What a great story how Jeff Bezos used a 5Whys technique to find the root cause of a problem.
A few pitfalls I have experienced when using 5WHYs in problem solving process:
❌ Start asking WHY too early. 5 whys is effective when we already have a well scoped problem by e.g. using Pareto charts.
❌ Stop with WHY question too early. Tip: usually you know that you found a true rootcause when you can make an action.
❌ Forget to include gemba (actual place where value is created) evidence at each WHY step. This is crucial to show that you don’t rely on assumptions.
Most importantly, remember to ask WHY instead of WHO. We cannot ever blame people, it is usually the process to be addressed.
With the recent developments of artificial intelligence (AI) adoption, more and more people started to worry about the future of their jobs.
While the future of work will certainly change, I believe we don’t need to worry as we will always need humans. Humans who are capable to work together with machines and have strong problem solving skills.
👉 Check out my blog post on “5 steps to become a problem solving rockstar in the digital era”.
I am interested to hear your experiences with problem solving. Any tips & tricks or handy 🛠 you use?
Last year when the air pollution in India 🇮🇳 was at record heights “bottled fresh air" was being sold.
This is a sad, yet necessary, example of a temporary countermeasure applied to solve a problem.
LEAN problem solving encourages you to consider two types of countermeasures:
👉 Temporary - apply a quick fix to stop the bleeding.
👉 Permanent - prevent the problem from happening again.
In most cases you need both, so I hope India's air pollution problem will be addressed with permanent countermeasures.
High-tech toilets with lots of buttons was one of the things that surprised me quite a bit when I arrived in South Korea back in 2009 for my exchange study year.
So today in 2020 I am not surprised that their neighbour Japan has just announced to introduce transparent public toilets which are made from "smart glass." When the toilet is occupied and locked, the glass gets tinted.
Shigeru Ban, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect came up with this solution to address the wide spread problems with public toilets that they are usually dark, dirty and unsafe.
I find this solution very creative, although it is not yet clear how effective it will be to address the problems. According to local respondents their trust and willingness to use toilets won't increase or might even discourage from using.
What do you think? Would you use such a toilet?