Visual Team problem Solving Example from DSIC

Using methods like brainstorming,

Go to the Gemba  (for definitions of gemba go to - as opposed to zemba - for a laugh go to  youtube,

Process mapping,

Cross functional team building,

Problems solving,

Solution Seeking.

First step:  Identify primary company killing issue - stalemate on how to build the final product.   Option 1:  build product at installation site or Option 2:  build product in-house and ship it to installation site.

Second step:  Get all team members in one room to get out in the open their perspectives - brainstorming risks for both options.  Follow up with the benefits and risks of each option.

Third step:  Go to the Gemba.  Get team at the location where the product is built.  Engineers, scientists and managers who have never been there and had opinions based on no facts.  Eyes are opened to the complexity of the product assembly methods.  Use flipchart to summarize ideas for improvement and critical issues.

Fourth step:  Process flow charting for the product with emphasis on the issues from previous session.  First time many had seen the process from beginning to end.  Multi-voting resulted in change of opinion to building in house and improving the rework process.

Result:  A process was created for reworking the product in the field which was a compromise between the two original options:  build it in house or in the field.  A little of both!  Success for the company and no stalemate.  Also, a communication path was created for functional departments.

Negotiating with internal and external customers - Example from DSIC

The product was built by a contract manufacturer on site but the documentation for the workstations that build the product were not documented although it was a deliverable from the contract.

First step:  Clearly state the issue to the CEO and VP with a letter written to the supplier.  No action taken.

Second step:  Persistence against objections that the documents were available.  

Third Step:  Visual presentaions to key leaders showing what was available to make clear that the deliverable wasn't met.

Fourth Step:  Clearly define the requirements for delivering documents.

Fifth Step:  Had to get to a shut down to get the information required but it was delivered and formatted so that the company could then go to a supplier for reproduction of the workstations and some hope of continuing the manufacturing of the product.