Hill, Hubert M. (1988, ASQC) Innovative Problem Solving, Kingsport, TN
Besides excellence in organization, management and people relations, excellence can also be shown by finding and using opportunities for improvement in a continual cycle of improvement for every system in an organization. To attain this excellence in continual improvement, the most important opportunities must be chosen, the best team must be picked to solve the problem and the proper tools and skills must be applied during the improvement process.
Opportunities are points of concern, dissatisfaction or requirements which have been expressed by someone --- customers, management or workers. These opportunities will exist in some system which may be satisfactory, unsatisfactory or nonexistent. Opportunities become problems to be solved when someone commits resources to find a solution.
To attain good solutions to problems, the problem solvers must be creative, exhibit self-discipline, be able to think, ask questions, work with others, communicate and understand problem-solving approaches.
There are three different problem-solving situations. Some information about the system may be unknown, the system may be out of control or a new system is needed. These are Scientific, Control and Design problems. Each uses a different approach for solution. In many problems, the character of the problem may change as the problem-solving process proceeds, which requires the problem solver to recognize changing situations and change approaches as necessary.