The Lean Problem Solving Module is one of the most important components of the Lean Concepts Program. It consists of several sections dedicated towards teaching standardized lean problem solving techniques designed to be integrated throughout an entire organization. Since lean systems primarily focus on identifying and eliminating waste, effective and timely problem solving methods are the backbone of any implementation program. An initial discussion on how lean problem solving supports other tools is followed by a review of the problem solving method itself, a case study using sample document templates, and finally, techniques on how to manage an organization-wide problem solving program. The goal of this module is to assist practitioners in developing sound lean problem solving skills. These skills will be required In order to effectively implement the higher level tools found in later modules.
An introduction to lean problem solving, Section 01 of the module highlights the core business needs satisfied by an effective problem solving program. The basic thinking behind the lean approach is reviewed as well as the other lean tools requiring the support of good problem solving. There is also an overview of the typical challenges associated with the adoption of the lean method and the cultural changes that it must accompany.
Section 02 in this module focuses specifically on the lean problem solving method itself. Each individual step from start to finish is reviewed, discussed, and examined. This is a primarily informational section with an example problem given in Section 03.
The Case Study section reviews an example problem solving experience and explores each individual step of the lean problem solving method. A real world situation is broken down start to finish in a comprehensive walkthrough. Sample documentation is provided and the focus is to provide a hands-on follow up to the previous sections.
Basic strategies to integrate good lean problem solving into all daily activities within an organization are discussed in this section. A brief synopsis of the typical, traditional methods of managing problem solving is compared against an ideal, lean way to manage problem solving activities. The differences between the two are illustrated and a simple tool to help develop good problem solving management is introduced.