Fixing the symptoms:- y = f(x)

If I had one hour to live, I’d spend it in Math class… It never ends.

Hey guys, another Sunday. So I had a Migraine two days ago which inspired today’s post kind of. As a process improvement specialist, when you’re faced with a problem you tend to approach it from a special angle to minimize waste and maximize output.

Fixing symptoms. hmm… so a patient walks into the hospital and after several tests the patient is diagnosed of malaria. The patient is just showing symptoms at this point, Joint aches, sore throat, a mild head ache and a fever. Then the doctor recommends pain killers for the head ache, physical therapy for the joints and a cold towel for the fever and then sends the patient home. I won’t mention the Hospital’s name…

This is us 90% of the time trying to put ourselves in a state where we can feel okay but we really don’t address the issue and just like the patient we will go back to the doctor again and again.

As a Lean six sigma expert, you learn about something called Root cause analysis which is something I try to apply to my everyday life and it’s not just about finding the source of the problem, it’s about finding the effect of every input on our output. This is not going to be very technical, I hope.

Any problem you’re faced with is like a mathematical function where y = f(x). This seems simple but we know that x and y are variables meaning that they can assume any value but in a function like this, the value of “y” is heavily dependent on the values of “x”.

The outputs we get in life whether positive or negative just like this function heavily depends on our inputs. Depending on the function “f” a certain value for “x” might as well zero out our results. Now we have to always be aware of that value and be sure to treat it first.

Okay enough Math. Figuring out that problem, input or cause that is critical to creating our results is crucial to avoid having constant failures. The Pareto principle states that

For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This principle funny enough applies to every part  of your life.

80% of your profit is gotten from 20% of your customers. Also it’s most likely that 20% of the people in your life have contributed to 80% of your growth.

What Mr. Pareto and I are trying to say is that finding that important 20% is very important. At this point I will like to introduce a Brainstorming tool called the fishbone or ishikawa or cause and effect diagram. I’ve made use of this tool personally in solving simple and complex problems whether it is personal or professional, the Ishikawa does the trick. It let’s you see your problem from an aerial view.

The Fishbone diagram at one end has the problem, what you are trying to fix and then the major factors on the other end. Analyzing your problem with this tool gives you a clear view of the effects of some inputs.

That’s it for today, I hope you have a blessed week. Till next time 🙂 gotta run.

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