Search Results for: rickover

 

Admiral Rickover’s 7 Rules

Posted: May 9th, 2018 in Performance Improvement, TapRooT

Hyman Rickover 1955

Rule 1. You must have a rising standard of quality over time, and well beyond what is required by any minimum standard.
Rule 2. People running complex systems should be highly capable.
Rule 3. Supervisors have to face bad news when it comes, and take problems to a level high enough to fix those problems.
Rule 4. You must have a healthy respect for the dangers and risks of your particular job.
Rule 5. Training must be constant and rigorous.
Rule 6. All the functions of repair, quality control, and technical support must fit together.
Rule 7. The organization and members thereof must have the ability and willingness to learn from mistakes of the past.

Are you using advanced root cause analysis to learn from past mistakes? Learn more about advanced root cause analysis by CLICKING HERE.

Rickover Quote…

Posted: September 14th, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

Success teaches us nothing; only failure teaches.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

 

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Rickover Quote…

Posted: September 7th, 2016 in Uncategorized

RickoverEducation Quote

Rickover Quote…

Posted: September 1st, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

Every hour has sixty golden minutes,
each studded with sixty diamond seconds.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

 

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Rickover Quote…

Posted: August 24th, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

When you waste your time remember …
Even God cannot undo the past.

Admiral Hyman Rickover 

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Rickover Quote…

Posted: August 18th, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

At this school, the smartest work as hard
as those who must struggle to pass.

Admiral Hyman Rickover 

RickoverTraining

Rickover Quote…

Posted: August 11th, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

The secret of success:

late to bed,

early to rise,

work like hell and you’ll be wise.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

 

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Rickover Quote…

Posted: August 3rd, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

Heaven is blessed with perfect rest.

The blessing of earth is toil.

Admiral Hyman Rickover

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Rickover Quote… About his famous interview techniques ,,,

Posted: July 7th, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

Rickover talking about his famous candidate interviews …

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A Quote from Admiral Rickover…

Posted: April 28th, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Pictures

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“Responsibility is a unique concept,
it can only reside and inhere in a single individual.
You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished.
You may delegate it, but it is still with you.
You may disclaim it, but you cannot divest yourself of it.
Even if you do not recognize it or admit is presence, you cannot escape it.
If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance,
or passing the blame cna shift the burden to someone else.
Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong,
then you never had anyone really responsible.” 

COMPLETE SERIES – Admiral Rickover: Stopping the Normalization of Deviation with the Normalization of Excellence

Posted: April 14th, 2016 in Documents, Performance Improvement, Pictures

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You may have dropped in on this series of articles somewhere in the middle. Here are links to each article with a quick summary…

1. There is No Such Thing and the Normalization of Deviation

Point of this article is that deviation IS NORMAL. Management must do something SPECIAL to make deviation abnormal.

2. Stop Normalization of Deviation with Normalization of Excellence

A brief history of how Admiral Rickover created the first high performance organization. The Nuclear navy has a history of over 50 years of operating hundreds of reactors with ZERO process safety (nuclear safety) accidents. He stopped the normalization of deviation with the NORMALIZATION OF EXCELLENCE. Excellence was the only standard that he would tolerate.

3. Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – Technical Competency

This article describes the first of Rickover’s three keys to process safety: TECHNICAL COMPETENCE. The big difference here is this isn’t just competence for operators or supervisors. Rickover required technical competence all the way to the CEO.

4. Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – Responsibility

The second key to process safety excellence (the normalization of excellence) – RESPONSIBILITY.

Do you think you know what responsibility means? See what Rickover expected from himself, his staff, and everyone responsible for nuclear safety.

5. Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – Facing the Facts

FACING THE FACTS is probably the most important of Rickover’s keys to achieving excellence. 

Read examples from the Nuclear Navy and think about what your management does when their is a difficult decision to make.

6. Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – 18 Other Elements of Rickover’s Approach to Process Safety

Here is the other 18 elements that Rickover said were essential (as well as the first three keys).

That’s right, the keys are the start but you must do all of these 18 well.

7. Statement of Admiral Rickover in front of the Subcommittee on Energy Research and Production of the Committee on Science and Technology of the US House of Representatives – May 24, 1979

Here is Rickover’s own writing on what makes the Nuclear Navy special. What to this day (over 35 years after Rickover was retired) keeps the reactor safety record spotless.

That’s it. The whole series. I’m thinking about writing about some recent process safety related accidents and showing how management failed to follow Rickover’s guidance and how this lead to poor process safety performance. Would you be interested in reading about bad examples?

Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – 18 Other Elements of Rickover’s Approach to Process Safety

Posted: March 31st, 2016 in Documents, Human Performance, Performance Improvement, Pictures, TapRooT

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The previous three articles discusses Rickover’s “key elements” to achieving safety in the Navy’s nuclear program. They are:

  1. Technical Competence
  2. Total Responsibility
  3. Facing the Facts

In addition to these three keys that Rickover testified to Congress about, he had 18 other elements that he said were also indispensable. I won’t describe them in detail, but I will list them here:

  1. Conservatism of Design
  2. Robust Systems (design to avoid accidents and emergency system activation)
  3. Redundancy of Equipment (to avoid shutdowns and emergency actions)
  4. Inherently Stable Plant
  5. Full Testing of Plant (prior to operation)
  6. Detailed Prevent/Predictive Maintenance Schedules Strictly Adhered To
  7. Detailed Operating Procedures Developed by Operators, Improved with Experience, and Approved by Technical Experts
  8. Formal Design Documentation and Management of Change
  9. Strict Control of Vendor Provided Equipment (QA Inspections)
  10. Formal Reporting of Incidents and Sharing of Operational Experience
  11. Frequent Detailed Audits/Inspections by Independent, Highly Trained/Experienced Personnel that Report to Top Management
  12. Independent Safety Review by Government Authorities
  13. Personal Selection of Leaders (looking for exceptional technical knowledge and good judgment)
  14. One Year of Specialized Technical Training/Hands-On Experience Prior to 1st Assignment
  15. Advanced Training for Higher Leadership Positions
  16. Extensive Continuing Training and Requalification for All Personnel
  17. Strict Enforcement of Standards & Disqualification for Violations
  18. Frequent Internal Self-Assessments

Would like to review what Rickover had to say about them? See his testimony here:

Rickover Testimony

Now after the description of the excellence of Rickover’s program, you might think there was nothing to be improved. However, I think the program had three key weaknesses. They are:

  1. Blame Orientation (Lack of Praise)
  2. Fatigue
  3. Needed for Advanced Root Cause Analysis

Let me talk about each briefly.

BLAME ORIENTATION

The dark side of a high degree of responsibility was a tendency to blame the individual when something went wrong. Also, success wasn’t celebrated, it was expected. The result was burnout and attitude problems. This led to fairly high turnover rate among the junior leaders and enlisted sailors.

FATIGUE

Want to work long hours? Join the Nuclear Navy! Eighteen hour days, seven days a week, were normal when at sea. In port, three section duty (a 24 hour day every third day) was normal. This meant that you NEVER got a full weekend. Many errors were made due to fatigue. I remember a sailor was almost killed performing electrical work because of actions that just didn’t make sense. He had no explanation for his errors (they were multiple) and he knew better because he was the person that trained everyone else. But he had been working over 45 days straight with a minimum of 12 hours per day. Was he fatigued? It never showed up in the incident investigation.

ADVANCED ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS

Root Cause Analysis in the Nuclear Navy is basic. Assign smart people and they will find good “permanent fixes” to problems. And this works … sometimes. The problem? The Nuke Navy doesn’t train sailors and officers how to investigate human errors. That’s where advanced root cause analysis comes in. TapRooT® has an expert system that helps people find the root causes of human error and produce fixes that stop the problems. Whenever I hire a Navy Nuke to work at System Improvements, they always tell me they already know about root cause analysis because they did that “on the boat.” But when they take one of our courses, they realize that they really had so much to learn.

Read Part 7:  Statement of Admiral Rickover in front of the Subcommittee on Energy Research and Production of the Committee on Science and Technology of the US House of Representatives – May 24, 1979

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Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – Facing the Facts

Posted: March 24th, 2016 in Documents, Performance Improvement, Pictures

In the past two weeks we’ve discussed two of the “essential” (Rickover’s word) elements for process safety excellence …

Technical Competence

Responsibility

This week we will discuss the third, and perhaps most important, essential element – FACING THE FACTS.

What is facing the facts? Here are some excerpts of how Rickover described it:

“… To resist the human inclination to hope that things will work out,
despite evidence or suspicions to the contrary.

If conditions require it, you must face the facts and brutally make needed changes
despite significant costs and schedule delays. … The person in charge must
personally set the example in this area and require his subordinates to do likewise.

Let me give two examples from Rickover’s days of leading the Navy Nuclear Power Program that illustrate what he meant (and how he lived out this essential element).

Many people reading this probably do not remember the Cold War or the Space Race with the USSR. But there was a heated competition with national importance in the area of technology during Cold War. This technology race extended to the development of nuclear power to power ships and submarines.

Rickover in 1947, Rickover proposed to the Chief of Naval Operations that he would develop nuclear power for submarine propulsion. The technical hurdles were impressive. Developing the first nuclear powered ship was probably more difficult than the moon shot that happened two decades later. Remember, there were no computers. Slide rules were used for calculations. New metals had to be created. And new physics and radiation protection had to be created. None the less, Rickover decided that before he built the first nuclear powered submarine, he would build a working prototype of the submarine exactly like the actual submarine that was proposed. It would be built inside a hull and surrounded by a water tank to absorb radiation from the reactor.

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This first submarine reactor was built near Idaho Falls, Idaho, and went critical for the first time in March of 1953. Just imagine trying to do something like that today. From concept to critical operations in just 6 years!

The prototype was then operated to get experience with the new technology and to train the initial crew of the first submarine, the USS Nautilus. The construction of the ship started in 1952 before the prototype was completed. Therefore, much of the construction of the Nautilus was complete before appreciable experience could be gained with the prototype. Part of the reason for this was that the lessons learned from the construction of the prototype allowed the Nautilus construction to progress much faster than was possible for the prototype.

However, during the operation of the prototype it was found that some of the piping used for the non-reactor part of the steam plant was improper. It was eroding much faster than expected. This could eventually lead to a hazardous release of non-radioative steam into the engineering space – a serious personnel hazard.

This news was bad enough, but the problem also had an impact on the Nautilus. There was no non-destructive test that could be performed to determine if the right quality piping had been used in the construction of the submarine. Some said, go ahead with construction. We can change out the piping of the Nautilus after the first period underway and still beat the Russians to sea on nuclear power.

Rickover wouldn’t hear of it. He insisted that the right way to do it was to replace the piping even though it meant a significant schedule delay. Accepting the possibility of poor quality steel would be sending the wrong message … the message that taking shortcuts with safety was OK. Therefore, he insisted that all the steam piping be replaced with steel of known quality before the initial criticality of the reactor. He set the standard for facing the facts. (By the way, they still beat the Russians to sea and won the race.)

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The second example is perhaps even more astounding. Since no civilian or Navy power plants existed, there were no standards for how much occupational exposure a nuclear technician could receive. In addition, submarines were made for war and some proposed that any civilian radiation allowance should be relaxed for military men because they were sailors who must take additional risks. (Remember, we were doing above ground nuclear weapons testing in the US and marching troops to ground zero after the blast during this period.)

Rickover’s staff argued that a standard slightly higher than the one being developed for civilian workers would be OK for sailors. This higher standard would save considerable shielding weight and would result in a faster, more capable submarine. Rickover would hear nothing of it. He insisted that the shielding be built so that the projected radiation dose received by any sailor from the reactor during operation be no higher than that experienced by the general public. (Everyone receives a certain amount of exposure from solar radiation, dental and medical X-rays, and background radiation from naturally occurring radionuclides.) That was the design standard he set.

Many years later, it was noticed that Russian submarine crews were given time off after their deployments to relax in Black Sea resorts. Some thought this was just a reward for the highly skilled sailors. However, it was later discovered that this time off was required to allow the sailors time for their bone marrow to regenerate after damage due to high levels of radiation. The Russians had not used extra shielding and hence their sailors got significant radiation doses. Perhaps that why Russian nuclear submarine duty got the nickname of “babyless duty.”

There was no similar problem for US Nuclear Power Program personnel. Rickover made sure that the facts were faced early in the design process and no adverse health effects were experienced by US submarine sailors.

Let’s compare Rickover’s facing the facts to industrial practices. What happens when a refinery experiences problems and faces a shutdown? Does management “face the facts” and accept the downtime to make sure that everything is safe? Or do they try to apply bandages while the process is kept running to avoid losing valuable production? What would be the right answer to “face the facts” and achieve process safety excellence? Have we seen major accidents caused by just this kind of failure to face the facts? You betcha!

That’s it, the first three (and most important) of Rickover’s essential elements for process safety excellence. But that isn’t all. In his testimony to Congress he outlined additional specific elements that completed his reactor safety management system.

Read Part 6: Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – 18 Other Elements of Rickover’s Approach to Process Safety

Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – Responsibility

Posted: March 17th, 2016 in Performance Improvement, Video

For the previous article, see:

https://www.taproot.com/archives/53085

The second of the “essential” elements for excellence described by Rickover is RESPONSIBILITY.

You probably think you know what this means. You probably think that this is something your company already emphasizes. But read on and you will discover that it may be a missing element of your process safety program, and one reason that your company is not achieving excellence.

In the Nuclear Navy, Admiral Rickover was totally responsible. He was in charge of the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of all the Navy’s nuclear reactors (prototypes, subs, and ships). This single point of responsibility was unique in the Navy and is unique in the civilian world.

And responsibility for safety was (and is) passed down the chain of command to each Commanding Officer, Engineer, Engineering Watch Officer, and Reactor Operator. If you see something unsafe, you are fully authorized and expected to act.

If a Reactor Operator saw some safety parameter go out of spec, s/he was fully authorized and expected to SCRAM (emergency shut down) the reactor. There was no asking permission or waiting for approval.

If a reactor accident (a meltdown) had occurred, Rickover would take full responsibility. And the rest of the chain of command would likewise take responsibility for their actions.

Do you remember the hearings in front of congress after the Deepwater Horizon accident? Each of the executives from BP, Transocean, and Halliburton pointed fingers at the other executives. None would take responsibility for the accident.

An Associated Press Story said:

Executives of the three companies, all scheduled to testify before the Senate
Energy and Natural Resources Committee, are trying to shift responsibility for the
environmental crisis to each other, according to prepared testimony
.”

The Washington Post had to say about the testimony:

“Three major oil industry executives agreed on one thing in a pair of
Senate hearings Tuesday: Someone else was to blame for the drilling rig accident
that triggered the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Watch what it takes to get Tony Hayward to say he was the ultimately in command of safety at BP.

Without Rickover’s unique concept of total accountability/responsibility, people can sidestep responsibility. Without full accountability/responsibility, decisions to:

  • cut budgets,
  • reduce staffing,
  • defer maintenance,
  • opt for cheaper designs,
  • or shortcut company requirements

are easy to make because no one person is responsible. As Philippe Paquet wrote:

When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible.”

Therefore, as Rickover points out, you must have one person at the top clearly responsible for reactor (process) safety or no one is responsible and you will NOT be able to achieve excellence.

Does your CEO take full responsibility for the process safety of all facilities. The design, construction, maintenance, and operations? Is there a clear line of responsibility down the organization with each level demonstrating complete responsibility for the process that are entrusted to them?

That’s it for this week’s discussion of excellence. Next week’s topic is perhaps the most important concept in excellence and process safety … “Facing the Facts.”

Read Part 5:  Normalization of Excellence – The Rickover Legacy – Facing the Facts

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