Monday, December 12, 2016

Problem Solving and the Worlds of Reflection & Experience

By Pascal Dennis

Good problem solving entails moving fluidly between the worlds of Reflection & Experience.

Go See (genchi genbutsu) is central to the latter. Analytical tools like the famous Q7 Quality Tools are abstractions that exist in the world of Reflection.

Problem solving begins in the world of Experience.

What is actually happening right now? Go See the defect the moment you hear about it.

Or stand in a circle, as Taiichi Ohno suggested, until you see it in real time.


We then move to the world of Reflection to define What Is Actually Happening & What Should Be Happening.

Problem solving, of course, concludes in the world of Experience - otherwise it's just 'academic'.

This pattern -- experience - reflection - experience is central to practical problem solving and to Lean as a whole.

Lean thinkers are comfortable in both worlds.

My mental image: a person with one hand deeply embedded in the ground, and the other reaching for the sky.

Reflect, then get your butt to the gemba.

Reflection without action is lifeless. Action without reflection is aimless.

Best,

Pascal


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