The Pareto Chart: How to Solve Problems & Make Informed Decisions

Pareto-chart

I’ve just finished watching this Netflix docuseries and I can’t stop thinking about it.

The Last Dance.

It’s ten juicy episodes, full of massive egos, incredible basketball, and a banging 90’s hip-hop soundtrack. It’s a fantastically brutal account of how the Chicago Bulls came to dominate the basketball scene throughout the 1990s.

The team was led to countless victories by three key players: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman.

This, coincidentally, demonstrates the concept behind the Pareto chart, and this Process Street post perfectly.

I’ll explain what I mean by this later. First, let me go through what we’ll cover in this post:

I’m excited to get started. So, my cagers, let’s take it to the hole!

I admit. I may have googled “basketball terms” for that sentence… what I’m basically saying is; C’mon you lot! Let’s go!

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How Asking ‘Why?’ 5 Times Can Potentially Save Your Business (Free 5 Whys Template)

5 Whys Template

Business-related problems not only crop up constantly, but they can also have massively negative impacts if not resolved promptly.

In fact, problems related to cash flow are why 82% of small businesses fail.

The good news is there’s a nifty way to get to the bottom of roadblocks quickly: 5 Whys.

According to Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries and inventor of 5 Whys, asking ‘why?’ 5 times can help you get to the root cause of the issue or problem you’re facing.

In this post, you’re going to learn more about the 5 Whys process, why it’s so beneficial, and you’ll even get your hands on a 5 Whys template, courtesy of Process Street.

Read through these sections to get the complete lowdown:

So, why are you waiting around?

It’s time to become a pro at finding out why problems occur! 🔍

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8D Chess: How to Use The 8 Disciplines for Problem Solving

8d

Hospitals have developed something of a reputation for being rife with bad processes. When processes aren’t adequate, the result is an abundance of “workarounds”.

For example, when equipment or supplies are missing, a nurse might waste time running around searching for what is needed, and once the item is found, return to their previous duties.

One study indicates that nurses spend 33 minutes of a 7.5-hour shift completing workarounds that are not part of their job description.

This may well “put out the fire” so-to-speak, but really it is just a hastily applied band-aid that does nothing to treat the root cause of the problem.

More time is wasted and more problems will arise in the future because nothing has been done to prevent the initial problem from happening again.

Individual nurses are not at fault here; workplace culture often values expertise in the form of those who “get the job done”, which tends to pull against the notion of spending time building good processes (time in which the job is perhaps not “getting done”).

So how to approach the problem of problem solving?

In a lean context, problem solving can be distilled into two simple questions:

  • What is the problem and how did it happen?
  • How can we make sure that it doesn’t happen again?

The 8D, or eight disciplines methodology, is a problem solving process – most likely one of the most widely used problem solving processes out there. It is used by many different countries, in many different industries, and many different organizations.

8D is designed to help you put out those fires, and make sure they don’t happen again.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 8D problem solving methodology and provide you with an outline of the basic process that you can hopefully apply in your own business, plus how you can enhance 8D with other tools and methodologies like Six Sigma, FMEA, and Process Street.

Here’s what I hope you’ll take away after reading:

Let’s begin with the origins of 8D – what is it, and where did it come from? Continue Reading

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