By describing the ideal situation, explaining the problem and determining the consequences using the “five times why” method, one will be able to think ‘outside the box’ and ensure that the problem is looked at from all angles. Are you familiar with the Problem Definition Process explanation?
Problem Definition Process is a tool that can be used to compare different problems, for example, within an organisation or in a project, and can highlight general problems that were previously unclear.
What initially appears to be the whole problem is often only a part or a symptom of a larger, deeper, and more complex issue.
Summarise the problem briefly and position the key information at the beginning of the single-phrase problem definition.
In the case of the airline company, this could be that: The company’s current check-in protocol is inefficient in use.
After all, nobody has the means to solve every small problem.
For example, if the airline transports 50 passengers per day, and if the current check-in protocol wastes about 6 minutes per passenger, this results in a loss of about 5 hours per day, which amounts to €100 per day, or €36,500 per year.A cost-benefit analysis, for example, can show whether the investment into an online check-in portal can be recouped.Approaching the problem with sufficient background information is advantageous, in that one can spot previously unforeseen issues.If every passenger has to check in at the airport, long queues develop as a result and this takes up a lot of time.An inefficient check-in protocol is time consuming and entails extra costs. After all, the aircraft has to depart as soon as possible.The check-in protocol must therefore be optimised, while making the situation understandable for all passengers.Accurately describing the problem is often half the work.However, defining the problem is essential before switching to, for example, a Root Cause Analysis, making an Ishikawa diagram or performing a cause-and-effect analysis.Start by describing how things should work in the most ideal situation.When engaging in the Problem Definition Process, use Lean’s “5 times why” method: who, what, where, when and why.While defining the problem definition, all five W’s should be fully answered.