Getting to the root cause and solving the problems in your business is critical to success. The world is changing fast and your company has to keep up or get left behind, especially in the CPG industry. New problems are created everyday so it’s important for you to know what they are and how to solve them quickly and effectively.

The most powerful tool for solving the problems that lie between your company’s current state and vision for the future is the Why-Tree analysis. It combines the best of both worlds between the Fishbone and 5-Whys to lead your teams to the right answer in a systematic way that works every time it’s used properly.

Okay, let’s break that down:

The Fishbone
Pro: great tool for brainstorming the many potential root causes of an issue
Con: doesn’t clearly point you to the specific root of the issue

The 5-Why’s
Pro: provides the logic to show the chain of events leading to the problem
Con: doesn’t take into account that a problem may have multiple contributing factors

Fortunately for you, me, and the rest of us who solve problems for a living, there’s the Why-Tree. It combines the pros of both methods with neither of the cons.

It also has unlimited flexibility as to what types of problems it can be used to help solve. It can be used for safety, quality, productivity, cost, organizational, or any other issue causing a gap between your current state and target condition. Ideally, you would use the Why-Tree as part of a broader PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) approach to applying the scientific method. This way, you can facilitate experiments on the right things until the problem is completely and permanently resolved – at the root level, which will lead to other problems going away as well.

For example, a Why Tree analysis on a motor failure on a conveyor belt might lead you to learn that there’s no lubrication plan for conveyor belt motors. Fixing this problem will improve the performance of all conveyor belts across your entire plant – and possibly entire company. It’s a beautiful thing isn’t it?

Combine this capability with effective strategy deployment, leadership coaching, and performance metrics like OEE and other, and you’ve got a powerful cocktail for transforming a business.

Now, just imagine how much more successful your company becomes if every single employee is empowered with the skills and capability to use the Why-Tree analysis to solve the problems they see around them everyday.

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