Can’t Keep Up? How Problem Solving Expertise Can Save Your Business

A knack for solving problems in business isn’t nice to have, it’s essential. There will always be issues that arise on an almost daily basis and if you aren't prepared to deal with them, the business could go under.

Business problems range from chaotic administration to low morale, from unproductive workers to inefficient processes, and from failure to compete effectively in the marketplace to low customer satisfaction. Essentially, all these myriad, apparently unrelated problems, fall under two broad categories: poorly managed business process or a run of bad decisions based on not solving the right problems.

While some business problems can be solved with common sense and others with a little intuition, most require some systematic problem-solving strategy to save the day.

Picking Your Weapons

There is no shortage of excellent problem-solving methodologies. Your choice of weapons, in no particular order, to arm yourself against a siege of problems include Kepner Tregoe Problem solving, 5 Whys, Consensus Decision making, Fishbone diagram, Lean Manufacturing Principles, 5 Step Approach, 8D Problem Solving, TQM Tools, Failure Mode effects Analysis (FMEA), and Go Lean Six Sigma.

Ironically, this abundance of researched, tested, and refined solutions are itself a problem. First, it can be difficult to decide which to use;. consequently, you'll either procrastinate or make a random selection; and, second, if you use several, justifying usage on the severity or nature of the problem, then you'll fail to develop sufficiently deep mastery to be an expert.

It would be easy to decide if one model clearly stood out above the rest. However, Olympians in a sprinting contest, everyone who makes it to the final selection has a good chance of securing the gold medal. With that said, you won’t go wrong if you pick Go Lean Six Sigma. It’s not only robust enough to help your business solve its thorniest problems, but world-class training organizations make it easier to train your top executives to be highly competent at using this methodology to revamp your business and empower your teams to achieve their loftiest goals.

Why Specialize in Go Lean Six Sigma?

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of this strategic problem-solving system, quickly go over its primary methodology, and discuss its different levels of certifications.

  1. The benefits.

The promise of first-class training in go lean six sigma is that your business will be able to delight customers by delivering greater value; minimize cost by eliminating waste that’s costing your business both time and money; maximizing profits by serving more customers more often; and build better teams by empowering everyone with the hard skills to improve a process through harmonious cooperation.

  1. The primary methodology

While not the only tool, the primary methodology is called DMAIC, each letter signifying a step in a five-phase process.

First, define the problem.

Second, measure the problem by quantifying it.

Third, analyze the problem by identifying its root cause.

Fourth, improve the situation, by implementing and verifying the solution.

Fifth, control the problem by maintaining the solution.

  1. Levels of certification

The measure of expertise in using this system is designated by certifications: The most basic is called champion, then there is yellow belt, green belt, brown belt, black belt, and master black belt. A champion is usually an Executive Committee member who actively sponsors and encourages six sigma projects in the organization while a black belt is a project leader and a master black belt supervises the project leader and oversees the entire project.

Effective Problem-Solving : The Differentiating Factor

All businesses have problems; it’s an intrinsic aspect of business. What differentiates a successful business from an average business, and what separates an average business from a failing business is not the quantity of problems each faces. Some businesses don’t become world class while others fail to meet payroll because the successful business got luckier and had fewer or less severe problems to overcome. Instead, the differentiating factor is how well the outstanding business has reacted to the issues that arose.

Moreover, outstanding businesses resolve problems continuously, sometimes even anticipating and nullifying them before they become a threat. Finally, these leading businesses are good at preventing problems from returning in a reincarnated form. In short, top businesses are not only great at solving problems, but also excellent at putting them permanently to bed. Ideally, businesses should start getting good at problem solving while they are still small businesses; although they may have fewer problems at this stage, like solving the chicken or egg problem of goals vs plans, they will make better decisions to accelerate their growth.

 

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Meridith Dennes is a co-founder and the CEO of Project Eve LLC, a leading women's lifestyle media company online including some of the web's best loved communities including the eponymous Project Eve, Getting Balance, Project Eve Moms, Project Eve Money and Scary Puppy Silly Kitty. With a digital readership in excess of 20+ million monthly uniques, and over 1 million social media followers, Project Eve provides the news and resources to inspire and empower women. Meridith also works as a digital consultant and social media strategist and has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to help increase brand awareness and improve social media engagement.Meridith holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. Prior to founding Project Eve, she spent 15 years working in investment banking. Meridith currently lives in Vermont with her husband and 2 daughters and spends her free time teaching skiing, practicing yoga, hiking and snowshoeing.