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  1. Q. 153 VOC via observation is a very powerful approach for problem identification in DMAIC projects as well as in Design Thinking. Observing is thought be as "listening with your eyes". There are 6 points to remember whenever we use observation as a tool to identify an underlying problem/challenge. These six points are given below along with examples from my training experience (in brackets). 1. Look for things that prompt behavior (Whenever we show detailed explanations or create summary pages on the screen, few participant's try to take a picture of the same.) 2. Look for adaptations/hacks/workarounds (To avoid switching between a notepad and a laptop, few participants make notes in a word document) 3. Look for what people care about/value the most (Participants are always interested in examples of real time industry application of the tools they are learning) 4. Look for body language (Some participants might get distracted if they have to toggle between multiple applications) 5. Look for patterns (Since we train in different states of the country and abroad, participants exhibit differences in learning curves, preferred mode of engagement, openness to questioning, etc.) 6. Look for the unexpected (Participants who score well during checkpoint quizzes necessarily are not the top scorers in the main exam.) We at Benchmark Six Sigma regularly improvise and fine tune our delivery, course content, offerings and engagement methods based on these observations. Here are a few questions for everyone: 1. What are the ways you have used observation as a tool to identify avenues for product/process improvement or plan to do the same? 2. Do you have examples for any of the 6 points mentioned above (or for all of them) from your daily processes? 3. What actions did you take post identification? Looking forward to interesting examples. (Note to remember: We must observe with an open and curious mind avoiding generalizations, judgment, and assumptions.)  Note for website visitors - Two questions are asked every week on this platform. One on Tuesday and the other on Friday. All questions so far can be seen here - https://www.benchmarksixsigma.com/forum/lean-six-sigma-business-excellence-questions/ Please visit the forum home page at https://www.benchmarksixsigma.com/forum/ to respond to the latest question open till the next Tuesday/ Friday evening as per Indian Standard Time. The best answer is always shown at the top among responses and the author finds honorable mention in our Business Excellence dictionary at https://www.benchmarksixsigma.com/forum/business-excellence-dictionary-glossary/ along with the related term.
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