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A problem is a deviation or gap between what is actually happening and what should be happening. A problem can also be defined as any customer need that is not met on-time in the right amount and in acceptable quality (according to the customer).
Problems can typically be categorized into one or more of the following categories:
Gap between what is expected and what is happening.
The first type of problem is when the standard is not met. In other words, a gap has been identified between what is expected and what is happening. Here’s an example. A customer requests a minimum of 100% on time delivery. Your organization however, is only performing at 75% on time delivery. That performance does not meet the customers standard and identifies a clear performance gap of 25%. This is a problem.
An unfulfilled customer needs or wants.
The second type of problem is again related to not meeting a customer's needs. That type of problem is best summarized by saying the standard is being achieved but a new higher standard is what the customer requires. Let’s use our on-time delivery example to understand a little better. Let’s assume the gap was closed. We are now performing at 100% on time delivery and meeting the proposed lead time of 1 week. Now the customer requests a 3 day delivery and they still require 100% on time delivery.
Performance, negative deviation from a standard.
The Last type of problem is when performance varies or is not consistently achieving the standard.
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