Challenge: Poor problem solving systems
In the early 2000s, a Detroit Big Three auto company found itself struggling to find a common way to solve problems and make decisions. Excellent engineers all came from different backgrounds, different schooling and different problem solving disciplines. The issue that eluded the automaker was to find a rational was to get to a root cause, that was quick, useable and fact based. Not just trying to solve a problem with a list of assumptions or no credible information.
Solution:Instill DAMIC/Six Sigma process
We met with company officials and shared the rational processes that were used to bring Apollo 13 back to earth. We did analysis of how engineers were currently doing problem solving and made a set of steps that delivered fact based solutions. These steps are now known as the DAMIC process which is also known as the Six Sigma process.
We put 20 engineers through the processes, one step at a time, and then had follow up meetings with each individual engineer as they worked through the processes. Their mission was to present to upper management the process they used to get to the final solution.
Results: Sustaining problem solving throughout the company
The company managers liked the processes and the results that were attained. Train the trainer classes were developed, they established plant champions, and then taught the processes to others within their plants. The processes are now a part of their on-boarding skill building so engineers and plant workers are following the same processes.