A brief explanation and example of some of the most common tools used for identifying and solving problems. Healthcare examples are provided when available with the goal of saving the labor associated with reinventing the wheel. If you would like to share a template, please email us.
A block diagram is simply a straight line sketch of the workstations in the process.
Image from Mike Rother's guide
From IHI: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a systematic, proactive method for evaluating a process to identify where and how it might fail and to assess the relative impact of different failures, in order to identify the parts of the process that are most in need of change. FMEA includes review of the following: Steps in the process Failure modes (What could go wrong?) Failure causes (Why would the failure happen?) Failure effects (What would be the consequences of each failure?)
Fishbone (Ishikawa) Diagram
From Vertex42: A Fishbone Diagram is another name for the Ishikawa Diagram or Cause and Effect Diagram. It gets its name from the fact that the shape looks a bit like a fish skeleton. A fish bone diagram is a common tool used for a cause and effect analysis, where you try to identify possible causes for a certain problem or event. The following downloads may help you get started, and if you continue reading, I've included some detailed information about how to use the diagrams.
From Vertex42: A Gantt chart is a vital tool for any project manager. It helps you create a schedule for your project and track the status of each task. There are hundreds of tools for creating gantt charts, some far more complex than others.
From Vertex42: The Pareto Chart or Pareto Diagram, named after the famous economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), is a common tool for quality control and is used as part of a Pareto Analysis to visually identify the most important factors, most occurring defects, or the most common problems, or in other words "the vital few".
From Vertex42: When using a PICK chart, the team members should be reminded that the purpose is to help identify the most useful ideas, especially those that can be accomplished immediately with little difficulty (called "Just-Do-Its").
Theory of Constraints
Theory of Constraints was developed by Eli Goldratt in an effort to identify bottlenecks and improve throughput, answering the age old question: "where do we begin?" Chapter by chapter summary of "The Goal," audio book link, video, and simulations by clicking here!
Training Within Industry (TWI)
With the constant advances in best practices, Healthcare organizations such as Virginia Mason, Baptist Memorial, and Meritus Health have found incredible value in the robust training methodology and job breakdowns exemplified by TWI. Original training manuals, original and updated cards available here!
Hoshin Kanri X-Matrix
From Shmula.com: The purpose of the Hoshin Kanri X Matrix Template for Lean Policy Deployment is to develop and implement plans that are both strategic, tactical, and coordinated across people across the organization.
Please pardon our construction as we add and update links!
Heijunka or "Level Loading"
SMED - "Single Minute Exchange of Dies" or "Rapid Changeover." Think of a NASCAR pit crew.
Theory of Constraints (TOC)
Value Stream Map