Six Sigma Forum Webinar - Strategic Problem Solving with Bruce Barth

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Tool knowledge should dominate problem solving skills, right? Wrong! Even the finest, most complicated and or most eloquent tools, by themselves, do not guarantee problem solving success. A toolbox does not insure success in any process or profession. Process owners, for example, need the strategic and tactical skills necessary to successfully use their tools to run their processes. Problem solvers, likewise, need strategic and tactical skills to guide their tool usage for successful problem solutions. Solving problems is more important than committing “random acts of tool usage”.

The Strategic Problem Solving (SPS) model was developed and implemented over a decade ago by Ford Powertrain to bring strategic and tactical thinking to 6-Sigma. It is now the basis for Green Belt and Black Belt training across the company. Traditional 6-Sigma training is tool-heavy to the point that students often assumed that tools are the strategy. This mindset results in long, slow projects with a high failure rate because the trainees never really learned how to solve a problem, regardless of their tool knowledge.

SPS teaches students how to solve problems and builds a consistency that helps Master Black Belts coach efficiently and increase project throughput, often with simple tools but with the right strategy and tactics. There are three key steps in SPS. 1. Define and characterize the KPOV, 2. Determine how the product or process is supposed to work, and, 3. Contrast how the product or process is working compared to how it is supposed to work. Five key strategies guide the process and efficient tactics are derived from the strategies. Tools are just the implements for executing tactics. We will introduce you to Strategic Problem Solving in the Webinar.


Speaker Bio:

Bruce Barth is a retired Ford Motor Company 6-Sigma Master Black Belt. He also is a certified Black Belt, Green Belt and Project Champion through Ford. He holds ASQ CSSBB and CQE certifications. Bruce has a BSE in Metallurgy, an MSE in Mechanical Engineering and received applied statistical training as both an undergraduate and graduate student from the University of Michigan. He wrote the current Ford SPS and 6-Sigma Green Belt material and copyrighted them for Ford before retiring. Thank you to Ford Motor Company for granting permission to discuss SPS in the Webinar.

After retirement, Bruce formed The Process Factor, LLC as a consulting and training development company. Email:

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Date & Time
Friday July 24th, 2020 11:00am CDT
End Date & Time
Friday July 24th, 2020 12:30pm CDT
Host Type
Category Public Calendar

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Date & Time: 07/24/2020 12:00:00 PM EDT

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