September 12, 2005 | Mark Paradies

Question About Verbal Communication and the TapRooT(R) Root Cause Tree(R)

A TapRooT® User sent the following question:

Good Morning:

I been to TapRooT® Training and I have a question on the general definition/application of the Communication criterion in the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® Dictionary.

Does Communication apply only to Verbal communication, or does it include written communication? It appears to me that it is best suited for verbal communications based on the info on the back of the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree®.

For example, a worker from one department needed to complete a form to have a task added to a work schedule by another department (Communication needed across organizational boundaries). The worker filled out the wrong form, so the task never got added to the schedule, resulting in the event that I am investigating. There are other applicable factors that contributed to this event, but I’m confused as to whether this example fits into the Communication section. I have struggled with this concept (verbal vs. written) on other investigations.

Please advise.

Thanks

A TapRooT® User sent the following question:

Good Morning:

I been to TapRooT® Training and I have a question on the general definition/application of the Communication criterion in the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® Dictionary.

Does Communication apply only to Verbal communication, or does it include written communication? It appears to me that it is best suited for verbal communications based on the info on the back of the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree®.

For example, a worker from one department needed to complete a form to have a task added to a work schedule by another department (Communication needed across organizational boundaries). The worker filled out the wrong form, so the task never got added to the schedule, resulting in the event that I am investigating. There are other applicable factors that contributed to this event, but I’m confused as to whether this example fits into the Communication section. I have struggled with this concept (verbal vs. written) on other investigations.

Please advise.

Thanks

– – –

My answer was:

Written communications falls in several areas on the tree.

Procedures (a form of written communications) is covered under the Procedures category.

Work packages and work permits are covered under Work Direction.

Other forms of written communications (notes, forms, … ) probably fall under “Communications” but unless the form is a part of a formal turnover process, there isn’t a specific place on the tree for it.

For your problem, what was the Causal Factor?

I would say the causal factor was “Worker fills out wrong form“.

When you analyze this causal factor:

Where did the 15 questions lead you?

What were the procedures/policies?

Training on the forms?

Human factors of the form?

Any Work Direction (pre-job brief) before filling out the form?

SPAC for filling out forms?

QA of the form after the worker filled it out?



Therefore,
I really don’t think that filling out the wrong form was a Communication issue…

Rather it was a mistake that had root causes in other categories (unless the worker “miss-communicated” with someone on which form to fill out.

Does this help?

Thanks

Mark

– – –

His response was:

Thanks, Mark. This is the clarification I was looking for, and I appreciate the quick response.

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