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How to Identify and Solve Problems in Your Brewery for Cheap

How to Identify and Solve Problems in Your Brewery for Cheap

In today's ever-evolving craft beer industry, craft breweries face complex challenges that require innovative solutions to stay competitive. To address these challenges and unlock their creativity, adopting collaborative visualization techniques can be highly beneficial. By leveraging movable nodes and links, craft breweries can enhance their brewing processes, improve system models, and foster better collaboration within their teams. This approach not only provides a competitive edge but also leads to increased revenue and a stronger connection with customers. However, to fully leverage these visualization techniques, craft breweries must adopt a systematic approach such as gap analysis to gain valuable insights into their operations and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, setting strategic goals and establishing a clear roadmap for growth is crucial for long-term success. By defining specific, attainable goals, assigning responsibilities, and maintaining accountability, craft breweries can propel their business forward, foster engagement, and achieve continuous improvement. This paper explores the importance of collaborative visualization techniques, the benefits of gap analysis, and the significance of strategic goal-setting in enabling craft breweries to thrive in the dynamic craft beer industry.

If You Want to Solve A Problem, Show Me How To Make Toast

Craft brewing is a field where effective communication and visualization are crucial for success. Collaborative visualization is a powerful tool that can help craft brewers understand and solve complex problems. This article explores how drawing, using sticky notes or cards, and working in groups can unlock creativity, improve understanding, and lead to remarkable outcomes. By adopting these practices and embracing the concept of movable nodes and links, craft brewers can gain a competitive edge in addressing their organizational vision, customer experience, and long-term sustainability.

Understanding the Whole Business, From Grain to Glass

To better understand their brewing processes, craft brewers can break the craft brewing process into a series of nodes and relationships. Visualizing the interconnected steps involved can help craft brewers gain a comprehensive understanding of their production methods and identify areas for improvement. This step-by-step analysis helps craft brewers refine their models and achieve greater clarity in their brewing processes.

Using Sticky Notes to Create System Models

Movable cards or sticky notes can be utilized to create more detailed and logical systems models. This dynamic approach allows for rapid refinement, analysis, and adaptation, enabling craft brewers to enhance their brewing techniques and develop richer models. It allows a complete understanding of the business from grain to glass, and by including the entire company in these models, problematic areas can be uncovered. 

Embracing Group Collaboration

Collaboration is key to unlocking the true potential of visualization. When craft brewers work together as a group to create visual representations, they integrate multiple perspectives and ideas. Initially messy, these group models gradually evolve into unified systems models that address the complexity of brewing. By engaging in silent collaboration, participants can foster clearer communication and faster progress. The diverse inputs from the group members lead to more comprehensive models, surpassing what individuals can achieve alone.

Craft brewers can apply the principles of collaborative visualization to tackle complex challenges within their industry. Whether it's visualizing the organizational vision, enhancing the customer experience, or addressing long-term sustainability, the process remains the same. Starting with a question, craft brewers can collect and refine nodes, creating visual representations that evolve with each iteration. Through this practice, patterns emerge, clarity is achieved, and the problems can be effectively solved.

Mind The Gap

Craft breweries face significant competition in a rapidly growing industry. To remain competitive, they must continually evaluate their operations and identify areas for improvement. Gap analysis is a helpful tool for this purpose. We'll discuss how craft breweries can use gap analysis to assess their current state, set goals, and bridge gaps to achieve long-term success.

Understanding Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is a systematic approach that helps organizations identify the difference between their current state and desired future state. By conducting a comprehensive analysis, craft breweries can gain insights into their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This, in turn, enables the development of effective strategies and action plans.

Define The Current State

Craft breweries should start by defining their current state through an internal evaluation. This assessment should cover various aspects of the business such as operations, marketing and sales, financial performance, and human resources. By examining these areas, breweries can identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Establishing Future Objectives

Next, craft breweries should establish clear, realistic, and measurable objectives for their desired future state. These objectives should be aligned with the brewery's mission, vision, and long-term goals. Examples of objectives may include increasing production capacity, improving brand awareness, expanding distribution networks, and enhancing quality control processes.

Identifying Gaps

Once the current state and future objectives are defined, the next step is to identify the gaps that exist between the two. This involves analyzing collected information and identifying areas where the brewery falls short of its desired state. Common gaps may include insufficient production capacity, limited marketing reach, inadequate quality control processes, or skill gaps in the workforce.

Developing Action Plans

Craft brewing is a rapidly evolving industry where strategic planning and goal setting are essential for success in a competitive market. Failing to establish clear direction and specific goals can result in stagnation and hinder growth. Evaluate how to establish quarterly business goals using a strategic framework to promote focus and drive growth.

The Importance of Specific Goals

Having specific goals is crucial in giving your craft brewery a clear direction. Instead of vague objectives, establish smaller and more precise goals that help break down larger objectives into manageable steps, ensuring progress and growth.

Accountability and Focus

Assigning responsibilities and holding team members accountable is critical for achieving your goals. Each team member should have a clear understanding of their role in achieving the company's objectives. This creates a culture of engagement and focus, where every individual feels valued and invested in the brewery's success.

Short-Term Deadlines

Setting deadlines for your goals provides a sense of urgency and ensures that they remain a priority. Establishing a 90-day timeframe for achieving goals strikes a balance between a sense of urgency and feasibility. This approach helps prevent goals from being delayed or forgotten.

Regular Evaluation and Adaptation

Regular check-ins and evaluations are essential for tracking progress and making necessary adjustments. This allows you to identify areas that are on track and areas that may require additional resources or support. By staying adaptable and addressing challenges along the way, you can maintain focus and drive towards success.

Breaking Down Goals into Actionable Steps

Breaking down larger goals into smaller, actionable steps makes them more achievable. For example, if your marketing team aims to improve social media presence, you can set goals such as establishing and regularly updating profiles, increasing engagement, and generating more leads. This incremental approach ensures progress and momentum towards larger objectives.

Cultivating Efficiency and Effectiveness

By setting clear goals and maintaining accountability, you cultivate a culture of efficiency and effectiveness. As your team achieves smaller, attainable goals, their confidence and productivity will increase. This positive momentum leads to a more productive and successful craft brewery.


Craft breweries can benefit from adopting collaborative visualization techniques to address complex challenges and unlock their creativity. By using movable nodes and links, they can enhance their brewing processes, improve system models, and foster better collaboration within their teams. This approach can give them a competitive edge, leading to innovative solutions, increased revenue, and a stronger connection with their customers.

A systematic approach like gap analysis can help craft breweries gain valuable insights into their operations and identify areas for improvement. By defining objectives, identifying gaps, and developing action plans, they can make strategic decisions, enhance their operations, and stay ahead in the ever-evolving craft beer industry.

To thrive in the industry, craft breweries must set strategic goals and establish a clear roadmap for growth. Defining specific, attainable goals, assigning responsibilities, and maintaining accountability can help propel their business forward. This approach fosters focus, engagement, and continuous improvement, allowing them to achieve progress and unlock their full potential with each quarter.


Wickman, G. (2012) Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business. Perseus Distribution Services.

Wujec, T. (2021) Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast., Wicked Problem Solving. Available at: (Accessed: 10 July 2023).

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