Shortening the Problem Solving Cycle
One of the processes utilized in Six Sigma, DMEDI--or define, measure, explore, develop, and implement--has only five phases.
With DMEDI the problem-solving phase is completed long before the final phase, or the “implement" phase. While the implement phase means the project outcome is ready for market, in DMEDI, the Explore and Develop phases ensure, through project problem-solving controls, that concerns are addressed, analyzed, and fixed, and future fixes or improvements are developed prior to the Implement phase.
The phases of an Agile project are much the same where an iteration isn’t passed along until it’s totally complete; in Agile, done really does mean done. Some detriments to using more modern problem-solving techniques may be if the methodology is not utilized correctly or if a methodology doesn’t include a root cause analysis to identify problems during the project process.
Using a traditional problem-solving process is more than likely the best way for project management students and entry-level managers to grasp the basic knowledge of problem solving, but as technology and creativity continue to be inserted into projects, problem solving as a standalone management tool in today’s world of project management, is really not considered a best practice.
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