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Issue #10 | Never Start With A Solution


Welcome to our 5-Bullet Friday Lean Thinking Newsletter where we share what has caught our eye this week. You can register for our newsletter.

Never start with a solution

When you start any problem-solving project with a solution in mind, we suffer from confirmation bias. We build problem statements, collect data and interpret data in a way that always confirms the solution we have in mind.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favour, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.

As Richard H. Thaler, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics explains it:

“The only protection against overconfidence is to systematically collect data, especially data that can prove you wrong.”

When we start with a solution in mind, we naturally create our thought funnel where we systematically collect data, stories, evidence and feedback that supports the solution we have in mind.

The danger is that the solution might be wrong, which means it might not resolve the issues we are facing. Or it might be a poor solution that misses the mark. Even if you have a solution in mind, reframe it as one of many potential solutions and stay open.

Live Webinar: Fundamentals of Lean Course

Over 6000+ students have registered for our Fundamentals of Lean training course so far and the feedback has been great. So, as we are always trying and testing things out, we decided we wanted to try a Live Webinar format for the course to see if it could work just as well.

90-min Live Fundamentals of Lean Webinar Course

In September, we are launching a 90-min Live Fundamentals of Lean Webinar Course and you can register here.

If you have already completed the Fundamentals of Lean course, then it is not for you. But if you started, did not finish the course or taking one of our courses for the first time, then feel free to join us here.

The session will be limited to the first 50-people who join on the day.

Delegate all decisions!

Well maybe not all. But it’s a good maxim to live by.

If you want to be a good manager and become a good leader, you have to start by learning to delegate. And part of that delegation process is giving your teams the ability to make decisions. The goal is to:

“Make decisions at the lowest level possible”

There are a couple of reasons for this.

We want to make the decisions as close to the value stream as possible. Every time a decision is escalated, the person making the decision is further removed from the value creation process. They are often less informed.
Micromanagement is at the heart of burnout. The sheer volume of decision-making placed on some individuals causes decision fatigue. Managers need space to plan, think, and create flow and the constant volume of lower-level decisions placed on individuals drains the talent we have invested in.
If the vision and goal are clearly set, then allowing team members to make decisions not only improves morale, ownership and motivation, but it builds learning and employee growth

SIPOC – Don’t start a project without it

Some of you are probably asking the question “What is a SIPOC?”

If you do not know what a SIPOC is then get yourself onto our Yellow Belt or Green Belt course to find out more as this tool is one of the essential parts of the Lean Toolkit for building successful projects from the start. Here is a quick summary.

A SIPOC is a very high-level process map that summarises a business process into 5 distinct fields: Supplier, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers.

Before starting a project, it’s critical to be 100% aligned on the process and the scope. We need to know who are customers are and what are the outputs they are looking for. We also need to know the inputs and who is supplying them. And most importantly, what are the critical process steps to produce the service or product?

At the start of any project, we will get the team members together and begin to build a SIPOC so that we can:

  • Be clear and aligned on the core process steps
  • Helps to identify the scope of the project
  • Identify internal and external customers do we need to engage with
  • Find the potential suppliers to the process
  • Create team alignment across the project on what the aim and goal of the project really is.
SIPOC Miro Board | Lean Training Course

Taken from a recent Masterclass Session | Join our GB Masterclass to learn more

We cover the SIPOC in our Lean Yellow Belt & Lean Green Belt Course and on our GB Masterclass course as a group activity to explore the complexities in more detail – Learn more about all the Lean Six Sigma Courses on we offer.

Being read: Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

This book is described by Paul Krugman as the most important economics book of the year/decade and it explores the idea of inequality within our society.

“The poor catch up with the rich to the extent that they achieve the same level of technological know-how, skill and education, not by becoming the property of the wealthy” – Thomas Piketty

This got us thinking about our role in professional education and how we can make our courses accessible to all, whatever your background. In a brainstorming session with the team, we have decided to test a Pay What You Can Afford scheme for our Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Course.

Find out more about the Pay What You Can Afford scheme

Depending on the response, we will try to keep the offer open until the end of August. It all depends on the response as you can guess.

Our Newsletter

Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell

Reagan Pannell is a highly accomplished professional with 15 years of experience in building lean management programs for corporate companies. With his expertise in strategy execution, he has established himself as a trusted advisor for numerous organisations seeking to improve their operational efficiency.

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