7 Ways to Maintain Investigator Proficiency
I had a conversation with a company the other day. They said they aren’t very good at investigations. They aren’t TapRooT® Users (first problem😊). They wanted to know how TapRooT® Users at other companies maintain their proficiency.
Why Investigator Proficiency Matters
Why is it important to maintain your TapRooT® Investor proficiency? This may seem to be a simple question, but there are several reasons it matters to you and your company.
- First of all, you don’t want to lose the skills you’ve acquired. You put some time and effort into attending training and learning those valuable skills.
- Once you have those skills, you want to get better. Just like any skill you’ve learned (welding, playing the piano, …), you need to continue to practice to get better the next time you do it. Every time you do an investigation, you gain important experience.
- You want to be ready to go when you are called upon to do a complex investigation. When a “bad thing” happens, you don’t want to suddenly realize you haven’t thought about investigation techniques for six months. That is NOT the time to realize you aren’t proficient.
How to Maintain Investigator Proficiency – 7 Ideas
Now that we understand the importance of maintaining investigator proficiency, what can you do? Here are seven ideas to consider:
- Use TapRooT® investigation tools at least once each month. This is really the bare minimum it takes to use the tool effectively. TapRooT® Tools are extremely easy to use, but like playing the piano, it takes practice.
- I’ve had customers tell me, “We don’t have to use TapRooT® very often because we don’t have many incidents at our company.” I’m thrilled that you aren’t having major issues at your company. That’s great! However, if you are telling me you don’t have many problems that need to be fixed, you honestly aren’t looking very hard. All kinds of issues are popping up every day. Just because those issues aren’t causing major incidents today does NOT mean those same problems won’t cause more serious problems tomorrow. So, use TapRooT® RCA for less serious issues – precursor incidents. This allows you to fix more problems, avoid major issues in the future, AND get lots of practice on quick investigations. It’s a win-win.
- You can also perform TapRooT® investigations on all kinds of issues. Don’t wait for an HSE problem. What about recurring equipment failures? Customer complaints? Over-budget projects? There are a plethora of issues happening at your company right this minute. Don’t reserve TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis for a small slice of your business.
- Why wait for an incident to occur to investigate? Look for problems and do proactive investigations. Normally, these will be easy to apply TapRooT® RCA and give you the chance to practice your skills and then fix these problems as a bonus.
- When you assign an investigation to your team, assign it to a team of 2 instead of just a single person. This gives everyone double the practice, and it makes each investigation even easier.
- If you have a team of trained TapRooT® investigators, we recommend setting up a refresher course periodically. This gives your team the chance to see new techniques, ask seasoned instructors questions, and get additional experience with the system. We recommend every 2 to 3 years is a good starting point, depending on how often your team members are performing TapRooT® investigations.
- Finally, the Global TapRooT® Summit, on April 29 – May 3, 2024, at the Horseshoe Bay Resort near Austin, Texas, is another great way to expose your team to other ideas and practice their skills in refresher sessions. Participants will see how hundreds of other TapRooT® users from around the world are TapRooT® RCA at their companies. You can use it as a reward for those who have done a great job for you over the year. Maybe rotate some of your team through the Summit each year. Plus, there is a pre-Summit Course, the 2-Day TapRooT® Advanced Case Study Workshop, where attendees will deepen their understanding of TapRooT® RCA, learn new ways of applying TapRooT® RCA to their investigations, learn advanced root cause analysis skills, go beyond basic safety examples, and discover new TapRooT® Software features. When your investigators attend both a pre-Summit Course (April 29-30) and the Summit (May 1-3) they will SAVE $300. And if you bring a team, you will save even more – up to $800 per person!
There are many opportunities to use the TapRooT® System to improve your company. Use these opportunities to improve your investigators’ skills (keep them proficient) at the same time!