The Problem-Solving, Problem-Prevention, and Decision-Making Guide: Organized and Systematic Roadmaps for Managers, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Problem-Solving, Problem-Prevention, and Decision-Making Guide

Organized and Systematic Roadmaps for Managers, 1st Edition

By Bob Sproull

Productivity Press

232 pages | 55 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780815361404
pub: 2018-03-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351116268
pub: 2018-03-21
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Each day, managers and employees are confronted with a plethora of real problems and decisions that are creating issues suchs as lost throughput, poor quality, personnel problems, and material shortages.How they approach these daily quandaries will determine how successful they are at resolving problems and making effective decisions. It is human nature for managers to solutions before they even understand the nature of the problems they are trying to solve. As a result, they end up making blind decisions that change perfectly acceptable processes for incorrect reasons.

The real secret to solving problems does not depend upon the number of sophisticated statistical tools that one applies -- The secret to solving most problems is to keep the approach simple and uncomplicated. Many managers and employees make mistakes because they fail to do what Toyota does so effortlessly -- . They fail to perform the 'genmba walk,' during which they go to see the actual process, understand the work, ask questions, and learn.

By following a structured approach, and using only simple tools, most problems can be solved, effective decisions can be made, and problems prevented. The cornerstones of this book are three detailed roadmaps for solving problems, preventing problems, and making effective decisions. Each roadmap contains a step-by-step explanation on how to solve existing problems, how to prevent future problems, and how to make effective decisions. The book provides real case studies to illustrate each of the techniques presented in the book.

Table of Contents

Preface. Chapter 1: The DNA of Problems and Problem Solvers. Chapter 2: Four Basic Tools of Problem Solving. Chapter 3: A Structured Approach to Problem Solving. Chapter 4: Define, Describe and Appraise the Problem. Chapter 5: Investigate, Organize and Analyze the Data. Chapter 6: Formulate and Test a Causal Theory Pages.Chapter 7: Choose the Most Probable Cause.Chapter 8: Develop, Test and Implement Solutions. Chapter 9: Implement, Document, and Celebrate. Chapter 10: Failing at Problem Solving .Chapter 11 A Message for Leadership. Chapter 12: A Structured Approach to Problem Prevention. Chapter 13: Defining High Risk Areas. Chapter 14: Defining Problems, Failure Modes and Effects. Chapter 15: Identifying the Highest Total Risk Problem. Chapter 16: Defining the Most Probable Cause. Chapter 17: Developing a Preventive Measures Plan. Chapter 18: Implement the Preventive Measures Plan. Chapter 19: The Case of the Engineering Backlog. Chapter 20: The Case of the Defective Pinions Pages.Chapter 21: The Case of the Cracking Rails Pages.Chapter 22: The Case of the Weld Spatter Pages. Chapter 23: A Case Study in Problem Prevention. Chapter 24: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. Chapter 25: A Case Study in Decision Making. Chapter 26: Needs Assessment.

About the Author


Bob Sproull

Prattville, Alabama, United States

Learn more about Bob Sproull >>

Bob Sproull is an Independent Consultant and the co-owner of Focus and Leverage Consulting. Bob is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Theory of Constraints Jonah. Bob has served as a Vice President of Quality, Engineering and Continuous Improvement for two different manufacturing companies, has an extensive consulting background in Healthcare, Manufacturing and Maintenance and Repair Organizations (MRO) and focuses on teaching companies how to maximize their profitability through an integrated Lean, Six Sigma and Constraints Management improvement methodology. Bob is an internationally known speaker and author of numerous white papers and articles on continuous improvement.

Bob’s background also includes 9 years with the Presbyterian University Hospital complex in Pittsburgh, PA where he ran the Biochemistry Department at Children’s Hospital, performed extensive research in breakthrough testing methods and assisted with the development of organ transplant procedures. Bob completed his undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Rochester with a dual Math/Physics major.

A results-driven Performance Improvement Professional with a diverse healthcare, manufacturing, MRO and technical background, he has significant experience appraising under-performing companies, developing and executing highly successful improvement strategies based upon the integration of Lean, Six Sigma, and Constraints Management methodology.

Bob is the author of two books, including The Ultimate Improvement Cycle: Maximizing Profits Through the Integration of Lean, Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints and Process Problem-Solving: A Guide for Maintenance and Operation’s Teams and co-author of Epiphanized: A Novel on Unifying Theory of Constraints, Lean and Six Sigma,2nd Edition, and Focus and Leverage: The Critical Methodology for Theory of Constraints, Lean, and Six Sigma (TLS).

Degrees, Certifications, and Memberships:

  • Bachelor of Science Equivalent in Math and Physics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
  • Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Kent State University
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt, Sigma Breakthrough Technologies, Inc.
  • TOCICO Strategic Thinking Process Program Certificate
  • TOC Thinking Processes (Jonah Course) L-3 Communications
  • Critical Chain Expert Certificate, Realization Technologies
  • Lean MRO Operations Certificate, University of Tennessee

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Decision-Making & Problem Solving
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Quality Control
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Manufacturing Industries
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Production & Operations Management