Key 3 of the 20 Keys Systems for Operations Improvement.

Are you spending enough time on Key 3 of The 20 Keys System?


“Two, or more, heads are often better than one to solve a problem”

is a well-known (slightly adapted) saying. This is exactly what Key 3 of the 20 Keys system for operations improvement is all about – Understanding problem solving by using Small Group Activities.

An often overlooked aspect of effective problem solving is the correct definition and understanding of the problem. Quality time needs to be spent on this, as it is the foundation for the next steps of brainstorming possible causes and analysing cause-effect relationships to identify the underlying root causes of the problem.

In this picture a small group activity at Grain Field Chickens busy defining the problem they are focussing on and discussing it to better understand what it is all about by asking questions like:

  • What happened?
  • Why did it happen?
  • Who was involved?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • How did it happen?
  • How often does it happen?

They also visited the workplace to “go and see” the problem.

To read more about ODI’s Continuous Operations Improvement Systems, click here.

Author: Johan Benadie: Director ODI