PROBLEM - The Path to Inevitable Success

Most improvement projects in business fail to realise their full potential. It is not uncommon to come across initiatives that have lost their way; taken longer than expected; demotivated their people; only partially achieved their benefits; failed to carry everybody with them; and caused new problems elsewhere. But why?
In surveying the reasons for these problems, the following seven reasons were by far the most prevalent:

Different parts of the organisation saw the problem differently, and this was never reconciled

People leapt to a quick-fix solution, rather than bottom-out the real issue

Solutions were adopted before their implications were fully considered

Once the 'fire' stopped blazing, attention moved onto other issues even though the problem wasn't actually solved

The solution implementation wasn't properly managed

Nobody (in a senior position?) noticed that the solution wasn't actually working properly

Things drifted back to how they were, once management's focus had shifted elsewhere
You might be able to relate to a few of them yourself from your own experience of improvement initiatives.
PROBLEM is a practical methodology for avoiding these problems, and for ensuring that performance improvement is delivered efficiently. At one level, it is a simple, easy to remember, acronym, which acts as a mental checklist to help people think through whether they have covered the bases. At another level, for more complex, high-profile projects, it is a sophisticated process for ensuring success. In the case of Homebase, 99% of improvement projects delivering the right solution first time round.
PROBLEM provides the engine that drives improvement in the systematic model, and ensures that performance rises to meet the expectations set in the QFD. And QFD provides the context to ensure that PROBLEM is focused on the most productive challenges for the organisation.
To understand more about PROBLEM, download the guide, or read Chapter 22 of Managing by Design. Also available are: a guide to problem solving tools, and materials for running a process improvement exercise (exercise and slide set) based on the PROBLEM methodology.


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