The Problem Ranking and Planned Fix Chart

Welcome back we’re glad to have you with us again. If you’re new, we are glad to have you too.

We are looking at various ways we can use process improvement tools in our daily life. If this is your first time joining us, or you joined recently, you may wish to look back at the blogs from June 5 and coming forward. It will give you a better idea of what we are doing.

Yesterday I talked with SAM, and he added to his list. It is below in the form of a chart, and we will get to it in a few minutes. First, though, I need to tell you that what we are going to do today is a highly modified Pareto chart. Pareto charts are usually built on data rather than just anecdotal information.  After we do this for the home, I will also (next week) make a Pareto chart for a work situation so you can see the difference.

For now, how can we take the every day and add quantifying data? It’s not as difficult as it seems. Let’s look at the problems, and next to them (in the chart below) we will add some data I was able to glean for some of them. Remember antidotal problems are still problems. Fixing problems is just easier when you can measure them.

Here are the concerns and what SAM has told me:

  • SAM said that there were snakes in the yard and it was too hot to cut. When I talked to him, he said they had seen eight snakes in the last month. We have data we can use.
  • In winter, there is little heat in the house. We moved that statement to down the list. SAM said it barely gets over 60° in the house during some storms. Now we have data and identification of a health risk due to possible hypothermia. Yet right now it is summer.

I think you get the idea on finding some data for measurements.  There were talks and discussions. The same friends who helped with the affinity chart came over and helped them to think of ideas on how to rank the problems and cure them. For where they were, and what was going on, everyone it is agreed it would be okay to ask for little support.

Talking to others is great. A few neighbors, worried about the lot volunteered to help the next Saturday. Another neighbor had a good mechanic who needed some copywriting done for ads he wanted to run. SAM is working to be a writer. A trade of services could greatly reduce the costs of getting the car fixed. The mechanic got ads, and SAM got to work on a project with his writing skills.

The landlord was invited over for fried chicken dinner that was supplied by SAM, his wife, and his mother-in-law. The landlord appreciated the good-looking lot. All the noise created by everyone working (and being very careful) and making a lot of noise scared away the snakes.

Talking to the landlord, the idea of saving money on the water bill was viewed as a great idea, and he personally came over the next week and replaced all the washers in all the faucets.

Below is the chart that shows the ranked problem areas, the measurement, and the fixes.  As I said this is not the normal use of a Pareto, and I will show you a regular Pareto chart in action, next week.  For now, we will call this chart ‘The Problem Ranking and Planned Fix Chart’

Problem Ranking Problem Data Fix
1 SAM said that there were snakes in the yard and it was too

hot to cut.

Saw eight snakes in the last month. In the early morning next Saturday, the group of neighbors who found out about this problem while talking to SAM will come over and have a house party to help them cut the yard and fix the place up. We thank SAM’s mother-in-law for talking to friends and helping to get this started.
2 Car needs to be fixed Car failed 3 times in one month The car failed to start three times in the last month. That is the problem and the data. This moves to number two on the list. It is now July, and the house heater has until November when it will be truly needed. Lack of transportation isolates people.
3 Money in is less than money out. Income per month is $1500, and pay out to bills is $1750 School debt, minimum-wage, and credit card debt can be put into one item. Money needs are not supported by the wages earned. Add up to everything that must be paid in the month and all the monies that are brought in in a month. If the income is less than the payments required, there is the data.
4 SAM and his wife needing jobs better jobs Quality of life and ability to meet each person’s potential We combined both into one item. This is not a matter of “Gee, I don’t want to work,” it is a matter of them fulfilling their potential. They cannot quit and hold. However, they can seek and find.  With the car fixed, they found good jobs in a medium sized city, just a 15 mile drive each way.
5 House too hot in summer Uncomfortable Their next-door neighbor had 2 fans in the attic doing nothing.  These were loaned to SAM and his wife
6 Too cold in the winter Health Hazard The landlord had the heater inspected, and all the vents cleaned.
7 Poor shopping choices considering the income Too Costly An agreement to stay within a set meal budget was agreed to, and a garden was planted in the now snake free yard.
8 Being overwhelmed Too many problems with not enough ideas SAM and his wife learned many good skills from their friends studying process improvement.  Those skills now serve them at home and at work.
9 Cranky Landlord Scary Everyone responds well to positive communication, collaboration, and a great fried chicken meal.

We will continue tomorrow with how data can help show a hidden factory.

Have a great Day.






Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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