Are you doing “spare time” root cause analysis?
Here’s scenario #1:
An incident occurs.
The supervisor performs a 5-Whys analysis, or maybe just does a few interviews with a few employees out on the plant floor. The supervisor collects just enough information to fill out the company report, or to satisfy his manager because this is a task done in his spare time. Once someone or something is found to pin the cause on, the supervisor thinks of a solution, (typically an employee gets disciplined or a piece of equipment gets fixed), and the root cause analysis is complete.
The downside to doing root cause analysis in your spare time like this is you’ll probably see repeat incidents. You’ll miss root causes or not get to the root. So, instead of saving time doing the investigation in your spare time, you have created more work. Plus, you are working within your own knowledge. You may be very experienced, but a bias (and we all have them) can cause you to overlook important information. Also, morale will be affected because employees do not want to live under the fear of punishment if they make a mistake. And let’s not forget when near misses and small problems aren’t solved, chances are a major incident is building on the horizon. Don’t let your facility be the next headline!
Here’s scenario #2:
An incident occurs.
The supervisor performs a TapRooT® investigation in his or her spare time. Her company does not have a blame culture– hooray! She only had time to attend one day of a 2-day TapRooT® course, but the former supervisor showed her the basics. The supervisor uses the Root Cause Tree® as a “pick list,” (without using a Root Cause Tree® Dictionary to dig deeper – she is not even aware there is a dictionary), until one root cause and a couple of causal factors are found. Sigh of relief. Corrective actions to the root cause are implemented. Check! This root cause analysis is complete!
The downside to this TapRooT® “spare time” root cause analysis is similar to scenario #1 in that you will probably experience repeat incidents because you’ll miss root causes that won’t be fixed, and there was not sufficient training on the TapRooT® tools. You may progress beyond your own knowledge in identifying root causes using the Root Cause Tree® and that’s a plus, but you may not be casting a wide enough net by using all of the tools in the TapRooT® system. Take shortcuts and don’t use all the tools available to you, and you will lose the power of TapRooT® to effectively guide you in your root cause analysis to find and fix incidents.
Don’t be that supervisor!
To get the full benefit of TapRooT®, join us at a course to receive all of these tools and understand how to use them:
SnapChart® – a visual technique for collecting and organizing information to understand what happened.
Root Cause Tree® – a way to see beyond your current knowledge (with additional help from the Root Cause Tree® Dictionary)
Corrective Action Helper® – a tool to help you think “outside the box” to develop effective corrective actions.
Safeguard Analysis – identify and confirm causal factors
This is how you find all the root causes and fix them once and for all. Smaller problems are also found before they turn into major disasters. It’s a win for everyone!
Are you doing spare time root cause analysis? There is still time to join us for a course in 2015 and make 2016 a different story.