PJM440 Discussion Post Peer responses
Please reply to both POST1: and POST2: in at least 250 words each.
What is the Toyota method for problem solving? Apply it to a situation at your work or with which you are familiar.
Many organizations try to take on process improvement methods but end up not really fixing the problem they set out to improve. One of the reasons behind this is that the problem-solving process is rushed and focuses mainly on finding the quickest and easiest salutation instead of taking the time to determine the solution that adds the most value. Toyotaâ€™s method for problem solving, on the other hand, uses a systematic process which frames the problem, finds the root cause, and then experiments to ensure the problem if fixed the most adequate way. There are 8 steps to this problem-solving process (Lean Enterprise Academy, 2014):
- Clarifying the problem
- Breakdown of the problem
- Set a target
- Analyze the root cause
- Develop countermeasures
- See countermeasures through
- Monitor the process and results
- Standardize successful processes
Steps 1-4 in the process ensure that the correct problem is being addressed in the right way. Before moving to a new position at my company, I was a Campaign Manager that worked with a team of 10-20 agents at a time. My agents were trained to respond to tickets from students or upcoming students for an online school. Because this was a very professional setting, it was important that every ticket was answered efficiently. Using Toyotaâ€™s 8 step method, clarifying the problem would begin with finding the ticket that was incorrectly answered, then breaking down the problem to determine what was incorrect about the response. Next would be setting a target for preventing it from occurring again, and then determining the root cause of the ticket being answered incorrectly. Developing countermeasures could include additional training for the agent who responded to the ticket, make sure they understand what was wrong and how to prevent it from happening again, then monitoring the agent and the tickets they respond to and also make sure that all other agents understand as well to standardize the process.
Lean Enterprise Academy. (2014). Back to Basics: Problem Solving at
Toyota. Retrieved from
Toyota has an eight step program to guide them in their problem solving process. Thinking is fundamental to Toyotaâ€™s management philosophy and is used to solve problems, gain agreement, mentor, and lead organizational improvements (Shook, 2008) The eight steps are –
1. Clarify the Problem
2. Breakdown the Problem
3. Target Setting
4. Root Cause Analysis
5. Develop Counter Measure
6. See Counter Measures Through
7. Monitor Results and Process
8. Standardize Successful Process
This is a similar process I used while in the military to help me with a self contained breathing apparatus program I was managing. I took over this program and there were so many problems I needed to implement a way for me to work through the program in and address each problem in a regimented way. A specific problem I had to address was tracking of the equipment. I clarified that I needed to track the equipment. Then needed to address why it was a problem and the tracking was hard for two reasons, one being the sheer number of equipment, and second it was being used and moved by about 100 people. I then set a target or expectation for tracking the equipment. And figured out the root cause of why the equipment was so hard to track. I developed a counter measure and it entailed making people responsible for the equipment in their possession. I monitored the process and made some changes. Finally, once the process was complete to my liking it was implemented and written into a standard operating procedure.
Shook, J. (2008).Managing to learn: Using the A3 management process.Cambridge, MA: Lean Enterprise, Inc