An Is/Is Not Analysis is often used during the problem definition phase of problem solving activity. Before rushing into solving a problem, a proper analysis should be done to understand the scope of the problem, and what should be left out.
The Is/Is Not Analysis is a simple, but very effective tool that can be used to understand the problem and the scope of it.

Is/Is Not Analysis Principle

The principle of Is/Is Not Analysis is very simply two columns on a paper or board, on cover “is” and the other “is not”. Then questions like What, Where, When and How Big is answered about the problem and answered in the relevant “is” and “is not” column.

Reasons to use Is/Is Not

  • Establishes points of comparison
  • Leads to a more complete problem description
  • Provides a Test base for Root Cause
  • Gives you a fingerprint of the problem
  • Draws better boundaries around the problem
  • Scope – what’s in, what’s out

Development of Analysis

The elements of the Is/Is Not Analysis are developed as follows.

Development of Is

  • IdentityWhat is the problem?
  • SpaceWhere is the problem?
  • TimeWhen is the problem happening and when did it start?
  • Mass How Big is the problem?

Development of Is Not

  • What, Where, When and How Big would you expect to See, Hear, Feel, Smell or Observe… but DO NOT?

(What, Where, When, How Big) “IS” it?
(What, Where, When, How Big) could it be but it “IS NOT”?

For example the issue is seen on part C, but not on part A, B or D, or the complaint is only seen in the Japanese market, but not in the rest of Asia.

Below table could support when developing the analysis.
is is not analysis diagram
If you are interested in Is/Is Not Analysis and decreasing the amount of repeat issues in your organisation, then our 8D Problem Solving Training might be interesting for you. The training is a detailed training on how to effectively solve problems and prevent them from reoccurring.

Alternatively you can continue to our quality training page for an overview of the training we provide.

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is is not analysis