March 18, 2020 | Mark Paradies

COVID-19 and Root Cause Analysis

COVID-19 Frustration

With all the “social distancing” being practiced in the USA, millions of people are being laid off or are losing their jobs. CNBC estimates that 3.5 million people could lose their jobs. Watching a great economy being destroyed by a virus is very frustrating.

By the way, I’m not blaming either political party (although we all can see that politics in the US is dysfunctional). I really think we only have ourselves to blame for the dysfunction because we are so divided as a country on major issues. This article won’t solve the root cause of that political issue!

My main frustration is that, as a root cause analyst, there is so little reliable data. We, as a country, are implementing corrective actions without the facts. For example:

  • What is the real percentage of people infected in the USA (or elsewhere)?
  • Are there really two types of COVID-19 virus or just radically different impacts on different people?
  • How contagious is the virus and exactly how is it spread?
  • Will social distancing really work to stop the virus spread?
  • Will summer weather in the northern hemisphere stop the spread of the virus (like it does the colds and flu)?
  • Is it safe to fly when some are now saying we shouldn’t go to a restaurant?
  • How will people pay their bills when they aren’t working?
  • Can the government just create money and give it to us to pay our bills?
  • When will this be over?

I blame this lack of accurate information mainly on the press. I can’t tell if their scare stories are an overreaction, hype to add viewers, or real concern for the people affected by the virus and the government’s reaction. The blame focus of much of the reporting certainly doesn’t help. (Just as a blame focus in any root cause analysis makes finding the root causes more difficult.)

Thus, we are stuck with the only immediately implementable corrective action – social distancing – that we don’t have data that shows that it will be effective in the long term.

Impact on System Improvements’ Clients

Many of the industries we serve are being destroyed. The price of WTI crude was down to $23.60 per barrel this morning. Certainly, the price will rebound when the economy rebounds but for now, the oil industry is down for the count.

Other industries are facing a massive recession as the lower demand by people who have been laid off has an impact.

Impact on Our Public TapRooT® Courses

Because of the corporate and governmental travel restrictions, the social distancing policies, governmental regulations, and overall fear of the virus by some, we are CANCELLING all our courses in North America through the end of May. We hope this will allow enough time for the virus to subside and our clients to partially recover.

We hope that people who have already registered for one of our canceled public TapRooT® Courses transfer to courses later in the year. All registered participants will be contacted by phone or email by a System Improvements representative to provide you with your options and keep you a happy client.

One short-term policy (effective though the end of 2020) is a special upgrade offer. If you transfer from one of our canceled Public 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Courses to one of our Public 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training Courses, you will get your credit for your 2-Day Course fee PLUS a $200 DISCOUNT on the 5-Day TapRooT® Course.

See our current Public TapRooT® Course Schedule at:

 2020 TapRooT® Course Schedule

If you have any questions about a course you have previously registered for, call us at 865-539-2139 or use THIS LINK.

Note … If you are planning to attend a Public TapRooT® Course in June – December, we recommend registering early as the rollover attendees registering for these canceled courses may mean that the courses later in the year will fill up early.

Impact on Our On-Site TapRooT® Courses

We have instructors all over the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, South America, Africa, and Europe. Thus, depending on our clients’ needs, we will continue to support our clients’ requests for on-site training and investigation support by using local instructors who can drive to the training (or use a short flight). Most clients have chosen to move their courses to May, or later in the year. We believe this will cause an increased demand for courses when the rebound from the current panic subsides. Therefore, if you are planning to have an on-site TapRooT® Course in the second half of 2020, we recommend that you schedule it NOW to get the dates you want.

Please note that to effectively use our instructors, we will be scheduling on-site 2-Day TapRooT® Courses on either Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday to allow the instructors a travel day to get from one course to another.

Impact on System Improvements Staff and TapRooT®

As of today, none of our staff or instructors have tested positive for the virus and most of our staff have decided to work from home to avoid any spreading the virus.

Our employees will be answering the phones (either remotely or from our nearly empty offices), taking your software support questions, shipping any product orders, or forwarding you to the right person to get you the information you need. So, the support of our clients will go forward uninterrupted.

We did notice that our GO TO MEETING connection failed this morning due to the extreme use around the world caused by all the social distancing. We assume this will be corrected soon.

We will use this pause in our normally busy training schedule to focus on improving our courses to make them even better when the virus subsides.

We will continue to publish our weekly newsletter. Also, we will continue to make frequent posts on our blog, TapRooT® TV, our podcast channel, and other social media outlets.

Our financially strong position means that we will be here when business recovers (which it will) to support you with the best root cause analysis training available anywhere in the world.

Some have asked us why we don’t provide an alternate means of training for the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis System. The answer is quite simple. We believe that root cause analysis is a critical business function. To compromise on our training standards and effectiveness by offering less effective on-line training could cause less effective root cause analysis in the field resulting in less effective corrective actions and repeat incidents. These repeat incidents could cost lives, product quality issues, injuries, and reduce asset reliability. We would rather wait until the virus issue has been solved (which we hope will happen soon) rather than disappoint our clients with substandard training.

Thus, please hold on. We will resume our public and on-site training shortly and provide the high-quality training that TapRooT® Clients have become accustomed to with as little delay as possible.

Impact on the TapRooT® Summit

Luckily, our 2020 TapRooT® Summit was last week. For those that attended, it was a tremendous success according to the critiques and direct feedback I received. Another week later and it, too, would have had to have been canceled.

We have rescheduled our 2021 Summit in Knoxville, TN, to June 14-18, 2021, to allow plenty of time for the COVID-19 virus problems to be dealt with. Watch for information about the 2021 Global TapRooT® Summit in our upcoming newsletters.

Need Help or Have Questions?

If you have any questions about:

  • An upcoming public or on-sie TapRooT® Course,
  • Help with a root cause analysis,
  • Any other support issue…

Please call us at 865-539-2139 or use THIS LINK to contact us by e-mail.

Thank you for your concern, understanding, and support during this frustrating time. Know that we are doing everything possible to support our clients and help them deal with the root causes of the challenges they face.

Best Regards,

Mark Paradies
President, System Improvements

PS: Let me know how your company is doing by leaving a comment below…

 

Categories
Courses & Training, Current Events
Show Comments

7 Replies to “COVID-19 and Root Cause Analysis”

  • Mark Paradies says:

    leave comments about how your company is doing (coping) below…

  • Mark Paradies says:

    Saw a new estimate of potential lost jobs in the USA – 5 million!

  • Mark Paradies says:

    I’ve been getting calls and e-mails from our clients about the problems from working from home. If boredom is an issue at your home workplace, watch some TapRooT® TV videos for fun and education. See them at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4db2z4nFctC5SZ-JSRxZQw/videos

  • Alfons Salmhofer says:

    For the moment everybody seems to be busy with damage control. I believe it is way too early to develop a root cause analysis with what we have at hand so far. Way too many variables for the moment and very little reliable or confirmed factual data yet. Mostly speculation and very vague look-aheads.

    We could start charting the events from the day they became known, but most conditions would be assumptions at this moment in time, with few confirmed facts.

    With reference to “risks and opportunities”, it has been reported that in some places with severe air and water pollution, the air and water quality has drastically improved. While human and economic health is decreasing, it seems that the planet’s health is increasing.

    Maybe this is a message from nature to human mankind?

    I really look forward to the numerous lessons learned that will be devised by many specialists, and wonder in the same time: will what we have learned be only for our egoistic benefit, or will it include the planets health as well?

    My two cents Mark!

  • Alfons Salmhofer says:

    For the moment everybody seems to be busy with damage control. I believe it is way too early to develop a root cause analysis with what we have at hand so far. Way too many variables for the moment and very little reliable or confirmed factual data yet. Mostly speculation and very vague look-aheads.

    We could start charting the events from the day they became known, but most conditions would be assumptions at this moment in time, with few confirmed facts.

    With reference to “risks and opportunities”, it has been reported that in some places with severe air and water pollution, the air and water quality has drastically improved. While human and economic health is decreasing, it seems that the planet’s health is increasing.

    Maybe this is a message from nature to human mankind? in the same time: will what we have learned be only for our egoistic benefit, or will it include the planets health as well?

    I really look forward to the numerous lessons learned that will be devised by many specialists, and wonder

    My two cents Mark!

    • Alfons Salmhofer says:

      I think the key problem with working from home is getting distracted from work by family members. Not intentionally of course, but just by making noise, chatting about non work related issues etc. Those who have no extra room available to set-up a home office are most affected by it I believe.

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