What are Lean Problem Solving Techniques and Tools?

What is Lean Problem Solving?

Lean problem solving aims to solve complex problems efficiently by simplifying the problems, identifying the basic elements and main causes. The main goal here is to understand the essence of the problem and to produce effective solutions by avoiding unnecessary elaborations and complexities.

Lean problem solving involves analysing the problem by breaking it down into its component parts, avoiding unnecessary detail, and optimising the processes of data collection and analysis. It is used in many areas, including manufacturing, service industries and other organisations seeking continuous improvement and efficiency.

8 Commonly Used Lean Problem Solving Techniques

Just as the solution technique of each problem is different, here, as the size and area of the problems differ, the solution technique also changes. To give an example;

PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) Cycle

The PDCA cycle is an approach that guides the process of problem solving and continuous improvement. It includes the steps of planning, implementing, doing and acting. It helps to solve the problem from beginning to end.

A3 Reporting Technique

A3 reporting technique, also called advanced kaizen, is to summarise the problem in A3 paper format, identify the problem, identify the main cause, develop a solution plan and eliminate the problems by analysing this way.

5N (5 Reason Analysis)

5 reason analysis is the questions to be asked in order to accurately determine the root cause of a problem as the name suggests: what, where, when, why and how. Each correct answer to these questions will lead to the source of the problem.

Fishbone Diagram

This technique aims to create a cause and effect table about the problem. As in the 5N technique, the fishbone diagram establishes a connection between the main issue causing the problem and the consequences of the problem.

Pareto Analysis

It is a problem solving technique that considers that 20% of the existing problem is the source of the problem for the remaining 80%.

Six Hat Thinking Technique

It is a technique that makes meetings about solving problems more efficient. It is important in terms of organisational culture and meeting management.

Decision Diagram

Plans made for the measures that can be taken to eliminate possible problems depending on a detected situation. It is important in terms of risk management and decision making.

8D Problem Solving

8D problem solving is a technique used to effectively identify, analyse, solve and prevent the recurrence of a problem. It helps to solve complex problems effectively through a disciplined approach and co-operation. This method is widely used in many industries and is an important part of quality management and continuous improvement efforts:

  • Identify the problem
  • Team building
  • Emergency solution
  • Root cause analysis
  • Root cause and missing point identification
  • Application
  • Troubleshooting
  • Approval

There are many such lean problem solving techniques. They are all based on getting to the root cause of problems and creating long term, useful results. Each one can be selected as appropriate in different situations and one step closer to the goal of process excellence.

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