I mentioned yesterday that how we process the C4 Card depends on the type of problem we have. The types of problems that I have written about in my books are:
• Alert Response Problems:
• Problem occurs that threatens your ability to serve your customer
• Requires immediate report and immediate response
• Short term countermeasures contain the problem from spreading further
• Follow up analysis to find the root cause and develop a permanent solution
• For these problems, you’ll need to take some action to contain or correct the problem immediately. When the “crisis” passes, grab a C4 card or worksheet and quickly capture the problem and describe what actions you took. Try to pull a few people together to dig into the problem deeper to make sure your countermeasure will correct the root cause.
• Measured Response Problems:
• Problem is visible through process metrics as an “out-of-standard” condition
• Could also be a nuisance problem but doesn’t threaten customers (usually smaller in scope)
• Individual reports the problem
• Coach works through the problem with the individual, escalating the problem if warranted
• Together they develop and implement the countermeasure
• For these problems, when you see the deviation from standard in your process, pull a C4 Card and capture the problem as the gap between what you planned and what you actually got. Assign a coach – or do it yourself – and work through the card to define and clarity the problem, the find the root causes. Afterwards, develop several countermeasures to try and implement the one that works best in every similar process.
• Individual Ideas:
• Individual has an idea and is willing to share it with us
• Ideas often stem from unresolved problems that may be hard to define
• Coach works through idea with the individual to identify the problem and check if the idea actually solves the problem
• Together they decide whether or not to implement the idea
• For these problems, write the idea in the countermeasure section of the card, then, as the leader coaches the team member, we identify the problem that prompted the idea, the find its root cause. If the idea solves the problem at that root cause level, we can say it’s a good idea; if it doesn’t solve the problem, try something else!
• Management Response Problems:
• Problem is created when management sets a goal that exceeds current ability (push the standard; set a stretch goal) OR
• Business is making slow or no progress on annual or quarterly goals
• Assign a team to work through the problem solving process to pinpoint problems or barriers to success, find its cause or articulate the obstacles, develop and implement a set of countermeasures, then track progress
• For these problems, pull a team together from the start and build the plan to achieve the goal, but dig through to understand not just the root causes of any problems you foresee in pursuing this new standard, but also to identify any potential barriers to success.
Tomorrow, let’s talk about escalating and using the C4 worksheet.
Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow.