The Right Way of Solving a Problem

Whatever job we do at work, sometimes we face problems. Sometimes the computer does not work as expected. Sewing machines do not work as per expectation. The software or program does not work as expected. Local network or internet does work well. In such a situation how you fix the problem?  As a problem statement, I am talking about a system related problem.

The simple answer is - call the expert or customer support for help. What if you learn a few things to fix the common problems related to your work? I am meaning the tasks and troubleshooting that can be manageable and easily understood.

When we face a problem at work, we can't continue our work. We need to wait until the problem gets fixed. I am not telling you to be an expert in all areas, but you can include additional work in your bag to resolve the common issue by yourself.

Let me share one case.

Some of our clients call me when they face a problem (related to real-time shop floor control software). Normally, I advise them on what they can do to fix it or how to diagnose the issue. I used to tell the responsible person (customer end) to check a few things and get back to me with additional details. But most of the time they don’t revert with information whether it is resolved or not.

Reason for such reluctant behaviour - In most cases, it has been observed that after calling me,
  • They get involved in another task and forget what they need to do.
  • Maybe they are not interested in doing the work they are suggested and advised to do.
  • Or perhaps they are not capable of doing that
Next time they call me again for the same issue.

If the same problem occurs again and again. And even after giving an instruction one can't fix the problem, there is a real problem - interest of the learner, in communication, in the instruction of the trainer, and knowledge to understand the instruction. Another point - showing interest in fixing the issue using the guide.

The same applies to resolve many chronic problems in garment manufacturing. We face problems - there is no such workplace without having a problem. We ask for help from the expert or managers. But we do not apply the suggested procedure of doing things. 

After getting a problem, if we know how to investigate the issue (root cause), we can work on finding out the solution for it.

To get a fix faster and learning the solution, the following steps need to be practiced.
  • Call the support team (First internal support team. later call the external support team).
  • Follow the instructions provided by the support person
  • In case your problem is not yet resolved, get back to the support team again with analysis and additional information
  • Note down the instructions from problem definition to the solution (to learn and apply a second time if you can manage it yourself)
  • Create a troubleshooting guide
Refer to your guide when you face a similar issue. If you do that you don't need to wait for the support team to fix the problem. You can fix it yourself at your own convenience time. You can further take the assistance of the Internet to find a solution to your problem. 

For the process level issue, you can use the 5 Why method for finding the root cause.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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