The team here at Free Flow Partners mind map to:
- Develop Strategy and Tactics
- Generate Ideas
- Solve Problems
We use mind mapping tools with clients to solve problems and improve business and manufacturing processes.
We like to use the Fishbone or Ishikawa diagram for brainstorming and problem solving.
In a nutshell the ‘problem statement’ or ‘undesirable effect’ goes into the ‘head of the fish’ and you then identify the ’causes’ that are creating the problem.
We’ve been using XMIND – a free mind mapping tool which has a good collection of built in templates including the Fishbone/Ishikawa diagram. You can download XMIND for free, it’s simple to use and the next time you get the team together to solve a problem simply open up XMIND load the Fishbone template and get stuck in.
Some tips for problem solving using the Fishbone/Ishikawa diagram:
- Get everyone to write down their individual ideas on the causes of the problem on post it notes.
- Take everyone’s post it notes and filter them into themes like: People. Process, Equipment, Materials, Environment, Management.
- Draw your identified themes onto the main body ‘center line’ of the diagram.
- Drill down further to get to root causes.
- Get the group to agree on the 3 main causes using N/3 voting / multivoting.
- Verify the 3 main causes – which one has the biggest impact on the problem – you could do a Pareto Analysis.
- Do a 5 Why Therefore analysis on the root causes.
- Form a Kaizen Blitz group, develop solutions and implement using the A3 Storyboard PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle or DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control) Six Sigma continuous improvement process.
- Remember: There are no bad ideas!