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When Stuff Happens

A Practical Guide to Solving Problems Permanently

Jeanne Sawyer

Table of Contents



Getting Started

What is Solving Problems PermanentlyK
How to use this Book
The Case Studies
Case 1: On-time Shipping Problem
    Case 2: On-time Software Installation Problem
The SPP Process

Defining Problems: Creating a Problem Statement

Write the Problem Description
Identify the Problem Sponsor and Analyst
Establish Success Criteria
Characteristics of Good Success Criteria
Describe Key Characteristics
Determine Risks, Vulnerabilities and Dependencies
Complete the Problem Statement 

Organizing Your Problem Solving Project

Commitment and Sponsorship
Managing the Project
Start Your Task List
Set Up the Project Schedule
Estimate Resources and Get Them Allocated
Establishing Your Measurement Plan

Root Cause Analysis

What You Get From Ishikawa Analysis
Conduct Ishikawa Analysis
Set up the Meeting
Invite the Participants
Choose a Facilitator
Practicalities and Logistics

The Ishikawa Session
Identify Possible Causes: 1st Pass
Group Causes into Categories and Draw Diagram Frame
Transfer Causes from Sticky Notes to Diagram and Identify Remaining Causes
Clean Up Diagram
Verify the Causes and Set Priorities

Driving Solutions

Developing and Executing Action Plans
Choose the Best Approach
Using an Assessment Matrix
Make It Happen
Measuring Results


Problem Worksheet
Task List Template
SPP Checklist
SPP Steps Summary
Reading List


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Jeanne Sawyer, Ph.D.