## About this lesson

Problem analysis is the methodical approach to analyzing a problem and finding the root cause or causes. It normally includes creating and testing an hypothesis or an experiment to determine the cause.

## Exercise files

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Problem Analysis.docx203.6 KB Problem Analysis - Solution.docx

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## Quick reference

### Problem Analysis

Problem analysis is the methodical approach to analyzing a problem and finding the root cause or causes. It normally includes creating and testing an hypothesis or an experiment to determine the cause.

### When to use

Lean Six Sigma is a problem analysis and problem solving methodology. Every Lean Six Sigma project applies problem analysis – normally during the Analyze phase of the project.

### Instructions

Problem analysis should be an organized and methodical approach to determine the root cause or causes of a problem. The Lean Six Sigma methodology applies the scientific method to problem analysis. The method uses inductive reasoning to create hypotheses and deductive reasoning based upon testing to prove or disprove the hypotheses.

Hypothesis testing is used to demonstrate a cause and effect relationship. A question is formulated concerning the relationship between a possible cause and the observed problem or effect. This question is turned into a pair of hypotheses, the Null hypothesis and the alternate hypothesis. The Null hypothesis always takes the position that the possible cause has no effect and the alternate hypothesis is that the possible cause has an effect on the problem. The data is then analyzed to determine whether the Null hypothesis must be accepted or if it can be rejected.

An in depth course in hypothesis testing and the statistical techniques used in this analysis are provided in a companion course to this one.

### Hints & tips

- If you already have the data, hypothesis testing is fast and easy, so collect lots of data in the Measure phase and feel free to create lots of hypotheses in the Analyze phase.
- If you are not experienced in writing hypotheses, take our course on Hypothesis Testing.
- If you are not familiar with the statistical methods that can be used to accept or reject a hypothesis, take our course on Hypothesis Testing.

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