The SPEED Methodology: Decluttering Complexity

When approaching problem solving, typical analysis is done from a logical perspective using DMAIC, 5 Whys, etc. This is because most of these methods were born in a manufacturing environment. The challenge is, these tools only acknowledge Logical problems (Problems, Decisions) and ignore Emotional problems (Relationships, Motivation).

The 5 Whys, when applied to an employee who is constantly late goes like this:  “Why are you late?” (Because my alarm clock did not go off) “Why did your alarm clock not go off?” (Because my battery died) “Okay, the solution is, change your battery”

But the employee keeps coming late to work, because the problem isn’t Process, it could be Relationship or Motivation. He hates his boss or doesn’t feel important enough to come to work.

In the workplace, managers don’t see Emotional problems as real problems, thus all their solutions are forced upon employees, or they go for leadership or coaching training to cover that shortfall.

The SPEED Methodology
The SPEED methodology (SPEED | Solving Problems Efficiently, Effectively & Decisively) acknowledges and accepts Emotional Problems as real and interrelated. They are collectively know as the PDRM Problem Types: Processes, Decisions, Relationships, Motivation.

A Process problem (Health, Traffic Jams, Lack of Money) can cause Relationship problems (Burden on Family, Scoldings from Boss, Scoldings from Wife), or even Motivation problems (Financial Stress, Work Dissatisfaction, Marital Strife) or even Decision problems (Embezzle/ Steal/ Side Business, Find Job/ Suicide/ Sabotage, Divorce/ Affairs/ Counselling).

This sequence can happen in any depth or combination.

Each Problem Type has its own Root Cause: Processes (Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overprocessing, Overproduction, Defects), Decisions (Validation, Discrimination, Preference), Relationships (Connection, Information, Conviction, Instruction) and Motivation (Beliefs, Intentions, Promises, Actions).

When a problem arrives as a Risk or an Issue alone, it is a simple fix for simple impact (Fever: Take panadol. Fixed).

But when it comes as 2 Problem Types, it is a moderate fix (Fever and Late for Work: Take panadol, Call to inform and apologise for lateness).

When 3 Problem Types in 1, it is complex fix (Fever, Late for Work, Stay Home or Go: Take panadol, call to inform, call to update not coming in to important meeting, option to video call?).

When 4 Problem Types in 1, wicked fix (Fever, Late for Work, Stay Home or Go, Too many MCs already will they believe me this time?: Arghhhhhhhh no idea)

This low to high impact affects the difficulty of solving as the brain cannot process all four at the same time with one solution. Instead it has to be 4 separate solutions integrated at the same time.

Analysis and Solving Process
The SPEED methodology has a 4 stage process:

1. WHAT is the problem: Analyse Problem Type and Impact: 1 problem alone (Simple), 2 problems in 1 (Moderate), 3 problems in 1 (Complex), 4 problems in 1 (Wicked)

2. WHY did it happen: Conduct Root Cause Analysis on each Problem Type

3. HOW do we solve it: Ideate, Formulate and Generate solutions for each Problem Type

4: WHO will execute it: Integrate the solutions into one comprehensive program by Planning, Assigning and Tracking the effectiveness of the solution.

Who Uses This?
SPEED has been taught to many organisations including in Malaysia: PETRONAS, Sime Darby, Panasonic, Bank Pembangunan, Majlis Amanah Rakyat and Cambodia: Damco, Prince Bank, Aqua Expeditions. We also have 22 Facilitators around Malaysia who have been certified to teach the methodology to clients.