I teach a class on problem solving.
Actually, I teach a few classes on problem solving: 9-step which is reactive problem solving and the other is Advance Product Quality Planning which as you know is proactive and can eliminate the need for reactive problem solving if executed correctly.
The most common mistake I see in the classroom and in manufacturing, is confusing the result of a problem with it's cause. If one jumps to conclusions too quickly, you'll find yourself missing out on the simplest solutions, and often thinking in circles or missing the point all together.
This happens in companies when they start to improve their bottom line too. Perhaps a company starts with 'make more money' as their primary goal.
It's not a bad goal, even I have to admit!
We're all in business to make money, that's irrefutable.
We're in business foremost however to provide a product or service in a very particular way.
Let's just make a quick list of how your company can make more money:
1) spend less money
2) eliminate overtime
3) create higher margins
4) downsize the staff
and how about:
5) create the best possible customer experience
6) maximize product design for quality & purchasing power
7) enable employees to fit their duties into a 'normal' work day
8) evolve continuously with new products & services
9) launch, process, and manufacture products & services flawlessly
Which sounds like more fun?
Which sounds more successful long term to your end goal?
Which gets your whole staff involved, motivated, and proud of their work?
How many solutions have you already come up with to attain goals 5 - 9?