Five Step Problem Solving

Topics: Root cause analysis, Problem solving, Root Pages: 3 (650 words) Published: May 24, 2013
When an audit or component failure reveals opportunities for improvement, the following five steps are an excellent way to plan, develop, an implement a corrective action plan to contain and prevent the reoccurrence of the failure mode.

1. DEFINE THE DEFECT OR NONCONFORMANCE (PROBLEM DESCRIPTION) A problem well defined is a problem half solved, it is critical to not include any implied causes or solutions in the problem statement in order to not track thinking in only one direction. * Have the characteristics of the problem been identified? (who, what, where, when, why, how, and how many) * Have patterns or trends been identified? (within unit, within lot, and over time) * Has the quality or functional requirements/characteristics been identified? * Has a comparative (what is different, what is the same) analysis been performed? * Can the problem be reproduced?

* Can the complete statement pass a group “so what” test? * State the problem as a specific nonconformance.
* When must the problem be resolved?

This is not problem elimination; this is just fixing the problem at hand. It’s where we traditionally stop when dealing with nonconformance - but - there are three more steps. * Have the appropriate actions been identified to shield the customer and the factory from the problem until corrective action is in place? * Deal with the situation at hand (Reinstruct the employee, correct the misspelled word, rework the bad part, etc.) * When applicable, have appropriate actions been identified at a supplier to shield the company form the problem until corrective action is in place? * Do containment actions address all potential manufacturing locations and distribution points? * When necessary, has Sales and/or Customer Support been informed of the problem condition? * Have containment actions...
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