason the mistake occurs.
- Techniques to help identify the root cause include:
- The Five-Whys
- What Is-What Isn’t Analysis
- Data Collection & Analysis
- Design of Experiments
Step 5: Develop (Mistake-Proofing) Solutions
- Brainstorm for solutions.
- Think outside of the box.
- Then, check the potential solution for practicality, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness.
Step 6: Implement the (Mistake-Proofing) Solution
- Use a simple action plan for straightforward solutions.
- Use project management tools for complex action plans.
Step 7: Prevent Recurrence
- Test the solution to make sure the actions worked as expected.
- Assure the solution is robust.
Step 8: Congratulate the Team
- As with any accomplishment, congratulations and recognition are in order.