January 4, 2007 |

How to Get Management Involved In Root Cause Analysis & Performance Improvement – An Excerpt from the Upcoming 2007 TapRooT® Book

In late December I wrote the first draft of a section on management support for the new TapRooT® book that will be released in mid-2007. Here is an excerpt from the copyright © 2007 first draft for your comment…

… But before management can support an investigation, they need to support the establishment of the investigation program. Program documents need to be written, an organization needs to be established, training needs to be conducted for investigators and team members, software needs to be purchased and set up on a server, and all this requires a budget. Management will need to assign a program leader to do this. But the program leader cannot work alone. She or he will have to keep key executives involved and informed. The program plan needs to be management’s program plan. Thus management needs to involved in the develop an implementation plan and provide programmatic support.

But developing a plan is only the start. Management involvement will also be needed for implementing the plan and for continuous support of the program – including continuous improvement of the program. To be successful, this will have to be management’s improvement program.

As part of management’s continued involvement with the program, management will also need to learn to use the data the program produces to help them improve their management of the facility. This requires management to understand the basics of trending presented in Chapter 5.

How does one start to develop this level of management involvement? The only way it can be done is to get key managers at (or close to) the top of the organization to see the benefits of an improvement program using the power of advanced root cause analysis. Selling an improvement program to senior managers requires both winning their minds with hard numbers gained in a pilot program and winning their hearts by showing them how the tools will help them solve their most vexing problems. They must see how TapRooT® will make them look good.

Two key steps in this process of getting management involved are providing a motivating presentation that sells management on the concepts and getting the senior managers to participate in an investigation – either by presenting a detailed explanation of an investigation and the results or, even better, having them, or their key staff members, participate in an investigation and actually see the value that TapRooT® brings to an investigation.

To develop a sales presentation to convince senior manages to take their time to support a TapRooT®-based improvement program one will have to:

1. Understand what those senior managers are trying to accomplish, what are their most vexing problems, and how TapRooT® can solve those problems.

2. Develop a pilot program that can be run without extensive costs or approval that will produce the in-house company data to show how TapRooT® can help solve their problems.

3. Use the TapRooT® Success Stories (at the
“About TapRooT®” page at the TapRooT® web site – http://www.taproot.com) and networking with other TapRooT® Users to provide even more examples of what TapRooT® has done for your competitors and in other industries and thus strengthen the arguments for using TapRooT® beyond the results in the case study.

The goal of your efforts is to draw senior managers and their key staff members into the program development process to make the program THEIR program. When you are done, they will be demanding faster implementation of the program. They will be demanding more investigations. They will be demanding monthly presentations on the statistics that they need to better manage the facility or company. They will be pushing for the implementation of corrective action so that performance will improve and make them look good.

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For more information about getting management involvement in your root cause analysis and performance improvement program, attend the TapRooT® Summit on April 25-28, 2007 in San Antonio.

Ron Pryor and Greg Whigham from Alcoa will be presenting the session titled:

“Getting Management to Ask for a TapRooT® Investigation and Other Ways to Get Management Support for Improvement”

Ron decided to get his management on board and to get them to ASK for investigations. Greg is the manager that became Ron’s sponsor for improvement and ASKS operations and maintenance folks to do root cause analysis on problems. This session is in the “Corrective Action Program Best Practices Track” and the “Lean, Process, and Quality Improvement Best Practices Track”. See http://www.taproot.com/summit.php?sched=1 for all the tracks and the complete schedule for each track. Use the buttons on the lower left to click on a track and see that schedule.

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To comment on the section I wrote, just use the “post a comment” section below.


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