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Toyota Business Practice - 8 Step Problem Solving little insight

The 8 steps of the Toyota Business Process are:
1. Clarify the problem
2. Breakdown the problem
3. Set a target
4. Analyze the root cause
5. Develop countermeasures
6. See countermeasures through
7. Evaluate both results and process
8. Standardize successful processes

Little more detail on the Steps:

1.  Clarify the problem includes alignment to the Ultimate Goal or Purpose and to identify the Ideal situtation, current situation and the gap

2.  Breakdown the problem requires breakdown into manageable pieces using the 4 W’s and finding the Prioritized Problem, Process, and Point of Cause

3.  Set a Target is to Set Target to the Point of Cause and determine “How much” and “By When”

4.  Analyze Root Cause is to brainstorm multiple Potential Causes  by asking WHY and to determine Root Cause by going to see the process

5.  Develop Countermeasures is to brainstorm countermeasures, narrow using criteria, develop a detailed action plan, and gain consensus

6.  See Countermeasures Through  means to share status of plan by reporting, informing and consulting and build consensus, never give up, think and act persistently

7.  Evaluate - determine if the target was achieved and evaluate 3 viewpoints, and look at process and results

8. Standardize - standardize Successful practices, share results and start the next round of kaizen


Here is an 8 Step Problem Solving Form 8 Step Problem Solving form

(The 8 steps of TBP written in Japanese are below, with translations. There are some slight but interesting differences in nuance, and these always make me wonder how much loss results from translation of Toyota principles, precepts and philosophies. Step 1 "Set a target" seems a bit loose while Japanese contains the word "achieve" that plants the idea that targets are things that must be met. Step 4 is not "analyze" but "think through" or "think until you find" and step 8 in Japanese doesn't talk about "standardize" (this being an implied part of the Toyota WOW) but instead stresses that the results muse become "established" or "take hold".
トヨタの仕事の仕方8ステップ (the 8 steps of the Toyota way of working)
1. 問題を明確にする (clarify the problem)
2. 問題をブレイクダウンする (breakdown the problem)
3. 達成目標を決める (set the target to be achieved)
4. 真因を考え抜く (think through to the true cause)
5. 対策を立てる (develop countermeasures)
6. 対策をやりぬく (follow through on the countermeasures)
7. 結果とプロセスを評価する (evaluate the result and the process)
8. 成果を定着させる (make sure the results take hold)
As a standard problem solving process, it is excellent and widely applicable. Inevitably "PDCA" alone was too vague. The Socratic teaching method and talk of "it takes 40 years to learn" at Toyota has given way to a more deliberate method of teaching this thinking process at Toyota, based on what I have seen. We could say the TBP is the result of clarify, break down, and so forth, applied to the teaching of PDCA.
Sometimes I think the genius of the Toyota approach is that this process is so simple, obvious, and offensive to the intelligence and self-worth of most senior executives and go-getters out there that they close the book and say, "That can't be right. There must be more to it." Most people won't understand TBP or try it. You can't really understand it until you try it. So it comes back to a question of packaging and motivation. - From Jon Miller)

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