Advanced Problem Solving: A Systematic Approach to Root Cause Analysis

Workshop Description


For decades, managers, executives, consultants and academicians have been searching for an effective (if not foolproof) approach to solving problems. Kepner, Tregoe and others developed intuitive techniques so that problems and solutions could be treated and tested more efficiently. Shewhart, Ishikawa, Chambers and others pursued statistical approaches to analyzing process problems and their causes. Although both of these strategies have merits, the search nonetheless continues. This intensive two-day program is designed to move beyond past and current techniques for solving problems and beyond basic root cause analysis to present an advanced, systematic process for solving problems. It does so by connecting a structured, systematic approach to root cause analysis to a statistical understanding of work processes (theory of variation).

In this highly interactive seminar, you will learn how to solve future problems by applying a structured methodology that will yield faster and more effective solutions. The program provides opportunities to practice and apply the technique to case studies and participants’ on-job problems. 

Workshop Topics

  • Common Pitfalls in Problem Solving

  • Systematic Root Cause Analysis

  • The Missing Ingredient: Knowledge of Theory

  • Common Cause versus Special Cause Variation

  • Differentiating Between Symptoms and Real Problems

  • 8 Discipline (8D) Problem Solving

  • Case Studies and Business Applications 

Who Should Attend?

Managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals involved in their organizations’ process improvement efforts. Others interested in improving their problem-solving skills and corrective action processes. This workshop is most beneficial when a team from your organization attends together.


“Over my 20+ year career in Biotech Manufacturing Management, I have met a substantial number of trainers and consultants. Jim Leonard is far and above the most skilled trainer that I have had the pleasure to meet. I say this not only because of Jim's mastery of the tools and concepts of Lean, Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement, but also his style and ability to interject personal experiences, anecdotes, and humor in order to motivate and inspire even the most unwilling of students.”
— Glen Firth, Director of Manufacturing, GTC Biotherapeutics

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