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    • Developed by Charles Kepner and Benjamin Tregoe, Kepner Tregoe analysis (commonly called KT analysis) is a problem analysis model in which the “problem” is disconnected from the “decision”. It is a rational working method in the 1960s in which they formulated and defined the troubleshooting skills of people. The traditional thinking pattern involves the basic human investigative pattern, which involves: ·         What happened? ·         Why did it happen? ·         How should we act? ·         What will be the (future) result? KT methodology has 4 analysis steps, as below: 1.       Situational Analysis 2.       Problem Analysis 3.       Decision Analysis 4.       Potential Problem Analysis   1. Situational Analysis: ·         Identify the problems, list them in order, and stratify them based on importance, magnitude & level of influence. ·         Decide the priority level to measure severity of impacts (influence), urgency and growth potential ·         Plan the step by step approach 2. Decision Making: ·         Establish and classify requirements based on priority / ranking / weightage. ·         Categorize the requirements into “Must have” and “Nice to have”. ·         Assign importance factors from 1-10, where 10 is the most important and assign weightage ·         Generate the options / alternatives ·         Evaluate the alternatives by scoring ·         Do the risk assessment on adverse (harmful) consequences of your corrective actions ·         Choose the best possible option. Example 1:   Example 2:   3. Foreseeing Potential Problems: ·         Define the action ·         List the potential alternatives / opportunities O{op1, op2 ,..,opN} ·         Consider the possible solutions (e.g. the second one) ·         Implement the action to address the likely cause/solution ·         Prepare actions to address the most likely (possible) effects 4. Problem Analysis: The 5 steps to KT Problem Analysis are as below: 1.       Define the Problem 2.       Describe the Problem 3.       Establish possible causes 4.       Test the most probable cause 5.       Verify the true root cause Advantages and Key features of KT analysis: ·         It is a structured methodology for data collection, prioritization & Evaluation. ·         It is very detailed and complex method applicable in all areas ·         It is a root cause analysis and decision-making method. ·         It is a systematic approach for problem solving, decision making, and potential risk assessment. ·         This method involves a rational and systematic approach to analyzing a problem without jumping to conclusions or subjectivity in decision making. ·         This method requires team work, however it does not have the explicit steps of Six Sigma or the G8D methodologies, this can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the problem you are addressing. ·         It is a faster approach compared to other methods, without statistics and Six Sigma it is quicker to progress through this method but as a result it could become difficult to detect minor variation in a process.
    • K-T method or the Kepner – Tregoe method is a systematic method to analyse the problems and understand their root causes, without making any assumptions or jumping to the conclusions. Usually, 5 steps are there in Kepner-Tregoe Problem Analysis, (1) Define the Problem, (2) Describe the Problem, (3) Establish possible causes, (4) Test the most probable cause, (5) Verify the true root cause 1.     Define the Problem, This is the first step in this process and the most crucial one too, many people tend to skip this step thinking they know the problem already, such conclusions may lead to a wrong diagnosis and waste of time.   For example, if an employee reports “My computer screen is blank” to an IT person. K-T method guides us to ask a few basic questions that can expose far more information about the nature of the problem and helps us to define the possible causes effectively. Let’s expand this further with a few basic questions,   Let’s assume these answers to expand the problem definition from “My computer screen is blank” 1.      Who - Mr. Moorthy 2.      Why - Needs to see his screen so he can perform his duties, 3.      What – The computer screen went blank when booting up and nothing appears on the screen and the start-up sound was heard. 4.      When - Morning when he came for work, it was working fine till the previous evening. 5.      Where - Mr. Moorthy’s computer. Let’s restate the problem definition. “Mr. Moorthy  is unable to perform his duties because his screen goes blank during boot it worked well till he shut it down yesterday” The above statement is a much better problem description, which allows us to understand exactly what the problem is and allows us to narrow down the questions that will help us to understand the impact as well. A brief simulation before the problem statement will also help, Example. why would the screen be blank? The reasons could be, a)      The graphics card could have failed? ·        Ans, no the computer wouldn’t boot, it would give 3 loud beeps then stops. b)      The screen could be faulty? ·        Ans, no the manufacturer’s logo appears at first then the screen goes blank. c)      Hard Drive could be faulty and the computer doesn’t boot? ·        Ans, no we hear the windows start-up music. d)      The backlight might have failed and the screen is dark? ·        Ans, no the logo appears perfectly visible. e)      The display could be switching over to an external screen? ·        Ans, no we can see everything on external display but when we switch to internal it’s still blank.     Let’s restate the problem definition now, “Mr. Moorthy  is  unable to perform his duties because  his internal screen goes blank when Windows is starting since he shut it down yesterday”   2.      Describe the Problem, Let’s describe 4 aspects of any problem, 1.      What the problem is, 2.      Where the problem occurs, 3.      When it occurred, and 4.      The extent to which it occurred. We, already have the answers for these questions when we fine-tuning our Problem Definition, but the IS and IS NOT method is allowing us to explore these even further. For the above-mentioned aspects, let’s describe what the problem IS, and also what the problem COULD BE but IS NOT. Let’s fill out the table for the problem we have taken, 1.     Identify possible causes The arrived comparison of “what the problem IS and IS NOT” will help us to sensibly inspect what changes could have affected the items in the 1st column but not the items in the 2nd. Our own experience will tell us the majority of the problems are because of the recent change, let’s add 2 more columns to the worksheet, the ‘Differences’ column will list the differences between the IS and IS NOT, and the ‘Changes’ column will list the changes to where the problem IS that could account for the differences. Another important aspect is that the effects don’t always follow the action immediately, most recent changes could have uncovered the fundamental problems that were always there, so when considering the list of changes we should not limit ourselves only to recent ones. 1.     Test most probable causes The list of changes identified in the previous step will become a list of possible causes and a Subject Matter Expert ranks the possible causes by asking “If THIS is the root cause of this problem, does it explain everything the problem IS and what the problem COULD BE but IS NOT?” In our example, 1.     Verify true cause In this step we need to compare the probable causes against the Problem Description and check does it satisfy all the conditions of the problem or not? When we find a cause that explains all these conditions, we must test it to confirm whether it is correct with the procedure in the ‘True if’ column starting with the most probable cause. When we are confident that all the identified root causes of the problem, then we need to develop a solution and check if we are satisfied this would prevent any reoccurrence of the problem. If we agree that we are satisfied then implement the solution, and test the problem again under the same conditions, does the issue still occur? In our example, we have determined the problem with the display is due to a recent driver update which was installed but did not take effect until Mr. Moorthy had restarted his computer. As a corrective action we may attach an external screen and uninstall the driver update and restart the computer, issue is resolved, but has the root cause been addressed? It is not appropriate to ask all the employees not to update the drivers, hence as an immediate action we can ensure Mr. Moorthy does not install this driver again. and as a preventive step we may notify all the employees who has similar type of computer that they should not install this driver until further notice. Conclusion, The purpose of this method is to bring situational awareness to the solution/opportunity. This method advocates a balanced and systematic approach to analyse the problem without jumping to conclusions or making assumptions based on experience. Compared to other methods one of the biggest advantages is the IS and COULD BE but IS NOT procedure which provides an intuitive approach to identify the possible causes of a problem. This process may be faster than the other methods on the other hand it may be harder if not impossible to detect delicate variations in a process, hence this method needs to be implied sensibly.  
    • Kepner Tregoe method is based on 4 rational processes in which 4 fundamental questions are answered:   In Situation analysis it clarifies the problem situation on what happened ? In Problem analysis the actual cause of the problem & the relationship between cause and result were searched for why did it happen ? In Decision analysis it was based on the decision making criteria, choices are made to arrive at potential problem resolutions on how should we act ? In Potential Problem analysis the potential future problems were anticipated and preventative actions are developed as to what will the result be ?   KT method is a 8 step process namely: Step 1 – Create a decision statement Step 2 – Define operational objectives Step 3 – Weight operational objectives Step 4 – Generate a list of alternatives Step 5 – Assign relative scores to each alternative Step 6 – Rank the highest-scoring alternatives Step 7 – Generate a list of problems  Step 8 – Compare rankings   Examples: 1. In order to better serve its customers, Microsoft’s Customer Service & Support (CSS) incorporated the Kepner-Tregoe methodology into CSS systems and metrics around the world.   2. Target Corporation implemented the Kepner-Tregoe (KT) approach to improve IT incident management performance to speed up the resolution process of the incidents with minimal impact on operations and customers
    • The Kepner Tregoe analysis is based on methodology where the problem is disconnected from the decision, also termed as PSDM ( problem solving and decision making).    Both inventors Charles Kepner and Benjamin Tregoe came up with the method where they dived in depth about the troubleshooting skills of people.  Under traditional methods , problem’s are worked upon after four basic questions are answered, which are  1. What is the issue? 2. Why did it happen? 3. What needs to be done? 4. What needs to be done to prevent it from happening again?    Whereas Kepner Tregoe method aka rational processes , this traditional pattern is modified and four step rational processes in which four fundamental questions are being asked , which are as follows ,    Situation analysis- Here we shed some light on the problem/ issue.  Problem analysis- Here real cause of the problem and the connection between the cause and result are being looked into: Decision analysis- After utilizing decision making tools , choices are made to produce potential solutions. Potential Problem analysis- At this point preventative actions are developed and future occurrence precautions are proposed.    KT matrix is root cause analysis used in organizational decision making.    There are eight major steps involved in KT matrix ,   1. create a decision statement  2. define operational objectives  3. weigh operational objectives  4. generate a list of alternatives  5. assign relative scores to each alternative  6. rank the highest scoring alternatives 7. generate a list of problems 8. Compare rankings .    For example- In order to focus more on customer satisfaction in 2014, Microsoft customer care and support utilized the KT method into its CSS systems and metrics . To be more accurate, the rational processes of this approach were used by the technical and legal team members to find the actual cause within time frame , more accurately with better decisions making and least problem reoccurrence.  Key areas of focus for the CSS team were ,  - increase customer satisfaction and teamwork  - customer handling experience to be best in class - reduce key metrics like DTS ( days to solve ) and TMPI ( times minute per incident).    After 3 months results were quite evident with DTS reduced by an average of 1 per day case , TMPI deduced about 27 mins per case and cyst satisfaction was up by 3.3%.    Some of the notable advantages it possesses could be , but not limited to ,    a. It allows businesses to make smart decisions in critical issues which are often subject to biases such as emotion or time constraints.  b. Based on company requirements, it is quite competent to prioritize key factors by assigning numerical scores .  c. It is rigorous decision making technique with a measurable evaluation of decisions and their options as well .  
    • KT Analysis or Kepner Tregoe Analysis is a rational problem analysis model created by Charles Kepner & Benjamin Tregoe. This is a very popular problem solving method & has found its common application in field of IT & has now also being included as a part of IT infrastructure library framework.   It has two fundamental building blocks i.e. Problem Analysis & Decision Analysis.    The Problem analysis focuses on defining & describing the problem, identify differences & changes, formulating the causes, testing the causes against the facts & finding the true causes.    The Decision Analysis focuses upon objectively taking a decision by weighing the objectives (musts & wants) & then evaluating those alternatives against those weighted objectives in order to select the suitable alternative.    Here I will be focussing on explaining the problem description aspect which is a distinguishing factor for KT approach.   Often it has been observed that people try to jump into finding causes to any problem which is not the effective way of problem solving without understanding the true problem.   While there are various problem solving tools available but none of them focuses upon dissecting & understanding the problem first which will give us a more focussed problem to work upon. The KT method is successful in bridging this gap.   The key to problem solving is to study the problem in great detail first before going into the causes. Let us try to understand this through an example:-   Let us see an example of a poorly written problem statement : "The banking mobile banking application is closing unexpectedly.”   Now by using KT analysis the above problem would be described basis 4 aspects i.e. What is the problem, Where is the problem, when the problem occurred & how much is the extent of the problem. For each aspect we would be describing each of the four aspects in the form IS & IS NOT in order to further explore the problem:-   Let us analyze the above problem :-   WHAT IS : XYZ Bank Mobile Banking Application closing unexpectedly during fund transfer.  WHAT IS NOT : Mobile Banking Application not closing unexpectedly while performing other tasks.   WHERE IS : This issue is being experienced by customers in the European region. WHERE IS NOT : This issue is not being experienced by customers in the other regions.   WHEN IS : This issue is being experienced by customers after doing the recent update of the application on 26th June. WHEN IS NOT : This issue is not being experienced by customers before the application update.   HOW MUCH IS : This issue is being experienced by all the customers having a current account. HOW MUCH IS NOT : This issue is not being experienced by customers having a savings account.   Thus now we have understood the true nature of the problem & can be described as:- “ XYZ Bank’s mobile banking application is closing unexpectedly while performing fund transfer for its current account holders in the European region post the recent update of the application on 26th June”.   Thus now we have a comprehensive & a very focussed problem to work upon & now we can now deep dive into finding the causes, validating those causes & accordingly come up with solutions.
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