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Thursday, August 01 2019

Purdue MEP Develops Online Problem Solving Course


Problem Solving Using PDCA, A3, and Root-Cause Analysis

In any workplace, problems arise every day that need to be solved. In a manufacturing environment, solving problems can be challenging due to the large number of interrelated systems that exist in the typical manufacturing plant. For example, is a high defect rate due to issues with incoming materials, operator techniques, machine settings, or all of these?

To solve problems correctly and efficiently, using a structured problem solving method is key. Structured problem solving allows you to use proven methods to identify the true problem, your desired target, high-potential solutions and then validate that the solutions implemented indeed solved the problem.

In this course, you’ll learn about how the Plan-Do-Check-Act method of problem solving, the A3 problem solving tool, and the root-cause analysis technique form a foundation for effective problem solving. You’ll also learn how to use additional problem solving tools, including Pareto charts and fishbone diagrams. Together, this new knowledge and skill will help you solve problems in a more streamlined and efficient manner, making you a valuable resource within your organization.


  • Describe the concept of structured problem solving.
  • List the benefits of using a structured problem solving method.
  • Describe the goals of each Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) step.
  • List the activities that take place during each PDCA step.
  • Explain how the A3 form is used to document PDCA.
  • List and describe problem solving tools and techniques, including root-cause analysis, Pareto charts, and fishbone diagrams.

Appropriate for: Engineers, supervisors and team leaders, technicians, and other manufacturing employees with at least two to three years of experience in manufacturing


Self-paced, access at any time

Time to complete

Approximately 4 hours



Technology requirements

Internet access suitable for streaming videos, speakers or headphones, an updated browser (Chrome or Firefox preferred), Adobe Acrobat Reader

Register for our new “at your own pace” online course today! 

Cost $79

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