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Consulting, training, and coaching to help you solve messy problems that disrupt your operations or cause customers to take their business elsewhere.

  About The Sawyer Partnership


Workshops and seminars for people who spend too much time on problems that just won’t go away and stay away

Problem-Solving Essentials 

Through this two-day workshop, you will learn the fundamental process and concepts necessary for effective problem solving, including two root cause analysis methods. You will begin analyzing a problem you currently face, so will leave the workshop with hands-on experience using the methods taught. The workshop includes presentation, discussion, examples, and exercises based on a real-life case study and your own problem.  Student materials include worksheets, checklists and templates as well as presentation notes.  You will

·        Learn how to decide what the problem really is, figure out why it occurs, fix it, and prove the effect of your actions,

·        Know the steps to organize a problem solving project,

·        Understand the role of data collection and measurement in problem solving,

·       Understand and practice using the problem-solving methods on a real-life case study and your own problem,

·        Create a draft issue worksheet for your own problem, and

·        Begin analyzing your problem, and identify tasks to complete analysis and resolution.


 I.     Getting Started

We’ll start by explaining what systematic problem solving is, how it differs from standard troubleshooting, and why you should care.

II.     Defining Problems.

Before we can solve a problem, we need to be sure we understand and agree on exactly what that problem is. This section of the workshop will provide a template and rules for defining problems. We’ll emphasize choosing measurements to verify a problem is solved and identifying risks and vulnerabilities that could cause a problem solving effort to fail. You will practice creating a problem statement using the worksheet template for your own problem.

III.    Organizing a Problem Solving Project.

Solving messy problems requires commitment, assigned tasks, and resources. We will cover the basics to be sure you can drive your problem solving effort to completion.

IV.     Analyzing Causes.

Root cause analysis is a structured method for learning the most basic cause of a problem.  We go past the symptoms, so you can prevent recurrence. You will learn how to apply two different root cause analysis methods to the kinds of problems that occur in your environment.  

V.     Driving Solutions.

Simply knowing what caused the problem isn’t enough. The next step is to decide how to eliminate the cause, and take action. You will learn to develop effective action plans—and measure the results. You will leave the workshop with an action plan for the next steps on your own problem.

Call me at 408-929-3622 or email me to discuss bringing this workshop to your company.


Solving Problems PermanentlySM
tel. 408-929-3622

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Jeanne Sawyer, Ph.D.