When the problem itself is the tool we use to describe the problem, then you really have a problem. This is the case with the Rug Doctor Troubleshooting Process Map. Let me explain.
Several weeks ago, Adam Richardson, a writer I follow on Harvard Business Review posted a funny tweet about a problem he had with a Rug Doctor Rented machine.
Apparently, Adam had an issue with a rented upholstery tool. Here’s his tweet:
Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link he posted and found the Rug Doctor Troubleshooting process map. What I found was a very troubled process map – yes. Now, when the problem is the tool that you are using to describe the situation or problem is, itself, the problem, then it’ll be very difficult to fix the initial and original problem. This highlights the importance of effectively and properly using problem solving tools. If applied incorrectly, then we’ll be missing the mark and we’ll either do one of the following:
- We’ll conclude that the tool itself was flawed.
- We’ll conclude that we’re not smart enough to solve the problem.
Do you see the issue? Neither of the options above are correct. The problem is really in our implementation of the problem solving tool. Fix that, then what we have is clarity, allowing us to properly diagnose, assess, and eventually solve the problem.
In this specific case, we are able to more accurately fix the Rug Doctor upholstery problem.
Here’s my video explanation of how to improve the Rug Doctor’s process map. With the inclusion of just a few steps, the map can be improved significantlyl