Practical Problem Solving


Many companies seek to improve their business using various continuous improvement methodologies including Lean principles. The proven method for deploying these concepts is to tie them into an overall strategy of business improvement. This leads to the highest rate of return on investment over the long term along with ensuring sustainability of a continuous improvement culture. As part of this overall strategy of continuous improvement is the use of the tool: Practical Problem Solving.

Course Objective:

What makes this Lean tool unique is the straightforwardness of the application. By simply using the materials provided to you during the training, you will be able to step through the process to solve the problem knowing that each phase is completed. The worksheets can be used for communication of the problem and the follow-up effectiveness within your organization. It can also be used to respond to customer complaints and be valid for any formal complaint resolution procedure required by governing bodies.

The Catalyst Connection consultant will work with you to develop the skill sets essential to practical problem solving. The course involves applying the training by assigning a real-life problem to be solved by your staff.

Participants will receive instruction on the following tools that are used in Practical Problem Solving:

  • Problem Definition – How to properly define a problem and plan improvements.
  • Root Cause Analysis – Determine point of cause of defect(s) and find true root cause.
  • Countermeasure Implementation – Communicate and execute short- and long-term countermeasures to eliminate problem(s) and adjust as needed to stay on target.
  • Effectiveness and Standardization – Follow up on countermeasures and performance indicators of solution. Standardize effective countermeasures, leverage to other opportunities and take action to begin the problem solving process again.

As a result of utilizing this approach to the Practical Problem Solving tools, companies report seeing reoccurring problems eliminated reduced costs, and a highly effective and engaged workforce. Additionally, this specific approach becomes the driving force behind sustaining your improvements and standardizing countermeasures.
The training will help you to answer questions around the following:

  • Declining profit margins
  • Difficulty controlling costs, poor levels of productivity
  • High defect or scrap rates
  • Low customer satisfaction

Additional benefits expected for all participants include the following:

  • Problem solving is a process and skill set that you develop over time, to be used when the need to solve immediate problems in order to achieve goals
  • An opportunity to transfer knowledge from the key participants of your team that will be responsible for maintaining this tool, to others in the organization

Contact Us

For more information on Practical Problem Solving, contact Eric MacDonald, Managing Director of Continuous Improvement, at 412.918.4210 or