Do you have a Problem that Needs Solving Quickly?

Do you have a Problem that Needs Solving Quickly?

Rapid Problem Solving is an extremely useful tool that gives us a systematic approach to dealing with day to day issues and problems that arise in every organisation. The key to success with Rapid Problem Solving is using a collaborative approach thus ensuring collective learnings. Here you will find a “How to” guide to solve 80% of problems.

The Rapid Problem-Solving Process:

The Rapid Problem Solving Process has 4 key Steps:

  1. Define & Investigate the problem
  2. Brainstorm potential Causes
  3. Root Cause Analysis
  4. Identify Solutions & Assign Countermeasures

IMPORTANT: Use a Standardised template to navigate through the process. To download Rapid Problem Solving template, click here.

Problem Solving

Example of a Rapid Problem Solving Template:

Rapid Problem Solving Template

The Scenario

How to Guide, Crystal Lean Solutions

Most of you will recognise, both this visual and have experienced this within our professional lives. Let’s take a closer look with Rapid Problem Solving.

1. Define the Problem & Investigate:

  • What is Occurring?
  • Where is it Occurring?
  • When did it Occur?
  • Impact of Problem?

Example: “From Jan 1 to May 5th, the average time to deliver rocks is 5 hours from A to B, which is 2 hours above the target. This is occurring with all Type ZX Model transportation and is extending the delivery date of the pyramid by 5 months, resulting in a very dissatisfied customer.

CLS Problem Statement

2. Brainstorm Potential Causes:

Using the Fishbone Diagram to capture and organise the teams brainstorming ideas on potential causes

Think of:

Direct Causes – The event that directly caused the symptom

Contributing Causes – Reasons that contributed to the problem, but on its own did not cause the problem

Root Causes – Reason for the problem, which if taken away can prevent recurrence


Direct Cause: Not possible to push 20 rocks with current number of people

Contributing Causes: Barrow sinking in sand, Moving barrow during the hottest sun

Root Cause: Incorrect wheel design

4. Root Cause Anaylsis

Use the 5-Whys process to help you drill down to the root cause once you have all the inputs/cause established on the fishbone.


Sometimes you may need to use less or more than 5 Whys!


Cause: Incorrect wheel design

First Why: Why is the wheel designed incorrectly?

The design process considered one design for wheel

Second Why: Why does the process consider only one design?

There is no requirement to consider other designs in the process

Summary: Real root cause is within the Design Process

Root Cause Analysis

4. Identify Solutions & Assign Countermeasures

What types of countermeasure can we use?

Containment/ Immediate action – Action that will contain the problem immediately (Sticky Plaster!)

Corrective Action – Action that will prevent the immediate reoccurrence of the problem

Preventative Action – Action that will prevent the re occurrence of the problem FOREVER!

Action Plan Problem Solving


Direct Cause: Not enough people to push rocks

Immediate Action:

Option 1: Add more people to push the barrow

Option 2: Reduce number of rocks on load and increase number of rock deliveries

Root Cause:

  1. Incorrect wheel design
  2. Limitations within the Design Process

Preventative Action:

  1. Redesign wheel to move barrow quicker and with a better material for sand application
  2. Update the Design Process to include a minimum of 3 concept designs

Levels of Counter Measures:

The higher you go on the pyramid the better the Countermeasure will be. The ideal is to prevent the occurrence of the error, for example, the three-pin plug.

However, sometimes it may not be practical or economically viable to install physical solutions. As always, a risk-based approach should be used, and common sense must prevail!

Levels of Counter Measures

To find out more, click on the link below.

Alternatively please contact Clodagh at

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