In the previous stage, the cause-effect analysis was carried out based on a tree analogy, where the leaves and fruits were represented by all the symptoms of the situation being analyzed and the branches grouped similar symptoms, describing them with a phrase that summarized them. The roots of the tree, which are normally hidden at first glance, represented the causes that are being discovered through our dynamics.

Emphasis was also placed on the importance of not confusing causes with effects, because this can lead to inefficient or palliative solutions that do not solve the underlying problem.

Now, in this phase, we know the causes that are generating the problem and we will proceed to eliminate them.

Let’s briefly review with an everyday problem of “a high monthly payment in the water bill”. The root cause of the problem is very obvious as there is a water leak in the main tap pipe. In this example, the symptom is the high payment and the cause is the leak in the pipe (the problem can be represented by a small tree, with a single leaf, a single branch and a root). The obligatory question that must follow is:

How do we remove the cause of the problem?

In the example in question, the cause is the leak and there are several ways to eliminate the water leak:

Replace the pipe.

Plug the leak with duct tape.

Plug the leak by welding the pipe.

In an urgent situation we can opt for a temporary solution that will help us mitigate or diminish the problem temporarily. Given the example, we can opt for adhesive tape while we look for a plumber who can replace or weld the pipe.

At this stage we can say that it is required to apply ingenuity and creativity to find ways to eliminate or remove the cause that is generating the problem. The “how” is being addressed and depending on the solution, we will need a specialist, someone with experience as in the example of the leak would be the plumber.

For example, entrepreneurs, managers or SME owners contact Linnet when they do not have at hand valuable business information on production, inventories, sales or the average value of their customers, either because the data is scattered or because the information is hidden.

Finally, given the possible solutions, it is useful to weigh them by impact and feasibility, cost and benefit, or other factors to help discern which solutions are best and prioritize them so that the company can realize benefits as quickly as possible.