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Paid for by Friends of Mindy Denninger. P.O. Box 719 Oxford, MI 48371

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PROBLEM SOLVING

“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?

Here is a link where you can look at Michigan bills by sponsor.  See if you can tell what problems they were trying to solve.