Problem Solving

The Problem-Solving Dilemma

I’m one of those people who makes a fitness plan that has one fatal flaw. “Whenever I have spare time, I’ll go for a walk.” We all know, I’ll never have the time. It’s not a commitment. I will go on my scheduled walk, unless something else comes up. Anything else, really.

When trying to implement a culture change or a lifestyle change or any kind of a change, you need to be intentional. And you need to put the new change, the new process, the new routine as the first priority. You will only miss this new routine if something extraordinary happens.

On my calendar, I scheduled four walks per day. That was my starting point. My total was four miles, so once I got in a little bit better shape, I was able to adjust and walk twice as far half as often, accommodating my perception that I need a flexible schedule.

I work with many people who need to make an improvement in their processes. They know that what they are doing is not working. They know it. But still, the new improvement can only be worked on during the “spare time”. Once I get through everything I do (which I know isn’t working), only then can I find the time to create an improved process that works.

Fascinating, isn’t it. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. And sometimes it takes just the right conditions to realize how silly it sounds. Saying it out loud usually does it for me.

What if your bicycle brakes only work about 60% of the time, but you never know when? Or imagine your only pair of shoes gives you blisters even on short walks. Or a tire on your car keeps going flat, but only once a week or so.

You will figure out what other options you have. And you will take the time and spend the money to fix these problems. Of course, you will.

Knowing that traditional Material Requirements Planning software doesn’t work well in the environment that we are in, why do we continue frantically applying methods that clearly aren’t working? The solution exists and it doesn’t involve doing the wrong things faster.

Saying you’ll focus on solving the issue when your schedule allows is like saying you’ll fix the leak in your boat once the water stops coming in. You can’t ignore the water in the boat, but you have to focus on stopping the leak. It’s a matter of priorities. You must be intentional. You must put fixing the problem as the current priority, not a future possibility.

Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP) is a methodology. Learning how it works is the first step to calming the chaos. When the tools we use are the right tools, it’s amazing how much success you can create. Let me help you calm your supply chain chaos.

John Melbye, DDPP, DDLP, CSCP. Owner and educator at Become Demand Driven.

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