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The first step is to clarify what issue you are trying to understand (i.e. The problem of breaking dishware). The next step is to list all the questions you want answered in order to conduct proper process analysis (i.e. Where are the dishes breaking? What types of dishes are breaking?). Those questions will drive your data collection efforts and help you determine the root causes.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.