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Improve #13: STEP TWO - Breakdown the Problem

"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” a popular saying has it. The old proverb means that large tasks can be accomplished if done one little bit at a time. The only way to approach a big problem is by breaking it down into smaller pieces.

STEP TWO - Breakdown the Problem

Once you’ve seen the problem first hand, you can begin to breakdown the problem into more detailed and specific problems.

Keep in mind that, as you breakdown your problem you still need to see the smaller, individual problems with your own eyes. This is also a good time to study and analyze the different inputs and outputs of the process so that you can effectively prioritize your efforts. It is much more effective to manage and solve a number of micro-problems one at a time, rather than try and tackle a big problem with no direction.


Let's pretend that we are a shoe manufacturing company. For the past several months, the amount of returned shoes has increased significantly. There are two 2,100 SQF large rooms with new but returned shoes that sadly, cannot be resold due to an opened box or small damage by the customer. Shoes were returned due to factory defect, or because they were not of the right color or the right size. They were also returned because people simply change their minds and some other reasons. Some look perfect, some were used for a couple of steps or are missing something. Unfortunately, each pair of shoes that comes back is profit loss but nobody knows how much. The returned shoes are increasing weekly and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. This does not look good! What can we do?

Let's understand STEP ONE and STEP TWO by going practical with this example. Please answer the following questions: 1. What do you think is the problem? 2. If you can identify the problem, Can you break down the problem into manageable pieces?

Please use the comment section below.

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