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# How to solve daily, chronic problems in your business with concepts from Polya & Kaizen

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This presentation on problem–solving will give you an idea of the powerful and graspable techniques that you can use effectively to solve a great many of your current problems.
Mr Jay Menon was invited to speak to a group of business owners and senior managers at an event called Marketing Mojo Meetup organized by Redbox Studio.

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### How to solve daily, chronic problems in your business with concepts from Polya & Kaizen

1. 1. This presentation on problem–solving will give you an idea of the powerful and graspable techniques that you can use effectively to solve a great many of your current problems. Mr Jay Menon was invited to speak to a group of business owners and senior managers at an event called Marketing Mojo Meetup organized by Redbox Studio.
2. 2. Presented by Mr Jay Menon at Redbox Studio's Marketing Mojo Meetup on 26 June 2013 “How to solve daily, chronic problems in your business with concepts from Polya & Kaizen”
3. 3. Problem Solving Polya’s 4-step process: 1. Understand the problem. 2. Devise a plan. 3. Carry out the plan. 4. Look back. Understand
4. 4. Problem Solving Polya’s 4-step process: 1. Understand the problem. 2. Devise a plan. 3. Carry out the plan. 4. Look back. Understand Think
5. 5. Problem Solving Polya’s 4-step process: 1. Understand the problem. 2. Devise a plan. 3. Carry out the plan. 4. Look back. Understand Think Do
6. 6. Problem Solving Polya’s 4-step process: 1. Understand the problem. 2. Devise a plan. 3. Carry out the plan. 4. Look back. Understand Think Do Check
7. 7. Try This Exercise a. If the diagonals of a square are drawn in, how many triangles of all sizes are formed? b. Describe how Polya’s four steps were used to solve part (a).
8. 8. Step 1: Understand the problem. If the diagonals of a square are drawn in, how many triangles of all sizes are formed? • Draw a picture of a square with the diagonals drawn in.
9. 9. Step 1: Understand the problem. If the diagonals of a square are drawn in, how many triangles of all sizes are formed? Draw a picture of a square with the diagonals drawn in.
10. 10. Step 1: Understand the problem. If the diagonals of a square are drawn in, how many triangles of all sizes are formed? • Draw a picture of a square with the diagonals drawn in. • The question asks, “how many triangles?” • “CLUE”: how many triangles o f allsiz e s ?
11. 11. Step 1: Understand the problem. If the diagonals of a square are drawn in, how many triangles of all sizes are formed? • Draw a picture of a square with the diagonals drawn in. • The question asks, “how many triangles?” • “CLUE”: how many triangles o f allsiz e s ?
12. 12. Step 1: Understand the problem. If the diagonals of a square are drawn in, how many triangles of all sizes are formed? • Draw a picture of a square with the diagonals drawn in. • The question asks, “how many triangles?” • “CLUE”: how many triangles o f allsiz e s ?
13. 13. Step 2: Devise a plan. How to count the # of triangles of all sizes? Plan: Figure out how many sizes there are and count them from smallest to largest.
14. 14. Step 3: Carry out plan. First, how many sizes of triangles are there?
15. 15. Step 3: Carry out plan. First, how many sizes of triangles are there?
16. 16. Step 3: Carry out plan. First, how many sizes of triangles are there? ‘little’ ‘big’
17. 17. Step 3: Carry out plan. Next, count how many of each size: # little? # big?
18. 18. Step 4: Look back. We’ve counted 8 triangles: If the diagonals of a square are drawn in, how many triangles of all sizes are formed? Answer: 8 4 4
19. 19. Consider the triangle below. How many triangles are there? (EXERCISE)
20. 20. The HARDEST part is to UNDERSTAND the problem. How do we STATE the problem so that it can be SOLVED? Here's a Hands-on Exercise 4 shapes are given. The group is asked to put them together to form a square.
21. 21. 4 pieces are to be arranged into a square. Both teams got it after a minute of trial and error.
22. 22. 1st part solved. As the shape is made of just 4 pieces, the problem can be solved quite fast.
23. 23. 2nd task: an extra square part is introduced as a 5th piece. The task is to now arrange all 5 pieces into a square!
24. 24. Both teams tried trial and error and even after 10 minutes , they could not get a solution. The facilitator (Jay) asked them to STATE the problem in their own words. Originally, the facilitator just said to form a square with all 5 pieces. But if the teams just went ahead and tried to solve the problem the same way as when using the 4 pieces , then they have actually not STATED the problem in a manner which can lead the way to a solution! Hence, the facilitator asked them to go back to the 4 pieces and look at it once more. The facilitator gave a hint by asking them what would the SIZE of the new square be?
25. 25. Since the 5th piece is small, the new square can only be slightly larger than the 4-piece square. (See next slide )
26. 26. The white strip area = small square area Hence, looking at 4-piece square , we can work with 2 pieces to get at least 1 side of the new square to be slightly longer than the original square’s side.
27. 27. The black arrow shows that in this case, the new length is too much.
28. 28. The black arrow shows that in this case , the new length just right. Now , we can proceed working with the 3 other pieces to fit into a square using the above 2 as one side of the new square!
29. 29. The teams were able to solve the 5-piece subsequently. CONCLUSION It is VITAL that the 1st part of Polya’s techniques requires the solvers to state the problem in an understandable way so that the next steps become obvious. In this case, the UNDERSTANDING of the problem comes from asking the question : What will the size of the new square be? Once its stated that way, ideas will come on how much bigger the new square will be? What would the new length be? How to obtain the new length? and so on.
30. 30. Polya’s approach is essential in utilising KAIZEN techniques in any area of work or home. You must STATE the problem clearly – in a measurable way so that the problem can be looked at systematically. Oftentimes , there are several ways to state the problem in a measurable way. Any such way is ok. Let us look at KAIZEN – the technique we use together with Polya’s method to solve problems that previously cannot be solved!
31. 31. Kaizen – Just Do It! • Kaizen means continuous improvement. • Moreover, Kaizen means continuing improvement in personal life, home life, social life, and working life. • When applied to the workplace Kaizen means continuing improvement involving everyone – managers and workers alike. - Mr. Masaaki Imai (1986)
32. 32. • Japanese word meaning –Kai - gradual and orderly change, Zen - for the better • involves everyone in the organization in small improvements using conventional knowledge and tools • without large capital investments.
33. 33. • A culture - way of life • Focusing on eliminating waste • Begins and ends with people • Total system focus – not just one department
34. 34. Kaizen Extends to Individual Life Everybody deserves to and should be willing to improve himself/herself for the better continually. “If a man has not been seen for three days, his friends should take a good look at him to see what changes have befallen him” - an old Japanese saying that describes how natural Kaizen is
35. 35. Kaizen Key Concepts • SDCA to PDCA – standardized work • Quality first – If something can be improved, a measure must exist by which improvement can be quantified – quality characteristics • Upstream management • Speak with data • Variability control and recurrence prevention
36. 36. Seven Deadly Wastes • Over-production • Waiting • Transportation • Over-processing • Inventory • Motion • Defects
37. 37. THE Kaizen WET BLANKET LIST 1. I am too busy to study it. 2. It's a good idea, but the timing is premature. 3. It is not in the budget. 4. Theory is different from practice. 5. Isn't there something else for you to do? 6. I think it doesn't match corporate policy 7. It isn't our business; let someone else think abo it. 8. Are you dissatisfied with your work? 9. It's not improvement, it's common sense. 10. I know the result, even if we don't do it. 11. I will not be held accountable for it. 12. Can't you think of a better idea?
38. 38. Basic Tips For Kaizen Activities 1. Discard conventional fixed ideas. 2. Think of how to do it, not why it cannot be done. 3. Do not make excuses. Start by questioning current practices. 4. Do not seek perfection. Do it right away even if for only 50% of target. 5. Correct it right away, if you make mistake. 6. Do not spend money for KAIZEN, use your wisdom. 7. Wisdom is brought out when faced with hardship. 8. Ask WHY five times and seek root causes. 9. Seek the wisdom of ten people rather than the knowledge of one. 10. KAIZEN ideas are infinite.
39. 39. The next few slides will show you some features of KAIZEN processes...
40. 40. About Mr Jay Menon Jay Menon is a retired semiconductor engineer based in Penang, Malaysia whose passion isn’t just limited to engineering or semiconductor topics. In fact, he is even busier now post-retirement. Jay is currently the chairman of Malaysian Mensa, the high IQ society. He is also the founder member of the Treasure Hunting Society of Malaysia. When he is not creating cryptic crossword clues or puzzles for treasure hunts across Malaysia, he is setting up teambuilding challenges for the corporate world. Jay trains on technical topics such as electrical and electronic issues for semiconductor companies. He also advises companies on problem- solving and continuous improvement techniques. Despite his highly technical background, Jay has been active in the Malaysian theatre scene where he has acted as well as directed plays with the Penang Players Music and Drama Society.