“How can we do this better?” is a question that engineers often ask when analyzing something that is isn’t working, is inefficient, or costs too much. These are the steps that are followed to correct the problem:
Define the problem - (if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it!) A real problem has to be something that can be defined in a sentence that makes sense. Opinions and desires are not the same as problems.
Root cause investigation - The cause of a problem must be identified. I keep asking “Why?” until we get to the gist of it. An issue needs to be deeply understood in order to be solved effectively.
Propose solutions – Benchmarking is asking: how are others dealing with this or a similar problem? How is that working out? Is there data that supports what we want to do? What are some creative new concepts we could try?
Implement – In engineering we might change a part or a process. In government it would be writing a bill and creating or revising laws.
Feedback – Did it work as expected? There should be a check or a test to see if the solution worked, and if it didn’t, then try something else.
I know that lawmaking is very different from engineering car parts, but it seems like the overall approach could be similar. What do you think?